What is it about high-powered success that seems to be transforming into the killing fields? Or, maybe that's the wrong question.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, New Yorkers Stacey Radin (clinical psychologist), Kate Spade (fashion designer), and Anthony Bourdain (chef) took their own lives.
On the West Coast, Gabriel MacConaill, a partner in BigLaw firm Sidley Austin, also committed suicide. Unlike those three on the East Coast it was by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, not hanging. Here are more details from Abovethelaw.com.
The Sidley Austin website provides the facts. In 2005, MacConaill received his JD from the law school at Penn State. He joined Sidley Austin in 2009. In 2014, he became partner. His special area of expertise has been restructuring. He had been involved in Mattress Firm's bankruptcy filing.
Beyond that, much or all of what is said about the "why" will be speculation.
Human beings, including the person himself or herself, know so little about the pull and push forces going on in an inner life. Of course, there can be factors discussed such as a recent clinical depression or even a sustained history of that condition. But many others also struggle with clinical depression and come out the other side, without committing suicide.
Also some might trot out the statistics that there is a higher rate of suicides in the legal sector than other lines of work. Many recall the cluster of more than a dozen suicides among trial lawyers in Kentucky within a short timeframe.
There are also the platitudes about what the chase to the top of one's industry could cost in emotional, social, and spiritual wear-and-tear. However, the world is jam-packed with high achievers who don't check out.
The reality is that we know so little and the person committing suicide also knows so little about the unconscious dynamics, thought processes, and lack of impulse control which may be drivers in taking one's own life.
In the film "A Star Is Born," musician Jackson Main tried suicide when he was in his early teenage years. The ceiling fan, to which he had tied a belt, fell down. Somehow he got through the next years via fame and addiction. Later, after he lost his hold on his career he tried again and succeeded. To attempt to explain the fatal darkness within him would be pure arrogance.
At Johns Hopkins University, Kay Jamison did take on the issue of suicide in her book "Night Falls Fast." She herself had made a serious suicide attempt. However, her book really leaves this enigma intact.
This blog passes along sympathy to those who loved Gabriel MacConaill. Survivors are the real victims of the decision to commit suicide.
In my extended family, there have been five suicides. There will probably be more. I don't and never will understand all that. Since age 11, I have been plagued with suicidal ideation. But somehow I have maintained the upper hand. Already I have lived on planet earth longer than any member of my family. I am clueless why.