I was notified this morning that my friend’s husband Rick had shot himself last night and was in ICU. Rick’s gun collection was something impressive, had I known enough about guns to be impressed, so I’d thought (hoped) that he was cleaning his guns or goofing off or something and accidentally shot himself in the foot. As more information came out, the people in the know told us this was intentional, and that a neurologist was going to examine him this morning. And then someone in the hospital with my friend said something about life support and the possibility of organ donations, so Ramon (the primary guy keeping me in the loop; he’s my former jujitsu sensei although he’s only a few years older than I am) and I were confused. If a doctor would use a donated organ on Rick, that means there’s a good chance of survival, right? But if a neurologist was examining him, doesn’t that mean there was head trauma? So where did he shoot himself? Did he spray himself with a shotgun somehow? I shared our confusion with Mr. W and he said that it sounds to him like Rick shot himself in the head and if the neurologist determined he was brain dead, they would keep him on life support to keep his body alive in order to donate Rick’s organs to someone else.

I texted my friend, because I didn’t want to bother her, but I also wanted her to know I was thinking of her with love and prayers. She texted back, “Thanks Cindy. Please send my love to [Mr. W]. We’ll let you guys know somehow where the memorial will be held.” So to her, Rick was already gone. I think Mr. W was right. I was later informed that Rick would be taken off life support tomorrow.

Ramon called me after he’d spoken to my friend (the wife) personally. We’d rarely seen or spoken to each other since we both got married, I had Allie and he now has 2 daughters, one turning 3 soon and another mere months old. Allie was napping, and Ramon’s wife had taken the baby for a short weekend trip to NorCal and his mother-in-law was at his house helping with his older daughter. It was a rare time that we were both free, and it was a rare occasion that made this phone contact necessary. We talked for 45 minutes, which he said was likely the longest phone conversation he’d ever had with anyone.

At the end of our conversation, I told him about the topic of my last blog entry, written last night (altho I never said I had a blog). It was kind of like, ask and ye shall receive. But I never imagined something like this would be the catalyst to a rebond with a friend. He said he’d only spoken to Rick last weekend and everything seemed fine. This came out of nowhere. I’ve been obsessing about this all day. I don’t understand what happened. It would make more sense if this were an accident, and Rick, being the usual clown he always was, didn’t realize the gun was loaded and was playing around. His wife, my friend, was at home when it happened, but I’m scared to ask her anything. I just keep thinking whether I should’ve been more diligent as a friend so that I could’ve maybe picked up on something. And how he loved her so much, how could he leave her in this way? He’s got to know the kind of emotional, psychological, financial, practical, legal, etc. mess he’s leaving behind for her to deal with, alone. I don’t understand it at all. He didn’t seem depressed or psychologically compromised in any way; they were still social, since the reason Ramon talked to him last weekend was because Rick had called to see if Ramon & family wanted to go with them to the County Fair. (Ramon had to decline as they were out of town.)

I’m just at a loss, and I don’t know what to do or how to help.