On Rememberance and the Celebration of Life

imageCity of Davis

Just over two years ago, I started this blog out of a sense of disempowerment, a sense of frustration. I had a real sense that something was very wrong in our community. Our government was at times out of line and when a government is out of line it tramples on the rights of individuals everywhere. Not just those individuals whose rights the government’s actions directly impact, but all citizens and residents.

From the holocaust we learn the price to be paid for inaction, as the Pastor Martin Niemoller learned all too late. One by one each group that the Nazis came for was greeted with inaction and indifference by the rest of the population. The realization of doom lays in the last lines of the Pastor’s sequence: “Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak out for me.” Thankfully, we do not live in Nazi Germany, or anything that resembles it, but this is a universal message, not a particularized one. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The ideal of the watchdog is to alert the public when things are unseemly and flat out wrong.

I became a watch dog because no one it seemed was paying attention. I became a reporter (not a journalist but one who reports on events), because no one was reporting. I am tough on government and government officials because I hold them to a higher standard, I believe we deserve better than what we have, and moreover, I believe we can do better than what we are doing.

Along the way though, I learned a few things about humanity and myself. None driven home any more forcefully than it was yesterday.

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for Police Detective Paul Narr. I have gone to many places and talked to many people in various states of suffering and anguish during my two year tenure writing this blog. I thought I was prepared for just about anything. There have been times when I have literally had to cry because the emotions were so overwhelming. For example, covering the death of a 17 year old farm worker hit me especially hard.

It was nothing compared to yesterday. One grows up admiring police officers as the symbol of law and order, the tough guys who protect us from the bad people. They keep us safe while we sleep. Even for someone who has unfortunately had to call the police department to task at times for their treatment of certain groups of people, there is still an air of romanticism.

Standing in the back and watching as one-by-one these big, strong, and tough guys lay their emotions bare for all to see was especially difficult to watch. The subtext was even worse. We are all mortals and we will all one day perish from this place. We all know and accept that to varying degrees and with varying degrees of difficulty.

I think we all know that Police Officers accept the risk on a more daily basis than the rest of the population. Even in a place like Davis, there is a risk when you are on the front line attempting to confront and at times incarcerate people who have broken various laws.

When we see an act like that which happened to Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Diaz–we tend to get angry and shake at the senselessness of it all.

When a heart attack befalls one of us, again, we wonder what could have been done to prevent it, but at the same time, I think there is a sense that these things happen.

When a young man of 41, who by all appearances was loved and adored by his family, friends, and colleagues, chooses to end his own life, it stuns us. We do not know what to say or how to react.

One of Detective Narr’s colleagues suggested that the Detective was having a tough time. However the general, if unspoken sentiment seems to be from talking to many, that whatever problems he was having, he hid them well. And that makes this all the more shocking to his family, friends, and the community.

I did not know Paul Narr, I saw him a number of times passing on the street, I think I shook his hand a few times and exchanged pleasantries. He was always very cordial and even friendly. But here was a man who was born and raised in Davis, not much older than myself, with a young family, and for reasons that most of us will never understand something happened that convinced him he could go on no further.

It was that subtext that drove the events of yesterday. From all appearances he was a very unique character and a very loved person. I cannot possibly do him justice by repeating some of the anecdotes of those around him, but it goes without saying that he was one of a kind and around the Davis Police Department and this community he will be very much missed.

The final lesson was laid out by Reverend Glen Snyder, whose wife, Pat, is the assistant to the police chief. He read a very powerful passage that I cannot do justice to. But the suggestion in it is powerful, it suggests we all attend a funeral or memorial service every year. The reason is that when you listen to a memorial service, you hear the things that people remember about the departed.

It’s not about money or solely about achievement, it’s about their humanity and their character. The love for their friends and family. Those are what you are remembered for long after you have been professionally forgotten.

