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Tim vs. God

AK and I never talk about our friend Tim. In fact, since his death, we haven’t spoken about him for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s too hard for both of us. We both feel guilty. Anyone who has dealt with a suicide knows this feeling all too well. While we both know we weren’t responsible for Tim’s decision, we will spend the rest of our lives questioning if we could have done more to help him.

Yesterday AK and I talked about Tim for nearly an hour. It was heartbreaking, yet beneficial for both of us. I told AK I’m scared of forgetting all the small details of Tim’s life. It’s time I start writing about him, I suppose. Writing is cathartic for me, and frankly I need to remember all the funny details of his life rather than remembering the day I found him.

Sometimes when I miss Tim so much I can’t breath I think about him in some sort of after life. Tim hated religion. He was an avid atheist and took great pleasure in arguing with everyone about his or her own personal beliefs. I picture Tim approaching the pearly gates and screaming at God for existing. I can see him saying, “God you’re driving me fucking crazy with this bullshit; I need a beer.” And then he’d challenge God to an arm wrestle; the winner would get to rule the world. Tim would, of course, lose and then accuse God of cheating. Without fail, my tears are suddenly tears of laughter as I picture the Tim vs. God scenario.

And as blasphemous as this coping mechanism may seem to some, I don’t care.  It works for me, and that’s what counts.

Comments

  • Sarah,
    I found your page from a comment you left for “that one guy” .
    I had a girlfriend hang herself in 2001 and it was so devastating to me to know that someone I considered my friend and cared about could be hurting so badly and I had no idea. She was so young, vibrant and bubbly but I guess it was her path.

  • I have a hard time understanding suicide, even though I think everyone at one time or another has considered it to some level of seriousness. I just think, especially as an atheist, why would you want to pull the plug early? I guess pain is pain, whether physical or mental, and I can understand people with terminal illnesses who are suffering terrible physical pain wanting to end it early. But somehow I have a hard time understanding people with mental anguish wanting to end it. I mean, if you have a terminal illness, that isn’t going to go away. But mental pain can be fixed. It isn’t easy, but it can happen. So I feel so bad when people can’t see past their mental anguish. Maybe that’s the part that makes suicide survivors feel guilty. But it isn’t your fault.

    I’m sorry you lost your friend.

  • I have discovered that you do what you need to to cope with loss of that magnitude. Whatever it takes.

    And?

    I don’t consider it blasphemous, but I’m a bit of a heathen, so don’t go by me. :)

  • I don’t know you and I didn’t know your friend Tim but I do know what loss feels like. Do whatever you need to do to lessen the pain. It sounds like writing is your therapy. I look forward to many posts about your dear friend. It think it’s a lovely way to celebrate the life he lived.

  • I think writing about your friend is a good idea. I look forward to getting to know the man he was.

  • I love your humor and the way you look at things – even if some would consider it blasphemous.
    I think God probably laughs at them for taking religion and God so fucking serious.

    I was raised as a “christian”.

  • I’m sorry for your loss as well. It’s a testament to you as a friend that you think of and admire this person. Whether there is or is not a true afterlife, keeping the memory of someone, even if they’re gone, makes them immortal.

  • I like to think that I could beat God in an arm wrestle.

  • Hello Sarah,

    I’m sorry to read about your friend Tim, I too lost someone to suicide, 10/15/93, I lost my little brother, Frank to the darkness. Please to all who read this, help us to erase the stigma surrounding suicide and mood disorders by walking for the cause and talking about it, removing the stigma surrounding getting help for the darkness that people fight every day. Every step we take gets us closer to our goals. Go to http://theovernight.org or http://outofthedarkness.org to find out how you can help. thank you

  • I’m rooting for girwiththemask

  • My good friend Dylan committed suicide three years ago and to this day I get so angry. I often say out loud, hoping he can hear me, “If you were back here I’d hit you so hard!!”

    The questions haven’t gone away, the anger and sadness haven’t either.
    Sometimes all I can do is shake my head. It’s such a loss. But I pray he’s up there helping people on Earth who are feeling what he felt.

    I pray that for your friend Tim, too.

