My maternal great-grandmother committed suicide in her mid-thirties, there on the back porch while her children watched.
My maternal grandmother never quite recovered from the early death of her third child, and while she had moments of laughter and happiness, there was a always sadness in her eyes. She never spoke of him.
My mother collapsed into a major depressive episode when she was only a couple years younger than I am now. One day, she quit her job, came home and went to bed, not to emerge for a few months.
But she got help. She talked about what was going on in her mind. Somedays, still, I can hear that dark edge in her voice, but I haven’t seen her succumb in the past 20 years. I guess she’s coping, or a least putting up a quiet fight against the black hole of depression.
And there are dark days here, too. Days when effort is useless, life is hopeless, when all joy has been sucked out of the universe. And I wonder if I’m next.