The Suicide of My Godson, Age 20, Part 3 of 3

During the wildfires of Northern California in 2017, he and his sister and mother, and their little community, were evacuees. They had been saved by the fortunate interference of a small mountain and a narrow river. His father had told him that he would know the end of the world was coming when the sky was red and filled with smoke. I wish I had known that he’d been told that before he died.

At the memorial, some one described him as “almost Byronesque”. He had such exuberance and willingness to inspire others with insights and joy, but such darkness deep inside himself. He would often retreat to his tiny house, and sleep for hours and hours. But only after building or fixing anything anyone needed. He made little money, but refused to even let me buy him a burrito.

What pains me most is the part about the end of the world. He decided the best thing he could do with impending global ecosystem collapse would be to eradicate his own being. To no longer take space from non-human animals. To no longer consume food or breath. No one told me this. I wish I could have told him, that to every animal he might save or protect, it would seem like the entire world. He could only think in the largest, most 3-dimensional pictures of the world, I guess. I’ll never know for sure.