December 12, 2004



It's no fun to work with the news for a living sometimes. Seeing graphic photos of carnage on the wire, reading an entire nation's tragedies every day, gets you pretty jaded, but there are still stories that quietly haunt you.

This particular item wasn't a very big story in the grand scheme of things -- it only made the wire services as a footnote in the Southern California regional briefs. Regardless, it was one of those that twists the knife.

Charley Aurthur took his own life in November 1996 -- a troubled 23-year-old who had struggled with mental illness for half a decade. His father, Jonathan, fought to understand the whole time what was going on inside his child's mind. After Charley's death, the process resulted in a book -- which incidentally got published by the same people who did "Chicken Soup for the Soul" -- and a website. In both, Jonathan tried to lay out their experiences, in an earnest attempt to prevent another tragedy in families going through similar circumstances.

Then, late last month, Jonathan Aurthur killed himself.

This was a man who knew firsthand the pain of suicide. A man who spent six years trying to redeem his son's death by bringing their story to the world -- who even quit his job to write that book. It may have brought him the redemption he sought ... but it obviously didn't bring him the resolution he needed.

According to the obituary, he leaves behind a number of family members, an ex-wife, and a daughter Jenny. We can only hope that they find more peace in their lives than Jonathan did.

Posted by Baxil at 09:46 PM to Journal | TrackBack (1) | Permalink