Monday, March 25, 2013

He Valued His Privacy

Due to a family emergency, my father will be flying up on Wednesday.  While he is here, I am fairly certain I will not have time to write anything of length. Even so, I did want to fill in as many of the gaps as I can. Pardon me for not writing on an issue of more substance, but sometimes one must make do with what one has.  

I admit that I've been too preoccupied the past weekend to write a proper post today. If circumstances were different, I would have no trouble at all sharing many of the details. Unfortunately, earlier efforts towards documentation, for better or for worse, were recently squelched. I'd put up a Facebook post for friend and acquaintances to be informed of the situation, but was told by a family member to take it down. 

I'd only wanted to spread the word. His condition is critical. I wanted as many people as possible to pray for him, because it is still highly uncertain that he will even survive his injuries. He is still languishing in a semi-comatose state, induced to keep swelling in his brain down to a minimum. No one has yet begun to speculate about the physical limitations in front of him should he even survive. It will weeks, rather than days, for that sort of talk. 

Obituaries often use the same phrases. "He valued his privacy. She valued her privacy." I have never understood the sentiment. There is no room for privacy when crisis strikes. Hand's off approaches can be fatal in the midst of tragedy. In this situation, reaching out for help might have prevented a catastrophe. Warning signs did exist, but they went unreported to no one.  

If I had valued my privacy, I probably would not be here to write these words. I've written in this space about my struggles with bipolar disorder and depression many a time. There is no need to rehash those stories, except to say I am extremely grateful for caretakers who would not take no for an answer. Many people suffer in silence. Though I regret the pain I put my parents through, earlier in life, I am left with a new thankfulness for their obsession in keeping me alive. 

If there is any silver lining in a tragedy of this magnitude, it is that others may recognize that no person is an island. Intervening is not imposing on another person, instead, it is the most profound form of love and compassion a person can show for another. Each of us might benefit from being a little less laissez-faire in our daily dealings with others.

Why did this happen? What were the underlying psychological and psychiatric issues? Sometimes one never receives a satisfactory answer. As it stands now, we are currently divided into camps. I have my opinion and others theirs. In my own defense, because I am familiar with mental illness, I bring with me a kind of understanding and comprehension that others may not share.

It is easy for people in shock to go into states of denial, especially when denial was always such an easy coping mechanism in the first place. I will let them come around to the facts when they are emotionally able to get there on their own. One thing is certain. The family will be changed by this and in a major way.    

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