I’ve been reflecting on Gary Speed with a good friend. It’s been a tragic moment in the very public world of modern sport. This end of his, the outpouring of grief, the sadness pushed out upon the masses from every form of media coverage. The result is the private spilling into the public. We witnessed the obviously stricken Shay Given plucking through his match with Swansea and coming up with a brilliant save in a match that was carried out because “Gary was a footballer and that’s what he would have wanted”. I read that last bit, the part in quotes, from a report that I’m afraid I did not footnote. Where it was written is unimportant but the sentiment is.
Games went on because that’s the way he would have wanted it. Funny how we as the ones left behind, are left to glorify, celebrate, and mourn the lives the victims of suicide. Those victims whose lives have become so bleak they cannot see the value in carrying on. I am if nothing empathetic to people who suffer from depression. I am also touched by it through extended family and by former in laws who have had depression run its course and manifest itself in suicide. So these next words I will choose carefully for fear of offending those who do not deserve to be offended.
Taking one’s own life or murdering another for that matter is an expression of narcissism, and narcissism is evil. I am not saying Gary is evil, but what he did was. His action left his children fatherless. His action was greedy. His action was willful and desperate and repugnant. The football public and his family are left to glorify his action by making apologies for him, and we celebrate his life in a very public way with very public people. How he must be happy looking on. Shame his children won’t have his words of wisdom, re assuring words, words of acceptance, words of approval, words of words that they so rightfully deserved from him. All because it became so much about him, no one else dared to matter.