What A Difference A Day Makes

You can click to gigantize this roughly knitted  panorama of a series of stills that capture the hundreds of people gathered prior to the start of the walk Sunday afternoon.

The news has landed. The coroner’s office has ruled today what many people feared and some will refuse to believe, that Silver Lake’s beloved Walking Man, Dr.Marc Abrams, killed himself.

Given how I feel about suicide I don’t want to believe it. Given the horrible manner within which he’s purported to have done it — by drowning himself in a covered hot tub — I can barely imagine it.

Not that I didn’t consider it in the days following his shocking demise last week. In fact I suprised myself by being ready to accept that conclusion if it had been a decision made in the wake of him contracting some debilitating illness that would ultimately immobilize him. But if he killed himself because of the criminal investigation that came to light, well… the following about-face might seem heartless, but as someone who spent many hours as a volunteer telephone counselor with the Suicide Prevention Center talking with people thinking about killing themselves but who had the strength to reach out for help, the regard I had for him just evaporated and the only sympathy I have is for those in his life who held him dear and who he so selfishly abandoned.

I’m not so narrow as to not realize there may be more to the story. Maybe he did reach out for aid and found no comfort from it. Nor am I callous enough that I can’t recognize the turmoil he must have been in to do such a terrible thing. But now because of what I can only accept as his official cause of death I’m left with abject disappointment, questions there may never be answers to, and the empty wish that he had been able to recognize there was a better way he could have gone.

I walked to honor Abrams twice, individually on Thursday and  yesterday with hundreds of others, because of what he meant to me and because I mourned the community’s loss of him. I wouldn’t walk for him today not because I no longer grieve, but because what he means to me today is something entirely less honorable.