This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Simple Explanation

That would be the title of Episode 520 of the Fox TV show House. Yet another show I love to watch. And this past week's episode was a subtle surprise.

There was no ad hawking up this episode. There was no media citation about what was about to happen. It didn't happen right away. And we didn't get to see much. And we were left with questions. Enough awe hit us that Tim even looked up the actor to see WTF happened.

It was brilliant because it was subtle. A regular, much loved, adorable and strange character, Dr. Lawrence Kutner, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The attempt by his two colleagues to resuscitate him were futile. They showed nothing other than his splayed legs and a pool of blood...but no body. And we can't see them resuscitate him, but we see #13 with blood across her mouth, exhausted, pained by the truth. Kutner was dead.


And that became the story for this episode. Kutner was a monotoned speaker but brilliant doctor. He had a dry sense of humor and despite the tragedy of his Indian parents being killed when he was young, he was raised by adoptive parents of wealth. He grew up to be a privileged child who became a great doctor.

And the colleagues never saw it coming. He wasn't depressed (to them). He wasn't angry. He didn't seem unhappy. He didn't seem under anymore stress than any of them. No one saw any sign of this coming.

And House couldn't deal with that either. He solves problems by seeing what no one else can see...a 'sixth' sense. So he decided to figure this out and came to the conclusion that Kutner had to have been murdered.

In the end, House realizes, based on pictures he was rifling through in Kutner's apartment, that the truth was: Kutner, a somewhat stable, happy, smart, young doctor, had indeed killed himself. No note. No nothing to explain why.

And while the passing of a regular character is "sad", the depiction, IMO, was like no other show that does the suicide storyline.

Not that I am all knowledgeable about suicides and such, but I have learned enough to know that people do commit this awful act without any obvious signs.

My only experience with this was shocking. A man I used to work for had committed suicide several years ago. A man who was always happy and upbeat whenever I met with him. And I was not a very nice person to have as an employee but he always smiled for me, hugged me and talked to me about his family. He ADORED his children.

Me and a couple of friends went to his house to see him after a very severe car crash. It actually was several months after the crash. He was severely injure; the driver of the other car was killed.

He lived in Seven Springs, NC but worked in RTP. He had a horse farm out there and it was beautiful. His family: a beautiful wife and three beautiful children, were just as happy to see us. They gave us a tour of their home and land and I was mesmerized by these kids, the youngest probably around two at the time, running through their 'yard' with no shoes.

And my friend was in a wheelchair, and he just rolled along with us - a constant smile on his face.

It was a wonderful moment.

Several years later, I was pregnant with CJ. I was on my way to my regular OB appointment when I noticed someone flashing his lights behind me. I had NO IDEA who this whacko was...and he was following me. I pulled into my OB office's parking lot; the truck did too. And then out comes my friend - excited to see me. Running over to give me a hug and asking how I've been. He couldn't believe I was pregnant (I was sort of anti-child in my naive years ;-)) and was SOOOOO happy for me. It truly made my day and I felt privileged to know someone that would like me so much.

And that, my dear friends, would be the last time I would see him. Unbelievably, about two years later, as I was getting ready for work, I heard his name and saw his picture on the local news. He was reported missing. I was stunned. It didn't sound good because his wife had reported him missing...the last time she had seen him was him heading into the woods behind their home after a fight.

I quickly e-mailed my friends who knew him to find out if they knew anything else. Evenutally, the news was passed back to me: he had killed himself.


He was always so happy! He fought through that accident!! He has three children that he loves sooooo much! Why would he do that to them?!?

These questions, of course, linger with me I'm sure they do with his well as the people who knew him.

And even though that is my one (and I hope only) statistic to work with, I related so much to the House episode. I think others will too. And that's what made Monday's show so amazing.

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