It was 5 years ago today. I was eating at Angelika Kitchen with Elizabeth Mendez-Berry and I got the frantic texts and calls from Joan. We hadn't spoken in a while and it was curious that she was calling. She texted and begged me to call her back. I stepped outside.
"Hey, Joan. What's going on?"
"Soph, it's Chris." her voice was shaking. Something was horribly horribly wrong. "He's in the hospital. He shot himself."
I don't remember much of the conversation after that. My father (rest his soul) had passed only six weeks prior. But he was 84 and had lived a good long life that included meeting his grandchildren. He had been sick for years so his passing was like watching the slow chugging arrival of a steam engine from the distant horizon. Chris' (rest his soul) passing was like getting hit by the Bullet Train.
My father's quality of life had deteriorated considerably in his last weeks. Thus his passing was a gentle sigh of relief breathed during a quiet afternoon. Chris' departure was an aching Munchian scream into a dark yawning chasm that seemed to have no bottom and no end. He was a man in his prime and, it appeared, on top of the world. But we never know what's going on in someone's life.
So we should ask.