Monday morning I woke up to an email from a friend telling me of the death of an amazing man. I didn't really know this man per se, but I had spoken with him once for about 30 minutes and he left an impact. He was Jody Sherman, co-founder and CEO of the web based store Ecomom. I have shopped at Ecomom for a year since I first heard about them from another friend. The email shared about his death and a cryptic message Jody's wife had posted on his Facebook page. She posted that he would have said goodbye if he could have but he knew he couldn't and he loved everyone he knew so much and they mattered to him. Cause of death wasn't specified at that point.
It was later announced that at 47, Jody's cause of death was "self inflicted gun shot wound"
I'll let that resonate.
I didn't know this man. I didn't know his life or his friends or his family. But I know his pain. I know what it's like to think for a second that it might be a viable option to cease to exist. I read those words and I was devastated. I cried. Real tears. For this man I never knew and for the family and wife he left behind. For the friends of his left the ask why? And how could THEY have prevented such a tragedy. No one saw it coming. I sent up a google alert minutes after reading the first reports and have read every single publication since (kind of obsessed now) and no one who knew him has said anything other than that they didn't see it coming. Some spoke to him that day and he seemed upbeat and energetic.
And that is how most people would describe me I think. I think most of us who have depression (I don't know that he did but most people who kill themselves struggle longer than just that moment) can fake it pretty well. We know all the right words and smile the biggest because to be seen in our real state is too vulnerable and too raw and honestly most people don't care to see it.
There is still a stigma along with depression. It's all good. It's gotta be.... Sad irony in that line. "It's all Good" is Ecomom's tag line. Maybe it was more obvious than anyone realized. If we say its all good enough, it will be so. Right?! Jody had a tattoo on his wrist. "I am awesome" and he was. No one would deny that... And yet I don't think HE knew it. I think that is more of a reminder to try and view himself in a light he knew others saw him in.
Everyday 84+ people commit suicide (last available daily records on suicide.org) and (50+% of that is by firearms... Don't get me started...) every single day
That is a frightening number. That's 84+ people who felt they had no other options.
84+ people nationwide who left a wake of devastation in their final choice. Suicide is the ultimate selfish act. There I said it. The fear, and agony is over for that person. But it's only begun for those in the wake. The sea of emotions and anger and questions that will never be answered because the one person who can is gone. Forever. That's just starting for the people in the wake.
These people don't mean to be selfish. They just want their pain to stop. And it does. But for people like Jody who do SO much good in their lives before their death, its just that much more a tragedy. Jody and Ecomom fed a child in need with each purchase. Amazing.
This week, 3 days after Jody's death, Ecomom announced the layoff of 19 of their headquarters employees. They are in dire straights it seems. (Go order from Ecomom, they have amazing products and free shipping over $50. I did and plan to order again today, I'm sure I need something)
I am so sad at the thought that this amazing little company could close its doors. I hope they can climb out of this devastation.
If you or someone you care about you suspect is thinking of ending their life please get help.
1-800- SUICIDE/ 1-800- 784-2433