The recent loss of Jr. Seau is nothing less than tragic and devistating. “One of Junior Seau’s last acts before shooting himself in the chest on Wednesday was to tell his children that he loved them,” reports NBC.com. Perhaps that thought along with the poinency of his mother’s sound bytes of her wailing in devistation will lead to such heavy emotions that many of us (parents or not) will just have to go through them and have them hit us in our own way.
Just about a month ago my family and I were out to eat and sat at a booth right next to him and his friend and, of course, recollections of his name in the local news the past years had me thinking, but all I saw and heard was a gentle and seemingly regular guy having dinner with a friend. I locked eyes with him when passing, but of course did nothing more but smile… my brush with the local celebrity was so recent that I feel like I can go right back to that local restaurant and there we he would still be!
Living in a household of Chargers fans, I can only imagine how the added impact of grief must be for his loved-ones who not only admired his contributions and leadership, but who had him as a close friend and/or family member. I worked for several school districts in San Diego and was on many fundraising committees and I can share one thing I KNOW: Jr Seau devoted himself to the San Diego community and to our youth, and he was a positivly generous and kind man to so many! Since its inception, the Jr. Seau Foundation has distributed over $4 million to organizations providing services to children and young adults. He made many appearances to our local schools and Boys and Girls events and gave from his heart, aiming to inspire others to live their dreams and he spent time with them along the way, noting and praising their good choices. His advise to aspiring athletes was to “get over the wall,” something that we all wish in his last hours he was able to embrace, himself.
People will naturally have strong emotions, opinions or insight, but they do NOT know what they do not know. Regardless of how strong or weak, how emotionally healthy or not he was, he was troubled and did not seek help to prevent his death.
I lost two very special people to suicide and understand the darkness that surrounds the aftermath of the tragedy and that grief that is forever tainted like no other form of grief is, particularly with those who think perhaps there is something that they might have done so the reality would not be what it is. My heart deeply goes out to Jr. Seau’s friends and family.
Need help or know someone who does? In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
A tribute (“Celebration of Life”) to Junior Seau to the long time Charger’s linebacker will be on Friday, May 11, when the team will open up Qualcomm Stadium for an event expected to draw a capacity crowd.