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Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Ghost of Hemingway here.

I committed suicide at the age of sixty-one.
On this date in 1961
as my father had done.

If you are considering suicide ...


Some problems are long-term
and thorny with which to deal.


Most gut-wrenching problems you encounter will thankfully be short-term ...
although the darkness they give birth to seems to threaten to last forever.
Do not choose a solution for them that is long term and permanent.

The good thing about suicide
is that
you can always do it tomorrow.

The overlooked thing about suicide is that it is infectious.

There have been five suicides in the Hemingway family over four generations --

my father, Clarence;

my siblings Ursula, Leicester ... myself;

saddest of all, my granddaughter Margaux.

The generation skipped was not. Not really:

My youngest son, Gregory, died in 2001 as a transsexual named Gloria, of causes that make a mockery of the term "natural."

I recall the time that I, in one of my arm-around-shoulder moods,

congratulated him for his fine attempt at a short story, which Greg had stolen word for word from Turgenev --

one of the masters I prided myself on knowing.

Yes, I knew he had done it.

But I was trying to ...
 to build a bridge I had torn down with my own actions and words.

One moment cast a shadow, one long enough for Greg to write
that he was glad that I was dead so
"I couldn't disappoint Papa any more."

The moment came on Greg's last visit just after the death of Greg's mother, Pauline.

She died suddenly, about the time Greg had gotten into trouble for taking drugs. I was raw with the loss.

His visit to my home in Cuba went well for a time only because I kept biting my tongue.

Greg confided his plans for medical school. If only he had kept his mouth shut after that, but no, he always had to speak that one word too many.

He spoke of his drug incident.

"It wasn't so bad, really, Papa," he said.

Well, it killed Mother," I said.

He left. I never saw him again.

Anger. Depression.

Those are the monsters you have to kill, not some mindless elephant or lion.

I remember those heads of tigers and lions I kept on my wall. I can still see in my mind the Marlins mounted next to them.


I told reporters because they reminded me of their fierce beauty.

A lie.

I thought my mother beautiful.
I kept photographs of her.

I felt a man when I looked at the evidence of my skill, my bravery.


If they held rifles that could shoot back, then I would have been brave.

Tame the anger, the depression in your own soul.

You will bag the biggest, deadliest game in the world.

That is how you prove your worth ...

and save those around you from the poison you would otherwise feed into their souls.
{The photo of Hemingway is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.}


  1. I really believe there's a genetic predisposition for depression in that family. In mine as well. And it's hard to not believe the great lie. Especially when you're surrounded by broken people that can't see beyond their own pain or anger or whatever.

    Thoughtful post. I like it.

  2. There is no good thing about suicide. Many variables can cause the feelings of depression that lead to suicidal thoughts.