Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Did My Friend Shoot Himself?

On the way home from San Antonio today, someone I had not heard from in years called me - to tell me that a friend of ours had shot himself to death yesterday, Sunday.

I had known Randy for over 20 years - he and I had "Run the Blockade" when a nationwide French strike shut down transport into France when we were traveling for a meeting in Paris. I was trying to get us--him-- into see buyer executives for Euro Disney, right after they opened in 1992 in France.

We were trying to sell Euro Disney Randy's Texas videotapes --everything from dancing to a deer story. Their executives said they took them home and listened to them, but they never placed any orders. I got there just as Europe had plunged into a recession and even singer Phil Collins had trouble selling 30,000 records, according to the London music companies we met with.

But I had lost touch with him. So I was really shocked to hear that Rany had ended his own life on Sunday. Why? Why would anyone do that?

Our mutual friend said that his business had been slow. I thought of how I could have used him in my growing business - how it could have given him something to do and look forward to.

But I had put off getting together with him, thinking we had forever to get it together. I didn't know he would feel life had nothing left for him and would leave us before his prime time was up.

They say he had just seen a doctor, and may have gotten news he didn't like. And things weren't the same after his father passed away last year, they said. He left prescriptions on the counter --they were not filled. His sweetmate had just talked to him that morning. She had been with friends in Galveston and would be coming back that day. He sounded OK.

She was the one who found him less than 3 hours later, with a self inflicted bullet. I can't imagine what that must have been like. All those years together, then this. Why?

Once many years ago, I saw him step across my rail on the 11th floor of a high rise. We had had a couple drinks. One false move and it was game over. I was very concerned but he didn't listen to me. But that time he stepped back from the brink, after our mutual friend "BJ" said "Get back over here." He did. This time no one was there, and he did not.

We have to be sure we don't wait too long to help our friends. There is nothing now that even good intentions can do to help him, whether they are mine or anyone else's. Once your friend is gone, they are gone.

I will miss Randy M. He was a good person and had the potential for great things. To all the other Randy's out there, I say don't give up. Life still has value and meaning. I have been on the bottom and know what it is like. Do not give up. The light does come after the dark.

The amazing thing about life is how it can change for the better even in the darkest hour.

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