And so this weekend as we go about our lives and enjoy the remaining days of summer, enjoy your families, enjoy your friends, and enjoy your time together because for all of us, it will all be way too short. That is the lesson I learned above all else yesterday.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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76 thoughts on “On Rememberance and the Celebration of Life”

  1. Mike Hart

    “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” Sometimes it must be very hard to be one of those men. Any respect and consideration we can offer them is the least we can do.

  2. Mike Hart

    “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” Sometimes it must be very hard to be one of those men. Any respect and consideration we can offer them is the least we can do.

  3. Mike Hart

    “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” Sometimes it must be very hard to be one of those men. Any respect and consideration we can offer them is the least we can do.

  4. Mike Hart

    “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” Sometimes it must be very hard to be one of those men. Any respect and consideration we can offer them is the least we can do.

  5. Bill Ritter

    David,

    Thank you for writing this article—it helps to heal the spirit when one is faced with tragic news such as this. Your comments about the importance of family, friendship, community and life can never be understated. The tragic death of Paul Narr is a reminder of this to all of us.

    I knew Paul Narr before he joined the Davis Police Department. As a young man he worked at Goodyear Auto and for several years helped to maintain my cars. When dropping off my car for service he would often drive me home and it was during those short trips I got to know him and his desire to attend the police academy and follow in his father’s footsteps.

    Paul was earnest and personable. After he joined our Police Department I would see him in town from time to time and inquire as to how he was doing. He always told me that he loved his job, and it showed.

    Not more than a few months ago, Paul was helping his fellow Officers in removing a dangerous person who had become a threat to my neighborhood. I came home that day to find Paul doing his job to protect the community he was sworn to serve. I said hi and thanked him and it was the last time I saw him.

    I will miss him.

    Bill Ritter

  6. Bill Ritter

    David,

    Thank you for writing this article—it helps to heal the spirit when one is faced with tragic news such as this. Your comments about the importance of family, friendship, community and life can never be understated. The tragic death of Paul Narr is a reminder of this to all of us.

    I knew Paul Narr before he joined the Davis Police Department. As a young man he worked at Goodyear Auto and for several years helped to maintain my cars. When dropping off my car for service he would often drive me home and it was during those short trips I got to know him and his desire to attend the police academy and follow in his father’s footsteps.

    Paul was earnest and personable. After he joined our Police Department I would see him in town from time to time and inquire as to how he was doing. He always told me that he loved his job, and it showed.

    Not more than a few months ago, Paul was helping his fellow Officers in removing a dangerous person who had become a threat to my neighborhood. I came home that day to find Paul doing his job to protect the community he was sworn to serve. I said hi and thanked him and it was the last time I saw him.

    I will miss him.

    Bill Ritter

  7. Bill Ritter

    David,

    Thank you for writing this article—it helps to heal the spirit when one is faced with tragic news such as this. Your comments about the importance of family, friendship, community and life can never be understated. The tragic death of Paul Narr is a reminder of this to all of us.

    I knew Paul Narr before he joined the Davis Police Department. As a young man he worked at Goodyear Auto and for several years helped to maintain my cars. When dropping off my car for service he would often drive me home and it was during those short trips I got to know him and his desire to attend the police academy and follow in his father’s footsteps.

    Paul was earnest and personable. After he joined our Police Department I would see him in town from time to time and inquire as to how he was doing. He always told me that he loved his job, and it showed.

    Not more than a few months ago, Paul was helping his fellow Officers in removing a dangerous person who had become a threat to my neighborhood. I came home that day to find Paul doing his job to protect the community he was sworn to serve. I said hi and thanked him and it was the last time I saw him.

    I will miss him.

    Bill Ritter

  8. Bill Ritter

    David,

    Thank you for writing this article—it helps to heal the spirit when one is faced with tragic news such as this. Your comments about the importance of family, friendship, community and life can never be understated. The tragic death of Paul Narr is a reminder of this to all of us.

    I knew Paul Narr before he joined the Davis Police Department. As a young man he worked at Goodyear Auto and for several years helped to maintain my cars. When dropping off my car for service he would often drive me home and it was during those short trips I got to know him and his desire to attend the police academy and follow in his father’s footsteps.

