Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Sound My Barbaric Yawp

So, Gideon Addington is dead by suicide. And I am f**king PISSED.

(Before I proceed, let me say that this has been written about beautifully and with some sensitivity by Jonathan Brink here, Josh Hale here, and Katie Mulligan here. I used Walt Whitman's line as the title of this post because I feel like bashing things in, and you'll see that here. If you're not in the mood for that, then you'd probably better stop reading now.)

I don't want to add any hurt to any of those who are mourning this loss, but I keep stumbling across more and more examples of how this person was bringing seriously beautiful ideas, poetry, and friendship into the world, and I am really, really, really angry that he's gone.

It's not that I've never been there. I was suicidal throughout my teens and was literally at the point of going through with it twice during that time... but something always stopped me and I always assumed that something was God. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why this same God who kept me in the world allowed this soul to take himself out. And I don't want to dance around that, folks, I want to stand right in the middle of that and scream at the top of my lungs.

It's NOT FAIR. How come I soldiered through and you didn't? How come you gave in? There were people who really liked you and who even may have loved you as time went on and they got to know you better, and there are people posting to your Facebook page who CLEARLY loved you and knew you in the flesh. WHY????? Did you try meds? Did you live with roommates? Did you have friends who were your suicide watch buddies and you could call if you were at that point?

Or did you do all of the above and just got sick of managing it? Because I did, in the end, get better. It's been a long time since I've been that low... and if it never really let up for you, Gideon, then I guess I understand. It is hard to stagger blindly through that darkness day after day after day. It is hard to continue to force yourself to believe that it will get better. If you truly lived with this every day, then I don't know if I would have made it to 30 if I were you.

I, we, have no choice but to forgive you, and to speak holy words about your death because all deaths mark the passage into the spiritual realm and into Mystery... even the ones that leave us outraged, helpless, pounding words into our keyboards as though this will bring you back because it's what brought you to us in the first place.

I just found this song via @hardlynormal, Mark Horvath of, who found it here courtesy of @MelissaRowley. It's a homeless guy named Mustard doing the best cover of Creep by Radiohead that I've ever heard. I dedicate this to Gideon, because this was one of my all-time favorite Songs to Be Depressed By back in the day.

Rest in peace, brother. I look forward to meeting you someday.


Craig said...

What a tragedy. I pray for him and his family, and you too Amy.

Katie Mulligan said...

Thank you for writing the words in my heart. It's going to be a while before my anger fades. I so enjoyed Gideon's company on twitter, and I can barely believe he's gone. It hits me fresh each time.

So push on with that holy rage, because damnit, he shoulda DM'd me instead of killing himself!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such honest words. I have been praying about this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amy. I too wept openly when I head of Gideon's death. I barely knew him apart from twitter, but I couldn't hold it in. He truly was special.