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September 14, 2008


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Well I do believe you are correct in your feelings Tod. I actually felt the same way after reading of the passing of Ed McBain / Evan Hunter ~ Né Salvatore Lombino. Knowing he was ill.

As well, Mrs. Seranella was kind enough to return a few e mails. Actually, you have returned a few emails as well.

It is always a thrill to read ones writing and be able to say so. And to receive a response ? Oh wow !

What Mr. Wallace was going through we shall never know. That your heart is there is all his family needs write now.


I feel so angry when I hear about people killing themselves, especially people of our generation -- it feels so ungrateful, so hostile, so careless and _wasteful_. Of course I know that people who do this are suffering, but for God's sake -- can't they take a moment to think about the people they leave behind?

Two of my closest friends lost their fathers to suicide, and one of them told me once that he hates going to see a new doctor because of the medical history form -- they always ask for your parents' cause of death, and every time he has to write, "Suicide." "And then I have to tell the story again, or at least think about it," he said.

And that is not fair, not fair, not fair.


I do not get angry for the lives a suicide changes, I get angry for the lives it steals.

For some reason this author's death truly bothers me because his Infinite Jest (a book I own 3 copies of) is one that I've never read entirely. I vow that now I will. However, I hate myself for waiting until his passing.

What bother's me most is the people that will go and purchase his books now....now instead of when he was alive to google his sales figures and perhaps find a beam of sunshine in his LIFE.


For those of us who didn't know him personally, perhaps our reactions to Wallace's death are more about us. Besides feeling very sad, I felt a little scared because of my own ongoing struggle to remain positive on a micro and macro level. People ask, "How are you?" Obsessed with the proliferation of nuclear arms, war profiteers running our country, the presidential elections, etc., I respond, "Optimistic!" as if by saying this enough and engaging somehow, I'll convince myself and others around me to be "Optimistic!" It's working a little bit...


can't they take a moment to think about the people they leave behind?

No, Clair, they can't. They are unable to.

Suicide is a terrible tragedy, in the strictest sense of the word.

Philippa Connors

What you said here, Tod -

"Finally, I think about my dear friend Barbara Seranella who died last year after three liver transplants, but whose email address I can't seem to erase from my address book and who I still think I see in Target every other time I'm there, and the essay she wrote in the LA Times just weeks before she died, when she knew well that she likely would. Her hope in the face of a near certain future is one I wish I had, that I wish all who choose to leave early could find: 'So I am the lucky one. Odd as this might sound, I wouldn't change a thing. I earned my suffering and the wisdom attached. ...'"

*head in hands*

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Tod }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I feel honored to have been able to get to know Barbara Seranella through your words. Thank you again, Tod.

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