Thursday, June 18, 2009

Purely Mortal

Last night we learned a friend of The Husband was in hospice. Friend was best man at our wedding, The Husband's college room mate and his best friend for some years. Of course, as it often happens, distance and choices meant less and less contact, until there really was none. The Husband found out via Facebook, of course.

This morning, we learned the friend died.

The part that goes against the norm is that this friend, in essence, committed suicide, very, very slowly. He was diabetic. It developed when he was in college. He never would treat it properly. Someone else told us she saw him last October, sick and in decline -- and eating Pixie Sticks one after the other. He might as well have been eating strychnine. He'd already undergone amputations, but still couldn't be persuaded to eat a vegetable. I remember 16 years ago, out to dinner, watching him pick the lettuce and tomato off his hamburger.

He made a long series of choices that resulted in this -- dead at 40 from preventable causes.

I'm slightly angry, slightly disgusted, and mostly resigned. The Husband gave up trying to change this friend years ago. He'd intervened before to help this person, but you cannot help someone who does not want to take responsibility for himself.

It makes me think about my own choices, though. I have no place to stand holy above anyone else. I'm not doing the things I should do (well, I do eat vegetables, but I also eat too much cheese, too much sugar, and I don't exercise nearly enough). I'm in line for heart disease and diabetes if I don't make changes. I wonder if he was too caught up in the pains of each day to take a longer view, to even attempt change. Maybe he was resigned to what he thought was his fate. Death is inevitable, after all. No matter how well we live, we will die.

It still feels like he killed himself.

No comments: