Dave Batters, who served as a Conservative Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008, died yesterday by way of suicide. He would have turned 40 next month.
Batters, who represented the constituency of Palliser which covers Regina & Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, took a medical leave of absence from Parliament nearly a year ago. Last September, Batters announced he would not seek a third term in the 2008 federal election.
I have written about suicide previously. What is it that compels a person to take one's own life? Particularly if that person has achieved success in the public arena. Whatever the success a person might have it is clearly inadequate in the face of whatever demons overwhelming him or her.
It is worth noting that the incident which precipitated Batters' leave of absence took place on July 1, 2008 (which happens to be Canada Day.) Given that Batters took his life two days shy of the anniversary of the incident I cannot help but wonder if memories from that incident came back into his thoughts and perhaps he could simply not cope with those thoughts.
Whatever his reasons a life with unfulfilled promise will now never be realized.