Saturday, March 26, 2016

Remembered Joy

God have mercy on the Man
Who doubts what he's sure of.
- Bruce Springsteen

On Monday morning, Detective Matthew Kurtz of the Sayreville, New Jersey Police Department drove his car to the parking lot of the long-shuttered Amboy Cinemas complex, and ended his own life by shooting himself.  Detective Kurtz was just thirty-four years of age.  In addition to being a well-regarded, highly-decorated police officer who had recently earned the promotion to the rank of Detective, he was a husband to Jamie, and a father to two sons, Connor and Matthew.   

Too many families in this country have been directly affected - and shall continue to be so - by one family member's decision to end his or her own life.  I did not know Matthew Kurtz.  I do not know his family.  I would not pretend to try to pass myself off as some sort of ham-handed, amateur pop psychiatrist in an effort to delve into the reason or reasons that led him to make the tragic, irreversible decision that he made on Monday morning.  Suicide is an insidious force that has descended in recent years onto more than one family who I have the pleasure and privilege of knowing - all of whom are good people - and I cannot pretend to wrap my head around what led their loved one to make - at an earlier point in time - the same decision that Matthew Kurtz made earlier this week.  

Countless numbers of us say - and do so undoubtedly with the courage of our convictions -that we would never take our own life.  Perhaps unstated in that declaration - but lurking somewhere beneath the surface - are words to the effect of "I hope I never find myself in a place where I would contemplate or consider doing so".  Me?  I am a firm believer in the idea of the breaking point.  Each of us has one.  One of the tricks to surviving the innate meanness of this world, it seems to me, is to do all that you can to avoid being pushed to your breaking point or - worse yet - beyond it.   Unless and until you are there, a declaration of how you would respond once you reach it is, with all respect, coffee-house bullshit.  

May the peace that Matthew Kurtz apparently lost hope of being able to find and/or rediscover somehow find its way to him now.  Moreover, may peace come for the family that grieves him, including his young widow and two little boys.  

Each of them has a life to live - for him, beyond him, and, tragically, without him.   It was not supposed to be this way.  

It rarely is. 


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