How NOT to Respond When A Musician Friend Commits Suicide

On July 12, 2012, in Blog, Life, by Michael J. Carrasquillo
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Jamie Duffy Half FaceWhenever I’m asked why I enjoy being a musician, it is not for the reasons some people think. Although it would be nice to be recognized for what I’ve done, I don’t do what I do for global fame & recognition; and I, for damn sure, am not doing it to be an attention whore either. I do it because I want to connect, and I want to fit in with a community. Music has the ability to connect the soul to a moment that no other medium does. I’m honored to be talented enough to be part of musical moments that will be remembered by people for a lifetime.

Sad News Is So Public These Days

Yesterday (June 21st 2012) I heard news that a friend took his own life, at roughly 6am that morning. Why? Nobody really knows. I’ve known Jamie [Duffy] through familiar friends in the Waxtrax/TVT industry circle. He was one of those people who came into my life and then was out of it again (mostly through gigs); but I always had pleasant & brief conversations with him regardless. He was a nice guy and I had no idea he was suffering from a severe depression.

The hard part about this news is that he posted on twitter, “this is how the end begins….” with a photo of three bottles of blue sleep aid pills all emptied on a disposable plastic plate. Wow, so public, so raw. So after sharing this sad news with someone, I got the most arrogant and selfish response I’ve ever heard.

Why Musicians “Really” Do What They Do

According to this “musician” I know, being a musician is really all about, “Oh look at me. Give me attention. Me me me me me me me.” Apparently to this person a musician, or artist, offing themselves is because they felt people didn’t “pay them enough attention.” I mean, for real?

I had to laugh a little, but why did I find this funny? Well, because this rant is coming from someone who claims they’ve decided “…long ago…” they didn’t care to be that arrogant of a person. They surmised they no longer felt the need to be “an attention whore” for being an artist…which is why they “gave it up.” The irony here is that this person hasn’t given up squat; and will argue, bitch, moan & fight when they have their own little show.

Isn’t that the exact definition of being an “attention whore?”

PS: To those people out there who are going through a rough time and feel like you have no hope left to keep going. Please know you’re not alone, and before you make that decision to “go elsewhere;” reach out to someone so they can (try to) help while you’re still here.

R.I.P. Jamie

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7 Responses to “How NOT to Respond When A Musician Friend Commits Suicide”

  1. Stace says:

    might have been hard to write but from our talk that one night….well, you know. don’t need to say anything really. We see eye to eye on this it seems.

  2. Amber says:

    I don’t think he posted the photo of the pills because he was an “attention whore”. I think he posted the photo because he was being frank. I know several people who are severely depressed and have attempted suicide. And for some reason almost all of them have displayed one way or another their “method”. Some more obvious than others. Can be seen as a cry-for-help, but I don’t think so. I think when you are in that frame of mind, you’re not thinking about the attention you’ll get, but rather about the next phase of the plan. I’m so sorry about the passing of your friend, MC.

    • mjcarrasquillo says:

      Thank you. I agree Amber someone posting their “method of exit” is part of the process & follow through, unfortunately. The reality is that if you’re planning to check out, you’ll check out eventually. It’s nice to say I want to help someone stick around but to be honest that’s probably selfish on my part. I have NO idea how to fix someone’s heart and mind. Some people are built to hang on and some are only here for a short visit.

      Love them. Respect them. When they go, honor them.

      Thank you for you time reading this. Please share or subscribe if you’d like.

  3. Tanya says:

    Crushing. Losing him. Crushing the image he posted. crushing that i will never get to see him again. It was too much for him- and it obviously got the
    better of him. and we- we get left without him. It makes me sad. and the image of the pills make me cry with a deep feeling of emptiness.

    • mjcarrasquillo says:

      Yes Tanya it is so real to see that tweet and photo that it is body & mind numbing. That was the hardest part about releasing this post. Should I post the screen captures or not? I mean, they were removed as soon as the news really broke, I assume by family and friends, but he posted them. It’s the reality of this unfortunate situation. I hope people don’t get mad about it but reflect on how painful some of us feel about (our) life. I see the picture of those pills and his tweet as his light at the end of his tunnel. I hope he feels peace now.

      Thank you for you time reading this. Please share or subscribe if you’d like.

  4. Coming in on this late, I’ve found the image elsewhere and see you have it here too. Jamie wanted people to see that… so… there that. I was friends with him years ago, and as anyone who knew him would say, you couldn’t help but love the guy. He was pretty fearless, so all I can say is that he was not afraid to go to the edge, and finally over it. Only learning of this a few days ago, still struggling to get over his loss, wish I would/could have paid attention more…