|Luisa Seau is consoled by family and friends Wednesday after learning of her son's suicide. (Getty Images)|
Junior Seau is gone, but his mother is here and heartbroken. There is video of her torment after her son's suicide, and it is devastating to watch -- but please do. Here it is.
As the short video unfolds, Luisa Seau cries and rambles and repeats herself and screams at her dead son and at her living God. She thanks the strangers who have congregated outside Junior Seau's home, where police say he shot himself in the chest Wednesday. Her hands flail in the air, at her chest, at nobody. She is facing the sort of thing a parent should never face, the death of a child, and she is facing it without the least of answers. This wasn't a murder or a car collision or an accidental fall.
Junior Seau did this on purpose. Her son. Killed himself. On purpose.
With a single pull of a trigger, 43-year-old Junior Seau ended his own personal battle -- and started one for those who loved him.
Did you see Luisa Seau's reaction to the news? Have you seen the video? Here it is. Watch it. Have your kids watch it. Have your kids' friends watch it. Let them see what suicide does to the living.
|Junior Seau: 1969-2012|
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Junior Seau is being remembered as a great player, a leader, a winner. He is remembered for being funny and kind, a good son, a good father. He is being mourned as a hero.
But suicide is not heroic.
Suicide is a living death sentence for anyone who loved that person -- a growth-stunting, life-altering sentence of hell on earth. That's what Junior Seau did to his mother, to his children. He had three of them, a daughter and two sons, ranging in age from 12 to 19.
Life as they know it? It's over. They'll forge onward, because they have no other choice, but life will never be the same.
There is no video of Sydney Seau mourning her father, no video of sons Jake and Hunter Seau. And thank goodness for that. Do you want to see it? Me neither. I didn't want to see Luisa Seau dissolve into hysterical tears outside her son's home, but it's too late now. I can't unsee it -- nor can you, if you watch it here -- which is for the best.
Some lessons are too important to be forgotten, and the impact of Junior Seau's suicide on his mother is one such lesson. That's why this story you're reading, about this sports figure on this sports website, was written -- even though it's not about sports at all. Was Junior Seau one of the best linebackers of all time, a sure-thing Hall of Famer? Of course he was. But that's not why I'm writing this.
Luisa Seau is the reason I'm writing this. Have you seen the video of her anguish yet? Here it is. Watch. Show your loved ones. Make them see. Make them understand.
The death of Junior Seau is a tragedy, and my heart aches that he faced such a hellish choice on Wednesday, but he chose poorly -- suicide is one of the most selfish acts imaginable. All too often we hear about people who kill themselves, and every time I do, I grab my kids and tell them about it. Imagine being the suicide's father, I tell them. Imagine being his son, his husband, his best friend. Imagine their destruction.
That's what I tell my kids, because I want them to know: Suicide isn't about just you. In fact, once you're gone, it ceases to be about you at all. Everyone else left behind, the living, the mourning -- now the suicide is about them.
There is so much to reconcile here, though. Someone who kills himself is in a dark place, the kind of place most of us can't imagine. Put yourself in the shoes of Junior Seau? Not sure that's possible. The guy was beloved, rich, handsome. I'm definitely not all of those things, and very possibly I'm none of those things. Imagine being him, in the best of times? Can't do it.
Imagine being him during the darkness of Wednesday, when police say he grabbed a gun and held it to his chest and started to squeeze the trigger? Can't do that either. He was hurting, hurting in a way I can't fathom. I don't mean to sound callous, and I hope I've not. Depression is a very real monstrosity that is said to plague 15 million or 20 million Americans, although I'm not here to diagnose Junior Seau as suffering from depression. Maybe decades of football damaged his brain to the point that he felt, like former Bears safety (and father of four) Dave Duerson felt in February 2011, that suicide was the best possible option. I'm not here to diagnose Junior Seau as suffering from brain damage, either.
I'm not here to diagnose Junior Seau at all. His battle was his battle, and only he knows what that was like. But the world knows how he chose to end it.
And there are broken people -- his kids, his mom, more -- who must do what Junior Seau could not. They have to keep living.
Here -- watch the video of Luisa Seau. Watch it, and then pass it on. Show it to someone you love. It could be the most important video they ever see.