    Paul was earnest and personable. After he joined our Police Department I would see him in town from time to time and inquire as to how he was doing. He always told me that he loved his job, and it showed.

    Not more than a few months ago, Paul was helping his fellow Officers in removing a dangerous person who had become a threat to my neighborhood. I came home that day to find Paul doing his job to protect the community he was sworn to serve. I said hi and thanked him and it was the last time I saw him.

    I will miss him.

    Bill Ritter

  9. Bruce R.

    “When a young man of 41, who by all appearances was loved and adored by his family, friends, and colleagues, chooses to end his own life, it stuns us. … the general, if unspoken sentiment seems to be from talking to many, that whatever problems he was having, he hid them well. And that makes this all the more shocking to his family, friends, and the community.”

    Suicide, in most cases, is an irrational act. Our biological instincts are naturally geared to self preservation, so killing oneself violates that inherent commandment passed on in our genes. Because of that contradiction, scientists have wondered for a long time why people, even very depressed people, commit suicide.

    From studying the brains of suicide victims, we have strong evidence of the physical changes brought about by depression and other mental disorders. What is largey unknown in most cases is why some individuals develop these conditions while most do not.

    The scientific evidence for the infectious disease theory is still weak, but I lean toward the view that people who kill themselves might have caught a rare infection which affects their brains.

    The infection, bacterial or viral, could have been caught as an infant or in childhood or later in life (much like MS is probably caught), and it somehow affects their brains. It leads to depression and other physical manifestations. By turning off the signals in a person’s brain which command self preservation, killing oneself in order to relieve pain or mental anguish becomes a viable option for these people.

    This theory is not yet widely accepted: it’s main flaw being our inability to identify any infectious agent common to suicidal people. However, it makes sense that there is a physical chemistry issue, caused by some agent, which makes some people do this act which violates what we believe to be human nature.

  10. Bruce R.

    “When a young man of 41, who by all appearances was loved and adored by his family, friends, and colleagues, chooses to end his own life, it stuns us. … the general, if unspoken sentiment seems to be from talking to many, that whatever problems he was having, he hid them well. And that makes this all the more shocking to his family, friends, and the community.”

    Suicide, in most cases, is an irrational act. Our biological instincts are naturally geared to self preservation, so killing oneself violates that inherent commandment passed on in our genes. Because of that contradiction, scientists have wondered for a long time why people, even very depressed people, commit suicide.

    From studying the brains of suicide victims, we have strong evidence of the physical changes brought about by depression and other mental disorders. What is largey unknown in most cases is why some individuals develop these conditions while most do not.

    The scientific evidence for the infectious disease theory is still weak, but I lean toward the view that people who kill themselves might have caught a rare infection which affects their brains.

    The infection, bacterial or viral, could have been caught as an infant or in childhood or later in life (much like MS is probably caught), and it somehow affects their brains. It leads to depression and other physical manifestations. By turning off the signals in a person’s brain which command self preservation, killing oneself in order to relieve pain or mental anguish becomes a viable option for these people.

    This theory is not yet widely accepted: it’s main flaw being our inability to identify any infectious agent common to suicidal people. However, it makes sense that there is a physical chemistry issue, caused by some agent, which makes some people do this act which violates what we believe to be human nature.

  11. Bruce R.

    “When a young man of 41, who by all appearances was loved and adored by his family, friends, and colleagues, chooses to end his own life, it stuns us. … the general, if unspoken sentiment seems to be from talking to many, that whatever problems he was having, he hid them well. And that makes this all the more shocking to his family, friends, and the community.”

    Suicide, in most cases, is an irrational act. Our biological instincts are naturally geared to self preservation, so killing oneself violates that inherent commandment passed on in our genes. Because of that contradiction, scientists have wondered for a long time why people, even very depressed people, commit suicide.

    From studying the brains of suicide victims, we have strong evidence of the physical changes brought about by depression and other mental disorders. What is largey unknown in most cases is why some individuals develop these conditions while most do not.

