I just got word that a former employee of mine hanged himself (I believe it happened today). He only worked for us a few months and we let him go because he just couldn’t do the job.
He was really sweet and tender, a little bit of a weirdo (but where I am that’s to be expected). We got along very well, when it was just about having a conversation. I have had to fire three people, and while all of them hurt, this one jarred me the most because he didn’t have a typical reaction - typically it’s a fuck-you situation. He just looked at us and it was like we’d broken his heart, defeated him.
After we fired him, the other artists around told me they thought he had a drug problem. I could tell he had a lot of anxiety, and I knew he was in a volatile relationship which sent him spinning in and out of episodes. I kept tabs on him through the grape vine, because I hated being caught in between a position to help him (give him a job) and helping myself (keep my job).
I am not sure whether I will tell my supervisors about this. I think they probably won’t hear about it on their own.
I thought about him as I passed in and out of my own spells of depression. I talked about him to my therapist, lamenting that I was sure he couldn’t afford help. When I got a text from another former employee (not fired), telling me what happened, I was surprisingly unsurprised. I hate that.
He was a fabulous artist and a troubled guy. I’m sure he will be missed. Here’s to you, man.