Thoughts on Adam

My little brother passed away on March 16. It was sudden, it was somewhat unexpected, it wasn't natural. Adam killed himself. There are a lot of questions and some uncertainty surrounding the event. While some of those answers may never come in this life, there are a few I would like to clarify:

1. Adam was sober when he died, and he was proud of that. A few months before his death Adam told me he was sober. Honestly, I was skeptical, but wanting to believe him and seeing how proud he was of that accomplishment, I told him that was great. What I should have said was I am so impressed. I am amazed. I am proud. I do not believe his sobriety contributed to his death. I am grateful he found that strength in this life.

2. Adam struggled with many brain disorders. This was apparent from a young age. He was kind hearted and had a childlike demeanor that allowed him to reach out to others in unique and unbiased ways. But these disorders also brought Adam to dark places. He took upon him sorrows that weren't his to bear. His emotions ranged much more than the average person. He struggled with anger and depression.
While some are quick to judge one who takes their own life I believe that Joseph Smith was correct in saying "While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard. … He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, ‘according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,’ or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. … We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ed. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 218.)
Adam was kind, he was loving, he was definitely imperfect. But please do not try to pretend you understand him enough to judge his actions.


3. The world is most definitely not a better place without Adam here. The more stories I hear from Adam's life, the more I realize this loss is felt by a much larger group than my family. Suicide is not an easy way out, it does not only affect the person who commits the act, it is not the answer to life's problems. The world needs more people like Adam, not less. I know many of Adam's close friends and family members struggle with depression. That is part of the reason he was close to them, he understood their pain. But do not think our celebration of his life is in any way supportive of how he ended it.

You matter to this world. You have a purpose. And while you may be in the midst of dark times, your life and what you do with it matters. Emulate Adam's acts of kindness, charity, and art. Those are the beautiful things this world will miss.



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