    The scientific evidence for the infectious disease theory is still weak, but I lean toward the view that people who kill themselves might have caught a rare infection which affects their brains.

    The infection, bacterial or viral, could have been caught as an infant or in childhood or later in life (much like MS is probably caught), and it somehow affects their brains. It leads to depression and other physical manifestations. By turning off the signals in a person’s brain which command self preservation, killing oneself in order to relieve pain or mental anguish becomes a viable option for these people.

    This theory is not yet widely accepted: it’s main flaw being our inability to identify any infectious agent common to suicidal people. However, it makes sense that there is a physical chemistry issue, caused by some agent, which makes some people do this act which violates what we believe to be human nature.

  12. Bruce R.

    “When a young man of 41, who by all appearances was loved and adored by his family, friends, and colleagues, chooses to end his own life, it stuns us. … the general, if unspoken sentiment seems to be from talking to many, that whatever problems he was having, he hid them well. And that makes this all the more shocking to his family, friends, and the community.”

    Suicide, in most cases, is an irrational act. Our biological instincts are naturally geared to self preservation, so killing oneself violates that inherent commandment passed on in our genes. Because of that contradiction, scientists have wondered for a long time why people, even very depressed people, commit suicide.

    From studying the brains of suicide victims, we have strong evidence of the physical changes brought about by depression and other mental disorders. What is largey unknown in most cases is why some individuals develop these conditions while most do not.

    The scientific evidence for the infectious disease theory is still weak, but I lean toward the view that people who kill themselves might have caught a rare infection which affects their brains.

    The infection, bacterial or viral, could have been caught as an infant or in childhood or later in life (much like MS is probably caught), and it somehow affects their brains. It leads to depression and other physical manifestations. By turning off the signals in a person’s brain which command self preservation, killing oneself in order to relieve pain or mental anguish becomes a viable option for these people.

    This theory is not yet widely accepted: it’s main flaw being our inability to identify any infectious agent common to suicidal people. However, it makes sense that there is a physical chemistry issue, caused by some agent, which makes some people do this act which violates what we believe to be human nature.

  13. Lindsey

    I really appreciate your coverage on this tragedy. Paul left a beautiful family behind him! I worked with his wife and our families were close until last year when I was no longer working in the business. I heard about Paul’s death from another former co-worker and it has been very difficult to find ANY information about him. Most police officers from other local departments did not even hear of the passing of one of their own.
    So, thank you for your post!

  14. Lindsey

    I really appreciate your coverage on this tragedy. Paul left a beautiful family behind him! I worked with his wife and our families were close until last year when I was no longer working in the business. I heard about Paul’s death from another former co-worker and it has been very difficult to find ANY information about him. Most police officers from other local departments did not even hear of the passing of one of their own.
    So, thank you for your post!

  15. Lindsey

    I really appreciate your coverage on this tragedy. Paul left a beautiful family behind him! I worked with his wife and our families were close until last year when I was no longer working in the business. I heard about Paul’s death from another former co-worker and it has been very difficult to find ANY information about him. Most police officers from other local departments did not even hear of the passing of one of their own.
    So, thank you for your post!

  16. Lindsey

    I really appreciate your coverage on this tragedy. Paul left a beautiful family behind him! I worked with his wife and our families were close until last year when I was no longer working in the business. I heard about Paul’s death from another former co-worker and it has been very difficult to find ANY information about him. Most police officers from other local departments did not even hear of the passing of one of their own.
    So, thank you for your post!

  17. Anonymous

    I and many others were DISGUSTED to see you at the memorial service yesterday. You and your buddies have delighted in taking a swipe at the department and everyone in it, starting with the childish moniker “Doug Paul Davis.”

    Now that Landy Black kisses up to you and consents to have his picture taken with you, you think you’re a friend of the police department. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The rest of us have not forgotten.

  18. Anonymous

    I and many others were DISGUSTED to see you at the memorial service yesterday. You and your buddies have delighted in taking a swipe at the department and everyone in it, starting with the childish moniker “Doug Paul Davis.”

