The Moment of Weakness: How My Friend’s Suicide Changed My Life.

by Sergey

In the comments section of Taking Remembrance Day to the Next Level., Sergey, a student of Kingpin Social shared the inspirational story of his life that happened after his friend committed Suicide in 1992. Life has never been the same for him. I asked Sergey if it would be ok for me to post the story as a blog post for everyone to see, and he happily agreed.

I have left the story raw and unedited. Sergey is from Russia. English is not his first language, but I feel like editing the story would not do it justice. I hope you will enjoy reading it anyways.

The Moment of Weakness

There are plenty of ways to demonstrate an identity. I have chosen to describe the tragic end of my friend, and the feelings that I experienced after his suicide. Even now, after such a long time I am still thinking about his decision to shot himself to death. May be the answer for the question “why I had chosen the topic?” is far simpler than it seems.

This event had a very strong impact on my life. It taught me to be thankful for everything I have, to love my family and to be brave. I believe that people make suicide when they are afraid of tomorrow.
Eugene was a brilliant student. His father was university professor in Moscow State University. However, his parents were divorced and he got the mom’s last name, probably he did not have very good relationships with his father. Possibly, the change of the social status and difficulties of the immigration from Russia to Israel were very stressful. It is hard to know the real motive that pushed him to end up his life, but military service definitely created strong impact on his decision. In the camp he had a problem with one of the unit’s sergeants, but he was too shy to complain. When we went home to the vacation, he looked normal. It was really hard to assume that would happen later.

I still remember that day of September 1992, when the officer of my unit came to us with the notice of his death. He was calm and serious, may be for that reason I did not believe him right away. It was also very hard to imagine that someone, whom you know well, was dead. Just yesterday we laughed, or shared jokes and then that person was just a breathless body. There was no investigation, army wanted only to identify his body. They looked for volunteer from our unit to come to recognize him. I did not really want to go. It was painful to see my friend dead, may be even somehow I believed that he was still alive. Although I did not want to replace the illusion with that horrible reality, I did not judge myself. There was someone else who also knew him. This person was selfish, arrogant, and cynic. He raised his hand first like he was going to see a show and went out very proud of himself. That moment I thought that there were people, who enjoyed other’s pain. Fortunately any group of humans is diverse. I was always surrounded by friendship, love and hate. It is hard to please everyone around. Besides, when I tried to be nice with others, some people saw it as a weakness and tried to take advantage of it.

The funeral was conducted a couple of days later. I will never forget his mom. Because he was the only child, it was even harder for her to lose him. She looked horrible, almost like a living ghost. After looking at her I swore never to do it to my mother. I realised how responsible I was for ones, who loved me. This very moment I felt both love and pain. I realised how close those feelings are. Indeed, most of the times love causes more pain than pleasure.

My life was never easy, but I always knew how to survive. That event taught me always to speak up, to face people. I learned to be more honest and protective. I took care for my mom and my sister as much as I could. I always tried to call my mom every day in order to provide her mental support, especially when she lost her jobs. I helped my sister when she was studying nursing and working at hospital. I never had a problem to make her laundry or to go with her to a concert, because I knew that I am doing it for someone who loved me. I do not believe that it is possible to prevent every tragedy, but positive impact usually makes necessary changes. My actions significantly helped my family to pass bad times in the past.

I believe that even the desire to protect my friends and family helped me to save them from a lot of troubles. After the military service I studied in Ben Gurion University of Negev in Israel for master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. One day I came to the office of the one of my friends and found out that he needed to go to downtown. I had to drive there as well, so I offered him a ride. Apparently it saved him his life. The bus that he wanted to use was exploded by terrorists. There were two suicide bombers on two buses. When the buses came close to each other, they used their explosives. On the way back we saw the police and ambulance going in that direction, but it was hard to guess what is actually happened. Forty four people died in that terror attack, but I was lucky. My friend was alive. That moment I thought that this time I made a change. May be it was not a stunning, heroic act, but for me it made no difference. My friend could breath, smile and play guitar. It is hard to compare those two events of my life, but for my opinion the suicide of Eugenetaught me how to make an impact. Just a simple act of attention saved someone’s life.

Later on, I did good and bad things in my life, but I always was rewarded for a positive impact. I studied to be less judging and more understanding. I try to see people as a whole and do not separate person’s good and bad qualities. People have weaknesses, sometimes they regret about their actions. I know to forgive, but I never forget. I lost faith in perfect human relationship long time ago and started to see the whole picture. There is no perfection in life, but it is important to try to be perfect.

I had chosen that topic, because I wanted to go back to that event and analyse it. I also wanted to go with it in public. I did not know how I would feel about presenting that kind of event, but I could guess that it would make me emotionally engaged. While presenting it I felt even more emotional, than I thought I will be. May be it was the grief I did not feel in the funeral. Death of my friend helped me to realise that there are more important things than money or career. It also revealed the importance of forgiveness. I learned to forgive myself and to go forward in every single crisis of my life. He apparently did not. Later on, every time when I saw people of authority, who treated others like garbage, I was furious. It made me to speak out at any price. The only reward for that kind of action is knowledge that possibly I prevented a tragedy. I believe that it was worth it.

The chosen topic shows me as an empathic person. I like to analyse my actions, to go deep down to my conscious. It is important for me to create impact on audience, for that reason I did not want to write something meaningless. Eventually, the tragic end of my friend was one of the most significant events of my life. I decided to use the format as an essay, because I wanted to create deep and complicate image of my personality. There are a lot of different ways for a person to express himself, but I always liked to write, and it was the best way for me to express my identity.

If you or anybody you know is thinking about committing Suicide, please call the Suicide Hotline for help, and choose life instead, today.

About Sergey
Born in Russia, Sergey has spent time travelling abroad and living in Israel. He enjoys salsa dancing, MMA and snowboarding. It's rare that you do not catch a smile on Sergey's face.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kingston Knudsen November 21, 2011 at 8:43 am

Thank you so much for sharing Sergey. You made some very amazing and difficult decisions. Your courage is an inspiration to me.

Cam November 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I completely agree Kingston. This is an epic post by Sergey.

Max November 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm

A topic that got me thinking as well. Thanks for sharing!

adi July 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

wow! it made me think for a sec. lesson learned.

Kevin Gregg Boquiren November 18, 2012 at 3:50 am

This is a must share! I’m glad I’ve read it.

Cam November 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

@ Max, Adi & Kevin – Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you guys found value in this piece. I really enjoy it personally.

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