Some thoughts on Junior Seau and suicide

Junior Seau

When I saw the news yesterday that Junior Seau had died, I was floored. No, I didn’t know him personally. No, I didn’t grow up living anywhere close to San Diego, and I was not a Chargers fan. But I did grow up during the prime of his career. Even before I really became a sports fan, Junior Seau was one of the few NFL players whose name I recognized. I can remember drawing a picture of a football player when I was in 2nd grade. I made the dude huge. I didn’t know who else’s name to put on his jersey, so I put “Seau” and a big “55” on the back.

I’ll stop there before this starts to seem like I’m broken up about this as if Junior was a close friend. That’s not the case, and that’s not my point. The part about this whole thing that hit me the hardest is that it is an apparent suicide. Unlike other ways to die, suicide has always seemed to me to be so… preventable.

I hope I’m not being ignorant and/or insensitive in saying this, but I have never experienced, seen, nor heard of an issue or problem where the best answer is suicide. Not once. Suicide as a solution seems to say that “this problem is bigger than me, bigger than my family, bigger than my God, bigger than any hope I could have for a better future; and no stretch of time is going to ease it away.” That’s a heckuva statement.

Obviously, when a person is experiencing real problems, his/her judgement can be clouded. Talking is the best option here. We have got to do a better job of talking our problems out when they seem overwhelming and checking in on those closest to us even when it seems that everything is fine. Life is too short as it is already. No need to make it any shorter worrying about life’s issues. If you’re dealing with something that seems to have no answer, find someone to talk to. Pray. Get by yourself, and just vent out loud. Ask yourself, “Will this problem even matter a year from now? 5 years?” If you notice a friend getting a little distant, ask him/her about it. Even if you don’t notice anything, check on those you love. We can do a better job of holding each other up.

Until next time…

-Erik

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Erik Walker

Erik is black.

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