    Now that Landy Black kisses up to you and consents to have his picture taken with you, you think you’re a friend of the police department. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The rest of us have not forgotten.

  19. Anonymous

    I and many others were DISGUSTED to see you at the memorial service yesterday. You and your buddies have delighted in taking a swipe at the department and everyone in it, starting with the childish moniker “Doug Paul Davis.”

    Now that Landy Black kisses up to you and consents to have his picture taken with you, you think you’re a friend of the police department. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The rest of us have not forgotten.

  20. Anonymous

    I and many others were DISGUSTED to see you at the memorial service yesterday. You and your buddies have delighted in taking a swipe at the department and everyone in it, starting with the childish moniker “Doug Paul Davis.”

    Now that Landy Black kisses up to you and consents to have his picture taken with you, you think you’re a friend of the police department. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The rest of us have not forgotten.

  21. Anonymous

    “In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.”

    Many’s the time I’ve been jerked out of the flow of ideas and opinions of a DPD blog article and had to retrace my steps because of a clumsy transition, run-on sentence, or needless repetition. If DPD would just focus a bit more on the language that he writes these type of miscommunications would be much lessened. Also, it might help if he would take a few minutes and think about what he is going to write before he writes. This is known in 10th grade English as “pre-writing.”

  22. Anonymous

    “In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.”

    Many’s the time I’ve been jerked out of the flow of ideas and opinions of a DPD blog article and had to retrace my steps because of a clumsy transition, run-on sentence, or needless repetition. If DPD would just focus a bit more on the language that he writes these type of miscommunications would be much lessened. Also, it might help if he would take a few minutes and think about what he is going to write before he writes. This is known in 10th grade English as “pre-writing.”

  23. Anonymous

    “In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.”

    Many’s the time I’ve been jerked out of the flow of ideas and opinions of a DPD blog article and had to retrace my steps because of a clumsy transition, run-on sentence, or needless repetition. If DPD would just focus a bit more on the language that he writes these type of miscommunications would be much lessened. Also, it might help if he would take a few minutes and think about what he is going to write before he writes. This is known in 10th grade English as “pre-writing.”

  24. Anonymous

    “In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.”

    Many’s the time I’ve been jerked out of the flow of ideas and opinions of a DPD blog article and had to retrace my steps because of a clumsy transition, run-on sentence, or needless repetition. If DPD would just focus a bit more on the language that he writes these type of miscommunications would be much lessened. Also, it might help if he would take a few minutes and think about what he is going to write before he writes. This is known in 10th grade English as “pre-writing.”

  25. Karl

    I’m not a scientist, but I was interested to read Bruce’s post. I have a cousin who took his own life as a teenager (about 23 years ago) and his brain tissues were studied upon autopsy to see if there were physical reasons for his psychological problems which might have led to his depression. (I personally never saw him depressed. He hid this from me, but his parents and some others were aware of it.)

    His mother, who is my aunt, told me that the doctors at UC Davis in Sacramento told her and my uncle that my cousin had a biologically faulty serotonin system in his brain.

    Specifially, he had a malfunction in his pre-frontal cortex, the area where decisions are made about what feelings a person acts on and which ones are inhibited. When someone has this abnormality and is clinically depressed, they cannot control an impulse to commit suicide. For that reason, most depressed people don’t kill themselves, because they don’t have this physical problem. But those who do invariably will take their lives.

    The doctors told them that almost all victims of suicide have this same same defect. My aunt said it is unknown why some people have this serotonin malfunction.

    I had never before heard the idea that it came from an infection, but that kind of makes sense. If it was purely genetic, I would think suicide would be less common, because people with that gene don’t reproduce as much.

    My aunt told me doctors today treat depression with a class of drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft), which are designed to make people with the kinds of brain chemistry issues my cousin had function normally. But my understanding is that many depressed patients are not helped by those drugs, probably because the source of their depression is different from what my cousin had.

    — K.B.

