Today’s photo is in memory of Gary Gieseke, 11.22.87
This post was originally written on 11.22.06
This morning, while making my coffee I started flipping through my organizer to review my notes for the presentation I am giving next week. The first thing I saw though was today’s date and that hit me like a brick and a wave of emotions poured over me. Nineteen years ago today my friend Gary Gieseke took his own life. Losing Gary and being forced to deal with death and suicide at such a young age had a profound impact on my life. It inspired me to go to college and major in Psychology… I dealt with the grief and guilt through academics… somehow I managed to write every single paper in college about suicide, death and the survivors… more than once my professors pulled me aside to make sure I wasn’t suicidal. I was driven to do something about teen suicide and I did, I worked in a youth shelter for awhile with runaway youth, I volunteered on a suicide hotline and then yes life got in the way and took me in a different direction.
However, I did learn a few lessons; I learned not to take people or life for granted because they may not be there tomorrow. Every single time I am in a fight with someone the memory of Gary pops back into my head and I think “what if they die tonight? will I regret this stupid argument?” and then I try to fix it. In honor of Gary I have designated this day to appreciate all of my friends. November 22nd is my unofficial Friendship Appreciation Day.
I love you all! Thank you for being my friend!
It was this song Somebody by Depeche Mode that set me off down this nostalgic path.
The last note I ever got from Gary was the lyrics to this song.
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