I won’t give details. They’re not pertinent now.

Last week I heard the news of a man’s passing. He was young, strong, handsome and had life ahead. Now he’s gone.

I don’t know all the details of his death. I’ve heard it was an accident. I’ve heard it was a suicide.

The idea that this man I knew may have committed suicide hurts. Had I known he was in pain, I would have… I don’t know. And that’s the point.

I believe one of the prime directives of being Christian is to listen, care and empathize. You never know what others are going through. You don’t know what thoughts and emotions are causing them to act in whichever moment. It seems only Christian to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Do I always do this? No. It is a weakness of mine to be excessively demanding of people. I know I can get irritated or angry when people act wrongly. This weakness should be replaced with meekness, as Jesus Christ said. To let negative emotions get the best of you, for whichever reason, when dealing with others prevents you from displaying a kindness we are to model at all times for this lost and broken world.

I’m not saying I was angry at this man. Not at all. I would only see him a couple times a month. When we passed he was busy, or I was busy, so the words we exchanged were not great. But still.

Had I known he was having problems, I would have given him my all. Others who knew him would have too. But such wasn’t enough.

What would have been enough kindness, or attention, or advice, or love, to steer him away from suicide only God knows. I guess I can only pray that his passing becomes more of a reminder of the requirement that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, regardless. This doesn’t come easy. But we should always try.

Lastly, I fear more suicides are coming. Of course they skyrocketed during lockdowns last year. They will continue to be high as the dark forces reordering society into a New Normal double down on their efforts. Truthfully, I don’t doubt some of this man’s despair was from this.

May God have mercy for us all in these times.