  26. Karl

    I’m not a scientist, but I was interested to read Bruce’s post. I have a cousin who took his own life as a teenager (about 23 years ago) and his brain tissues were studied upon autopsy to see if there were physical reasons for his psychological problems which might have led to his depression. (I personally never saw him depressed. He hid this from me, but his parents and some others were aware of it.)

    His mother, who is my aunt, told me that the doctors at UC Davis in Sacramento told her and my uncle that my cousin had a biologically faulty serotonin system in his brain.

    Specifially, he had a malfunction in his pre-frontal cortex, the area where decisions are made about what feelings a person acts on and which ones are inhibited. When someone has this abnormality and is clinically depressed, they cannot control an impulse to commit suicide. For that reason, most depressed people don’t kill themselves, because they don’t have this physical problem. But those who do invariably will take their lives.

    The doctors told them that almost all victims of suicide have this same same defect. My aunt said it is unknown why some people have this serotonin malfunction.

    I had never before heard the idea that it came from an infection, but that kind of makes sense. If it was purely genetic, I would think suicide would be less common, because people with that gene don’t reproduce as much.

    My aunt told me doctors today treat depression with a class of drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft), which are designed to make people with the kinds of brain chemistry issues my cousin had function normally. But my understanding is that many depressed patients are not helped by those drugs, probably because the source of their depression is different from what my cousin had.

    — K.B.

  27. Karl

    I’m not a scientist, but I was interested to read Bruce’s post. I have a cousin who took his own life as a teenager (about 23 years ago) and his brain tissues were studied upon autopsy to see if there were physical reasons for his psychological problems which might have led to his depression. (I personally never saw him depressed. He hid this from me, but his parents and some others were aware of it.)

    His mother, who is my aunt, told me that the doctors at UC Davis in Sacramento told her and my uncle that my cousin had a biologically faulty serotonin system in his brain.

    Specifially, he had a malfunction in his pre-frontal cortex, the area where decisions are made about what feelings a person acts on and which ones are inhibited. When someone has this abnormality and is clinically depressed, they cannot control an impulse to commit suicide. For that reason, most depressed people don’t kill themselves, because they don’t have this physical problem. But those who do invariably will take their lives.

    The doctors told them that almost all victims of suicide have this same same defect. My aunt said it is unknown why some people have this serotonin malfunction.

    I had never before heard the idea that it came from an infection, but that kind of makes sense. If it was purely genetic, I would think suicide would be less common, because people with that gene don’t reproduce as much.

    My aunt told me doctors today treat depression with a class of drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft), which are designed to make people with the kinds of brain chemistry issues my cousin had function normally. But my understanding is that many depressed patients are not helped by those drugs, probably because the source of their depression is different from what my cousin had.

    — K.B.

  28. Karl

    I’m not a scientist, but I was interested to read Bruce’s post. I have a cousin who took his own life as a teenager (about 23 years ago) and his brain tissues were studied upon autopsy to see if there were physical reasons for his psychological problems which might have led to his depression. (I personally never saw him depressed. He hid this from me, but his parents and some others were aware of it.)

    His mother, who is my aunt, told me that the doctors at UC Davis in Sacramento told her and my uncle that my cousin had a biologically faulty serotonin system in his brain.

    Specifially, he had a malfunction in his pre-frontal cortex, the area where decisions are made about what feelings a person acts on and which ones are inhibited. When someone has this abnormality and is clinically depressed, they cannot control an impulse to commit suicide. For that reason, most depressed people don’t kill themselves, because they don’t have this physical problem. But those who do invariably will take their lives.

    The doctors told them that almost all victims of suicide have this same same defect. My aunt said it is unknown why some people have this serotonin malfunction.

    I had never before heard the idea that it came from an infection, but that kind of makes sense. If it was purely genetic, I would think suicide would be less common, because people with that gene don’t reproduce as much.

    My aunt told me doctors today treat depression with a class of drugs known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft), which are designed to make people with the kinds of brain chemistry issues my cousin had function normally. But my understanding is that many depressed patients are not helped by those drugs, probably because the source of their depression is different from what my cousin had.

