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E-mail and discussion database conversations today...


Hi Woody,

I was shocked to see Allen Croft's obituary in the newspaper this weekend. I had no idea he had died. Do you know what happened to him (if it isn't personal/confidential)? My wife (at the time) and I used to play on his volleyball team years ago, and I always thought he was such a nice guy. I figured that, even though he didn't work for you (I'm assuming he didn't), you, being the most people-oriented manager around here, might have known him or know what happened. Thanks for anything you are able to share without breaching any confidentiality obligation you might have.



Hi John,

I didn't know him well so anything I have heard is second-hand. My understanding is he committed suicide... very sad if so. I'll let you know if I hear / see anything factual.

Take Care,

Discussion database


Being the regular obituary reader that I am, on Saturday, the first entry shocked me. A friend of my wife's and mine (from when we were together) died. We were on an IBM intramural volleyball team that he coached, and he was a nice, fair guy. 46 years old. Younger than me. Sobering. I noted in the obit: "A memorial gathering to celebrate Allen's life will be held Sunday afternoon from..."

He works in my building here, and I was surprised we hadn't gotten a note about his death. (He died last Wednesday.) So I asked around today, and found out that apparently, he committed suicide, which is so very, very sad to me.

This made me think of the obit, and celebrating a life that someone didn't want any more. I can't resolve that. I supposed it's what the family needs, but I can't help thinking it wouldn't have been something he (the deceased) would have wanted.

I'm ambivalent (about the service), but mostly, I'm sad that, for him, it got to the point of taking his life.


Just my $.02....

I suspect that his family *really* needs support -- the service won't be for him, but for them. I hope that lots of people call/write/attend so that the family gets the message that he was appreciated by others.

Suicide is so hard. One of my meditation teachers said that "When you commit suicide, you hang a skeleton in someone else's closet." Which sounded right to me.


my $.01

My input is worth half of what Dorothy's is because I don't have a great quote from my meditation teacher (Thanks, Dorothy.) In fact, I don't even have a meditation teacher, so maybe my input is worth even less than half.

Anyhow, I think at this point it's all about the deceased's family. Were I in your shoes, I would go to the funeral, if for the only reason that a crowded funeral/memorial is so much better for the surviving family and friends than a sparsely attended one, particularly in these circumstances.

Even if you can manage to tell one of his survivors what you wrote about him in this db, it will mean so much to them. He may have felt his life had no meaning for him, but that doesn't mean that his family and friends felt the same way.

I'm sorry for the loss. It does indeed seem deeply, deeply sad.


Not knowing all the facts...

We must not jump to conclusions that because someone commits suicide that this life had no meaning for them. This life might just have been too hard or a number of other reasons. I don't know know why your friend decided to make such a decision, so I would be careful not to jump to assumptions.

Personally, I would go to the service if he meant something to me. It would be my way of showing how his life affected at least one person.

That being said, this might not be your way of coping.


my experience

A few years ago someone close to me committed suicide. Although I was unable to attend the funeral for logistical reasons, I was able to listen to a tape of the funeral about a week after it took place. The tape revealed to me a very moving, beautiful service, attended by many people who shared very moving memories of the deceased. Ultimately it was a celebration of the life of someone who was loved by many. The suicide and the feelings about that were also in the mix--frankly acknowledged--but I was very struck by how positive the whole thing was overall.

So don't pre-judge. Just go and support. There is no way you can know what you will find.


And a follow-up note from my friend, Kathy, who in July 2001, lost her 16-year-old son in a traffic accident


Very sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. I am sure you are getting this after the fact as the funeral has most likely taken place. What matters at the moment is not the manner in which the person died, but that the family know that he while he was on this earthly home he was special and cared about. When someone dies tragically and unexpectedly there are so many unanswered questions. One may never know why he felt this life would be better without him. And now his family will struggle with his decision for the rest of their lives. If you did not attend the funeral you might want to send them a card with a brief note that shares how you (and Donna) knew him and how you thought he was such a nice guy, maybe something he did that you remember him doing or saying. Believe me that will mean the world to them. It does not matter how long after the funeral this might be. A reminder of how our loved ones touched your life can mean so much.


Joe and I walked around Lake Johnson between 7 and 8.



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