You will be missed, Jim. Thank you for all the times you showed your kindness in small ways, for the messages of warmth and support. I so wish I could have at least tried to help you when you were hurting, that I had known before it was too late. I think of how there were so many times I wanted to ask for your help, but like you, I wanted to appear stronger than I am, and didn’t want to cause trouble for anyone. Part of me is somewhat angry about what you did -was talking to a friend today who met you, and he is angry about this, because it’s too late – men don’t like to feel helpless- I don’t have to tell you this.
Worse, they worry for themselves when they see someone who seemed so solid and strong, lose control- it is a scary thing. I’m angry , not because ‘it makes the Cause look bad’ and I am certainly not your judge, but angry simply for your loss- the world is much poorer without you, and I’m angry at myself for not reaching out to you when I needed help simply because I didn’t want to cause trouble. I do think I understand from what you wrote,and things you had told me years ago that it wasn’t so much about what she did-but how you were treated following that and perhaps before. I understand about wanting to be strong, and then the pain getting to be too much, how very cruel people can be. Just like you wanted to not appear less than strong- some people don’t know how to be wrong , they can only go on the attack or shut you out, make threats, yell and scream- and so on. Being wrong to them is as being weak was to you.
I know you believed in God, and I know you prayed and asked for forgiveness and strength many times long before and after it was all over. You were a true believer- In a way, that is why I don’t understand how you ended up like this, because I thought you had faith, something I don’t really have, and I thought people that have faith could never do this, that their faith “protects them, keeps them strong” . Youknow, the ‘God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle’ . I suppose that is just another remnant of my naivete, that Christians are above human frailties and of course the belief in the ‘WN Ubermensch’. Now I see how great the need is for real life community versus only cyber-community. I now see how alone you really were.
I’m not a tremendously social person, probably much less social than yourself, it works well enough when things are tolerable. We get by. Maybe we get sick a little more often , maybe our hair falls out, maybe we cry more often, or don’t eat right, smoke more, sleep less, take aspirin for chest pains or just feel like crap but we are able to still function-because we have to– but there comes a point where we can’t do it alone anymore, the pain is too much, and I know you were there. Pain which brings you out of sanity and into the land of dispensing your own brand of justice or simple escape, cashing it all in. I am hoping people start to make changes as far as what could be called online isolation and localized isolation brought about by not living around those of a like mind and perhaps most importantly, starting to count one’s life off line as working for the cause.
Of course, like what happened to you with the newspaper- one may be ‘outed’, whether one finds out about it as you did, or it happens more covertly. Even relative or total unknowns- people may treat them the same, they may have better luck in the outside world- but WN is in our head either before or after we officially discover WN, and it changes how we see the world, known or unknown WN struggle with that. There has to be some respite, a counter to the sturm and drang of bad news, people getting deported, arrested – our own getting killed, violated- general life worse than the world in which we were brought up. People throw stones in the political arena- and they will- whether or not they have a real idea about who you are ,what you have given or sacrificed. They’re still kids. To deal with all the online infighting, mindgames and s(*&-talking, and then to have to deal with more of the same in real life- those kids do not yet know what we know: that only someone who knows one very well can truly make one suffer, but I am preaching to the choir.
Know this, Jim- your fall does not take away from who you were and still are in our hearts and memories , the many good things you did, and time you dedicated to help others, stood up for what is right for various victims of crime, and causes even unrelated to WN , like breast cancer- how you wanted to be part of things and were rejected for your political beliefs and were denied entre into this or that volunteer effort or local organizations more than once , your great ability to promote, organize and motivate people. I still have that Coombs file and lots of your old radio shows.
Jim, you acted in good faith so many times before that terrible day. No, they can’t take that away from you. I hope to see you, on the other side, but it’s all right if you hang around in the meantime, I could use the company, and I’m not afraid of ghosts.