Last night I learned about a puppy from SEA-PAH that has passed away. His name is Pup Bendi Fraididog, and the puppy community right now is reeling from the loss of their pack brother. Late last night the announcement was made, after a great deal of thought and consideration before doing so, that the death was from an apparent suicide. Little else has been confirmed beyond that, and I would ask that speculation be limited.
It is the sad fact that often when there is a loss within our community that we jump to the assumption that any loss of a kinkster’s life that isn’t immediately explained away is the result of self play gone wrong. It has happened so many times that we have become conditioned to follow that line of thought, but it would appear that this particular loss is one far more tragic.
For those that new Pup Bendi personally the loss will be felt in knowing that his presence will no longer be felt at gatherings and events, moshes and night’s out. The testimonials are going up right now of other pups, some new to their pup lives, some around for a while, talking of who he was and how he the first pup to greet them with a tail wagging and ready to play.
For everyone hearing of news like this we begin to contemplate a great many difficult questions that often only reside in the back of our minds. We are forced to examine our own mortality, which can be very uncomfortable for most people. We ask why such a thing should happen and what could have been done to prevent it. In fact, that will be asked the most, what could have been done to stop this, especially by his packmates from SEA-PAH.
I have spent little time talking of my own struggles with mental health issues, as I need to work through those in my own time, but I will admit to being close to taking my own life on more than one occasion, many years ago. From my perspective, of being lost in the dark woods of fear and anger and hopelessness, I know that finding a path out that will return to contentment is as much about luck as it is about receiving help, and it is often mostly about self determination to find the will to live.
When you ask yourself was there something I could have done to help prevent this, the answer is both “everything” and “nothing” at the same time. Had you in some way been able to foresee the end of the path for Pup Bendi and chose to try to steer him in a different direction by showing love and support to the best of you ability the chance of successfully preventing what happened may very likely be quite small. The layers of pain and trama that must be built up for a person to reach the decision to take their own life are not easily taken away.
But we must try, nonetheless.
I didn’t know Pup Bendi Fraididog well. I saw him at moshes playing with other pups, and at most I think we did that nod of acknowledgement type of exchange people do rather than ever really talk. I know I scritched his ears a couple of times during the mosh. At my core, despite what people assume about me, I am an intensely shy person. He seemed to be as well in some way, so we never reached out to each other to talk. I can’t help but wonder if I did put aside my own issues of shyness and got to know him maybe something would be different right now.
What folly to believe in the power of one person to make a difference in something so monumental as a pup taking their own life.
But that is where the hope lies, my friends; it is not one person who makes the difference. It is all of us. It is up to all of us, as a community, with love and acceptance, without blame for what has happened, to decide that we will try to find ways for our puppy brothers to feel loved. To feel cared for. To know that there are resources for them when they feel alone or need acceptance, or to work through personal trauma that is embarrassing to have or difficult to put to rest.
At the next gathering of SEA-PAH I am going to try to get to know one person there that I don’t know already. Maybe make a connection I never have before, a connection that for both sides will be helpful in some way in the future. I hope others will do so as well. We can all weave new connections that we never have made before.
And perhaps, by doing so, create a safety net for others to fall into at times when they desperately need it.
I hope we can do that.