Category Archives: Death


It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write today: a friend took his life this week. It left me reeling and so concerned for his partner and their children. How…why…what…?

Though I have worked in suicide prevention as a ‘listener’ for the past three years, nothing makes this easier…really. It’s the saddest, most shocking thing. Then you talk to people and find out how many people have lost someone to depression. It makes me want to write about it here.

Some general understandings about suicide…

Men are more likely than women to end their lives, because they suppress their pain, hide it and act decisively. Women eventually communicate sooner…what is going on…and can be helped. It is amazing what a confidential, trusted listener can do to help you figure out solutions…it is amazing. But people must reach out first.

One thing no one likes to talk about is this: if someone has reached the point of wanting to take their lives, that person will, and there is nothing you can do to stop this. That’s probably the most damaging thought for the loved ones left behind. You can try and prevent this final deed, and though we do try and it is our mission at, we know that this can sometimes fail. There is a certain respect we hold for a person in that much pain, and it doesn’t diminish our sadness, but we remain aware of the truth – our lives are fundamentally in our own hands.

Samaritans do all that we can to raise awareness about the factors that cause a person to ultimately give up on living, and we offer 24/7 services to support anyone in need. Samaritans even has an international email address for this purpose. If you need help, please reach out. The service is 100% anonymous, I can assure you. Your phones and email address are not tracked at all. Please reach out for help.

Continue reading Suicide

On Paris and Beirut

The news in Paris is grotesque and unfathomable. My heart goes out to that nation and to those directly affected by the terrorist attacks where at least 8 suicide bombers shot and then 7 blew themselves up in densely populated areas of the city on a buzzing Friday night. And where the story of this, the events, are still unfolding. This is not over. The world we live in…I cannot begin to finish that sentence. It is too big. It is much too big.


The news has not reached the world in the same way, but there was a Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist attack yesterday in Beirut, Lebanon also Continue reading On Paris and Beirut


Driving home from a long day today, in a foreign country, in a ‘new-ish’ job, five thousand miles away from where I was born and grew up, I felt numb. It was a long day. Difficulties had come from all directions. People were my primary source of stress and, internally, I was boiling.

I learned first thing in the morning, from a former colleague I’m connected to on Facebook, that a former student of mine died in a car accident…in Qatar. Continue reading Changed