Don't Try Suicide

I’m feeling sad today about the death of Darrin Owenby, who took his own life early this morning.  A former Marine, Darrin apparently suffered from PTSD.  I didn’t know that, though.  I didn’t know much about Darrin at all, really.  Although we were in grade school and high school together, I was three years ahead of him and didn’t really know him; but as his Facebook friend I have a front row seat for today’s tragic event.
Looking at Darrin’s Facebook wall, at the sorrow and love and respect recorded there, it’s hard to fathom that someone so loved and admired would find life too hard to face.  We never really know, do we, the secrets in the hearts of those around us, even those we think we know well.  I am sure that Darrin’s family and his many friends are wondering if there was some sign they missed, some word they might have said that would have stopped this from happening.
I keep coming back to this:  two days ago Darrin planted a field of rhubarb in Farmville (trading Farmville gifts constituted our Facebook reliationship).   Today, he is dead.  How does that happen?  What pushes someone over the edge into such despair that death is preferable to the pain of living?  
One thing I know:  death is an awfully permanent solution to life’s problems.  Teresa of Avila said, “Let nothing disturb thee; let nothing dismay thee; all thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for.  He who has God finds he lacks nothing:  God alone suffices.” I don’t know anything about PTSD.  And I don’t know what treatment Darrin may have sought in fighting his own demons.   But I wish he could have waited for this despair to pass.  I am so, so sorry he lost the battle–and especially sorry for his close friends and family, who will surely suffer even while knowing that Darrin, a devoted Catholic, is at peace.
If anyone reading this is depressed to the point of contemplating ending it all, please reach out.  There is help for you.  Change is possible.  Things almost always get better.

0 thoughts on “Don't Try Suicide

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  2. Cathie Owenby

    Leslie, it was by fate that I found what you’d written about my son. I was actually just looking for a link to Darrin’s obituary to send to someone. I just happened to notice your link and clicked on it.
    What a beautiful tribute you gave Darrin, and I know he would never have wanted to leave behind the pain he has to so many. He took a part of me with him, and it’s simply not right that a mother should have to bury her son. But it happened and I was able to stand tall and proud because of so many of his Marine brothers who came from many different states to pay a final tribute to one of their own. It’s so very true that “Once A Marine Always A Marine!” They have a bond with one another that’s so very special and unequaled.
    You are so right with how you ended your tribute. Yes, there is help for anyone who is having suicidal ideation (thoughts). However, I have to say that the person HAS to be the one to reach out! I worked for over 14 years as a psychiatric RN and I honestly didn’t see any evidence of what was getting ready to happen. Darrin kept his feelings locked deep inside and I think it was an impulsive act and loss of reality that pushed him over the edge. Possibly a new drug his VA psychiatrist had prescribed and he had started taking just a few days before.
    I wish you many blessings,

    1. Cathie,
      I’m so glad that you were pleased with what I wrote. Even though as I said I was not privileged to have known Darrin very well (and I really regret that, because it was very clear from what I learned about him afterward that he would have been a great guy to know) I was very shaken by his death and wanted to commemorate him in some way. I still think of him–and you–often and I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my post. It was obvious how much his Marine buddies loved and esteemed Darrin from their many posts on his Facebook Wall and I am so glad that was able to give you some comfort at such a terrible time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new drug did play a factor. I know myself I was surprised by the suddenness of it all and I’m sure you must have been baffled and devastated, especially with your training. I hope that the love of Darrin’s friends and his faith and yours continue to be a comfort to you. Please know that you remain in my prayers.

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