American writer Jim Harrison died March 26, 2016, of a heart attack at the age of 78 — five months and 24 days after the death of his wife Linda.
“I talk to my wife sometimes, you know. You would too after 55 years,” Harrison said in an interview four months before his own death. “After she died, I was so depressed I was thinking of suicide. And then her voice came to me and said, ‘You have two daughters and three grandsons, so you can’t do it, because it’s selfish.’ Which is true, it is.”
That brings to mind my cousin, a little known French writer named Guy de Michel. He didn’t have any children or grandchildren — no immediate family at all in fact (two brothers and a son already dead) — so suicide seemed the only way to deal with the loss of his wife of thirty years, to whom he was fiercely loyal and who he unabashedly called the love of his life.
Herewith a syllogism, vis-à-vis Guy de Michel:
His wife was his reason for living. / His wife was gone. / Therefore, his reason for living was gone.
A shotgun blast to the head ended his pain.
There’s not much more to say about Guy de Michel, but you can read more about Jim Harrison HERE:
Excerpts: When Harrison was seven years old, he was stabbed in the eye by a neighbor girl wielding a broken bottle during a quarrel and was blinded.
His father and sister were killed in a car accident when he was twenty-one. Their deaths, he says, were the last cord that tethered him to the world.
His wife died of a rare lung disease — one more open wound in the writer’s life.