He has done it again.
He is a member of our extended family, but part of the militantly religious wing, so we do not see each other regularly.
It was last week but I still cannot get him out of my thoughts nor think about much else really. I cannot stop imagining what it is like inside his head, to have driven him to such a desperate act, his God no defence, sure that hell awaits him for commiting the ultimate sin. When we were first told, he was not expected to live, the day was spent in shock, trying to accept the unacceptable. Then, a reprieve. He was off the machines and breathing but with memory loss.
He is my age.
Depression is the most insidious of enemies, creeping up and binding its victim in lethargy and hopelessness, staining everyone left behind with guilt and feelings of inadequacy. It's fingers pluck at my clothes, it nags at me, exploiting my empathy, "This could be you, this should be you, you know how it feels, don't fight the inevitable, at least he believed in something, what do you have? nothing!"
I walk in the forest and cry, guiltily, because I know that I cry for me as much as for him.
And then I remember what I do believe in.
Although sometimes I have as much trouble expressing my faith as the doubting priest grappling with the divine.
I will be practical.
There will be something that I can do.
3 days ago