Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's Been A While...

I am blogging to you from a place I did not know existed in my own psyche--a stubborn, yet exhausted place that is refusing to allow me to sleep at the oddest times, allowing me to cry whenever I want, and just making life miserable in general.

One week ago yesterday, as Judy and I were driving home from book club, her cell phone rang, and our lives were changed forever.

It was Nancy, and she was calling to say that our beloved Tim had committed suicide.

I can't possibly begin to describe what an amazing person Tim was, and I don't think any of us knew all the amazing attributes he had until he was gone. He was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, but he was also a valued colleague and volunteer.

I first met Tim a year and a half ago at one of our game nights. As we got less and less involved in MyPC and my core group of friends evolved into what it is today, Tim stood out as the voice of calm and the staunchest supporter of us all. You could have any problem in the world, and you could drop Tim an email or call him up and he'd come help. Never was this more evident than last December when my sister got into a little dispute with her landlord and had to move out overnight--Tim showed up the first night to get everything out of the old place, and the second night to move everything around in the new place. He moved the sofa 3 or 4 times in 15 minutes, and just laughed the whole time as we changed our minds repeatedly about furniture placement.

I have some great memories of Tim... He was completely in love with the bunnies. He would come over to hold the babies or would go take care of Valley if Judy was away and Joe wasn't feeling like it. When I broke my leg, he came to stay with us one weekend while Judy was out of town, and spent a good part of the evening on the floor, cuddling TomTom in his arms, happy as a clam.

A couple of months ago, I got the call "We need to move furniture" from Joe, and Tim graciously volunteered to help. After leaving DuPont Circle, I had a futon strapped to my roof and told Tim to drive slowly, as my little Ion couldn't keep up with his speedier Saturn sedan, particularly when it had stuff strapped to it. We got to the circle near Arlington National Cemetery and lost him. We saw him on the far side of the circle, so started driving to catch up with him, but he was trying to catch up with us. We went around and around the circle 10 times, until he finally gave up trying to catch us--but none of us could stop laughing about it.

He was terrible with directions. During the Superman party, he tried to give us directions to the theater where we were seeing the movie--and he took us to an entirely different theater! On the way home after the movie, he got us lost going to his own apartment.

He also had a wonderful sense of humor. During the Pirates party, he showed up dressed as a Pittsburgh Pirate, and with a glint in his eye said, "Ooooh, you meant that kind of pirate!"

Last week, we all took time off work to drive to his hometown of Indiana, PA and attend his wake and funeral. The minute we walked into the funeral home, the cry went up, "The DC people are here!" and we were embraced by his entire family (he was one of 11!!), some of whom looked so much like Tim, it ripped my heart out. As I passed from sobbing sister to stoic parent to crazy nephew to devoted brother-in-law, I heard more stories of the Tim I hadn't known, the young Tim, the Uncle Tim, and I was pressed for details about the Tim I had.

And of course, the inevitable question on everyone's minds: "Did we know WHY?!"

I wish I did know why. I doubt any of us ever will. This sudden, horrible, desperate act came completely out of the blue and shocked each and every one of us who knew him. Tim was a loving and loved family member and friend and active and productive member of the community. We are all left with a gaping hole in our hearts and such feelings, such feelings as I have never experienced all at once. It's as if someone put rage, despair, great sorrow, guilt, anger, shock, denial, pain, and loss in a blender, mixed them together, and injected them straight into my heart.

I can only imagine what his family feels.

We've all been sending emails around to remind each other of how much we love each other, and how important each friend is to the next. The pain is not diminishing, but the value of our friendships are re-affirmed and we've drawn close. Perhaps in the end, this is the best thing we can do to honor a true friend, the unique and amazing Timothy Mark Shock.

Rest well, dear friend. I love and miss you.


Tim Sites

The Hill Newspaper: http://thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/080906/tim.html

Memorial Site:


Suicide Prevention

SPAN: http://www.spanusa.org/

AAS: http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=6

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Lara said...

***BIG HUGS*** I am so sorry. You and all his loved ones are in my prayers.