Yesterday afternoon, while driving home from a radio interview, I got word that Junior Seau had died. The initial reports were saying it was a suicide; a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. For those who don’t know, Junior Seau was an All-Pro linebacker for the San Diego Chargers for many years.
I never met Junior Seau, though we were once in the same room together (that is, if you consider Jack Murphy Stadium/Qualcomm one big room). But his reputation and image were well-known and much loved in San Diego.
All deaths are tragic. Every person who dies was someone’s son or daughter. But if it’s true that Seau committed suicide, I have to wonder why. Why would someone so well-loved and so active in the community get to the point of taking their own life? One news report (in USA Today) said this came with “zero warning.”
These sorts of stories lead to all sorts of questions:
- What was missing?
- What could have been done?
- Where there any symptoms?
The truth is, every person is unique. And yet, we are so much alike. Every person shares the same basic needs: to be loved and accepted, to feel needed, and to have meaning behind what they do.
No one may have seen this coming — including Seau himself.
In their song, “War on Drugs,” the Barenaked Ladies have these words:
“Won’t it be dull when we rid ourselves \ Of all these demons haunting us \ To keep us company”
If you know someone who has demons haunting them, don’t be afraid to step in. Speak up. Confront them. Love them. Get them help.
If you’re battling a demon or two, please know this: you’re not alone. There’s other company you can keep.
Junior Seau, 1969-2012