DFW’s hanging this weekend reminded me that depression doesn’t care about fame, genius, riches, family, or much else in the way of defense against it.

I hope for everyone’s sake he wrote a heavily-footnoted, 350 page suicide letter. Just because it will be the most interesting one ever written.

I wonder if we’re going to see a spike if McCain wins?

Suicide is not a rational act in the absence of a terminal illness, or a profound loss of quality of life. But in an increasingly irrational world, the line between rational and irrational individual behavior becomes very blurry indeed. Suicide is becoming less irrational to me.

(I’m not at risk, my 12 loyal readers. I have the emotional reserves, the financial reserves, and the support-system reserves to hang in there for a while. I’m just having trouble sleeping tonight.)

Suicide isn’t painless, either. I’m from a big, wonderful family who gets along real well, have lived in pretty much the same place for my whole life, and have developed quite a few lifelong friends and their families I cherish every much. These people would feel pain, some of them a lot, one hopes, in ways that are embarrassingly selfish.

For about two weeks. Not because they’re callous or any way different than anyone else; no, because that is the way things must be. Life goes on. You have to put the bad behind you, or you’ll die in ways not literal yourself. Coming to grips with loss and getting on with the good things that are left you is all a sane, rational person can do.

Maybe that’s why so many people have retreated behind the walls of the tiny part of their lives that is controllable. Divorced from the outside world. Hiding behind their garage door openers, their struggles to keep their families afloat, busing the kids to and fro from one activity to the next, working two jobs, and yes, their computers.

It seems like caring about anything beyond our selves and those we know is, well, irrational. And if you’ve lived your life well, your absence will be diminished in impact by the very process that created a good life for yourself in the first place. Your loved ones, in the end all that matters, will be there for each other.

In George Bailey terms, I’m a rich man. It helps. But it’s no cure.

It’s weekends like these that remind me of Mother Teresa’s questioning of her own faith, and her own selfless devotion to that faith.

Proving, I suppose, that even a future Saint was an entirely rational being.

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