  • i have just started reading your blog and enjoying your brain, but i didn’t know you went through this. I did as well, now 11 years ago with my best friend. all i can say is listen to your heart and do what you can to remember the little things about him, i know i’ve forgotten lots of stuff since trying to hide from it. every time something comes back he’s right there again though, and that’s comforting. i know bring him up with my friends who knew him, even though it’s always greeted with under-breath-gasps… i wont’ let his selfish acts take away the good friend he was… yeah, it’s still hard after all this time…

  • Talking about Tim, at length, finally after all these years was so therapeutic for me… You really made me laugh thinking about ‘Tim and God’. It feels so good to laugh. I hope that you continue to write memories about Tim – he was such a character and if you hadn’t met him, reading about him here is the next best thing.

  • I went through this with my dad when I was 17. I’m always afraid that one day I’m just going to wake up and have forgotten what he smells like.

  • I still regret telling Tim that, that one kitchen was pink when ak and I took him around apartment hunting. Imagine the laugh you would have had.

  • One of my fondest memories of Tim was when I first met him.
    He was so territorial about the work he had done for MM which I had been hired to continue. At first he really seemed to be insulted by everything I’d do, although he liked every implementation. I’d run ideas by him and ask him what directions he wanted to see things go. With his experiences he’d had in the industry he could suggest things to make implementations even better . Working with him in this regard was wonderful. He began to trust what I was doing, and would commend me on solutions, excited to see what improvements I would make next in existing systems.
    When the difficulties with SE began he would watch my back and stand up for me. I could talk to Tim about the concerns I had, or when my job was threatened by SE. Tim became a favorite of mine quickly.
    Although i miss him and will never understand the choice he made, I know he was a good man and does indeed have a place in heaven wether he likes the idea of God or not.

  • Sarah–

    I’ve been lurking about, reading your blog for a couple months now, mostly giggling uncontrollably at your posts and cursing the fact that you are not here to be my friend, because really, i think we would get along really awesome. Anyway, I had to say, your way of dealing with Tim’s suicide was hysterical. I am a playwright, and your scenario with Tim vs. God is pretty much straight out a play I am working on. I hope that Tim continues to challenge God to things, games, races, etc. If it helps you cope, that’s what matters.

    I hope that you are feeling better about Tim. Glad you got to talk about it and from the posts on here, it looks like you have wonderful memories.

    Toni

    Ps…

    halarious post about the mis-sent emails and such. it sounds like something I would totally do.

  • Suicide is probably one of the hardest causes of death to get over, if one ever does.

    Yes, mental health issues are usually curable, but when you’re in the middle of it yourself, it doesn’t seem like it, believe me.

  • Sarah you know Tim and God are sharing hair products and sandal secrets. But Tim wouldn’t be able to call him God, he would have some messed up name for him.

  • I should have mentioned this earlier. Something that helped me, and still helps me, is writing down every memory I had with Dylan. Anything and everything because I was devastated that I’d forget. Now, three years later, I look back and love that I remember these things.
    I hope that helps you, or anyone else out there like it helped me.

  • Scott the Stray

    I am so glad you guys have talked about it, and hope you continue to do so. Even though at times we didn’t get along well, I have fond memories of Tim, especially his sick and twisted sense of humor. I have had 2 good friends end their life as well, and I don’t think you ever stop asking yourself what more you could have done to help them.

    When you mentioned that you were moving, it made me think about him and all the times he helped you move, probably by himself.

    And us Atheists don’t mind if our friends believe in God. If you guys are right you get to tell us I told you so.

  • Thanks for sharing. I lost a friend to suicide. A high school friend who killed herself the first year of college. I still feel guilty. And it is something that I don’t think will ever go away. It helps me to think that she is at peace.

    In fact, I wrote an article about it for the school newspaper and won an award. I also got a lot of hate mail basically telling me that people that commit suicide don’t go to heaven. I think that is bullshit. If people are mentally ill, God will welcome them with open arms and heal them just as he would anyone else with a disease.

    Peace for you.

  • Sarah…

    Enjoy your writing so much, so I hope that it eases your pain to share this about your friend.

    So sorry for your loss. The piece was fucking brilliant, though. Thanks for sharing.

    Scott

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