Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lucy Gordon, 1980-2009. R.I.P.

Lucy Gordon, a British actress who appeared in such films as Serendipity and Spider Man 3, committed suicide yesterday in her Paris home. She would have turned 29 tomorrow.

I wrote a piece about suicide after writer David Foster Wallace took his life last September. In addition to Wallace I also wrote about Brad Delp, the lead singer of Boston and Vicki Van Meter, who flew across America and the Atlantic Ocean before she was 12. Here's an excerpt:

David Foster Wallace, Brad Delp and Vickie Van Meter all had something extraordinary to give to the world and a segment of the world was more than happy to receive their gifts. Yes, they were all afflicted with depression yet not all people diagnosed with depression commit suicide or even make an attempt. Yet their God-given talents weren’t enough to justify their raison d’être. In the end, they believed they had nothing to look forward to and nothing to keep them alive. Not a bowl of Hot and Sour soup with an old friend. Not the fall leaves of New England. Not the Boston Red Sox winning another World Series. Not the warm embrace of a loved one. Nothing.

So what does suicide accomplish? For the person who ends their life we only know they are gone. We can never know if they have found the peace they couldn’t find here. What we do know is that suicide brings forth a lifetime of agony for the people around those who have taken that last step. One can only imagine the hell endured by the people who find someone they dearly know has ended their life and there’s nothing they can do about it. Wallace was found by his wife, Delp by his fiancée and Van Meter by a neighbor. It is an image those people are unlikely to ever forget.

Gordon was found by her live in boyfriend so he is undoubtedly experiencing what Wallace's wife, Delp's fiancée and Van Meter's neighbor are experiencing. Complicating matters was that she took her life while he was asleep. He will likely ask himself if only he was awake. Whether she has found peace can never be known. All we do know is that she is gone and cannot be brought back.

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