    — K.B.

  29. Anonymous

    Of course, brain function is a neurochemical phenomenon but psychiatry went way overboard in the past 30 years, pitching the idea that it’s all neurotransmitters that designer drugs can turn on and off. This was a medical-care “perfect storm” as drugs are a lot cheaper than taking the time to talk to patients, biological causation relieves any (misguided) guilt by patient and family and emphasis on neurochemical manipulation allows the discipline of psychiatry to gain respectability as a hard science among its professional peers. Fortunately, the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.

  30. Anonymous

    Of course, brain function is a neurochemical phenomenon but psychiatry went way overboard in the past 30 years, pitching the idea that it’s all neurotransmitters that designer drugs can turn on and off. This was a medical-care “perfect storm” as drugs are a lot cheaper than taking the time to talk to patients, biological causation relieves any (misguided) guilt by patient and family and emphasis on neurochemical manipulation allows the discipline of psychiatry to gain respectability as a hard science among its professional peers. Fortunately, the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.

  31. Anonymous

    Of course, brain function is a neurochemical phenomenon but psychiatry went way overboard in the past 30 years, pitching the idea that it’s all neurotransmitters that designer drugs can turn on and off. This was a medical-care “perfect storm” as drugs are a lot cheaper than taking the time to talk to patients, biological causation relieves any (misguided) guilt by patient and family and emphasis on neurochemical manipulation allows the discipline of psychiatry to gain respectability as a hard science among its professional peers. Fortunately, the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.

  32. Anonymous

    Of course, brain function is a neurochemical phenomenon but psychiatry went way overboard in the past 30 years, pitching the idea that it’s all neurotransmitters that designer drugs can turn on and off. This was a medical-care “perfect storm” as drugs are a lot cheaper than taking the time to talk to patients, biological causation relieves any (misguided) guilt by patient and family and emphasis on neurochemical manipulation allows the discipline of psychiatry to gain respectability as a hard science among its professional peers. Fortunately, the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.

  33. Tom not Cruise

    “the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.”

    If a person has serotonin uptake malfunction, which some do, psychotherapy will be as helpful to a patient as having him read Dianetics by L. Ron Howard. The problem is that too many patients are prescribed SSRIs, because serotonin disorder is difficult if not impossible to accurately diagnose. The great majority of people diagnosed as having “depression” don’t need antidepressant medications.

  34. Tom not Cruise

    “the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.”

    If a person has serotonin uptake malfunction, which some do, psychotherapy will be as helpful to a patient as having him read Dianetics by L. Ron Howard. The problem is that too many patients are prescribed SSRIs, because serotonin disorder is difficult if not impossible to accurately diagnose. The great majority of people diagnosed as having “depression” don’t need antidepressant medications.

  35. Tom not Cruise

    “the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.”

    If a person has serotonin uptake malfunction, which some do, psychotherapy will be as helpful to a patient as having him read Dianetics by L. Ron Howard. The problem is that too many patients are prescribed SSRIs, because serotonin disorder is difficult if not impossible to accurately diagnose. The great majority of people diagnosed as having “depression” don’t need antidepressant medications.

  36. Tom not Cruise

    “the therapeutic pendulum has been swinging back in the direction of a return to cognitive psychotherapy doctor-patient interaction with drugs as a secondary therapeutic adjunct.”

    If a person has serotonin uptake malfunction, which some do, psychotherapy will be as helpful to a patient as having him read Dianetics by L. Ron Howard. The problem is that too many patients are prescribed SSRIs, because serotonin disorder is difficult if not impossible to accurately diagnose. The great majority of people diagnosed as having “depression” don’t need antidepressant medications.

  37. Anonymous

    “”In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.” “

    This is an untrue statement. The reference to Nazi Germany and the holocaust was not make in reference to the Davis Police Department or Detective Paul Narr but rather a more generalized importance of vigilance in society.

  38. Anonymous

    “”In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.” “

    This is an untrue statement. The reference to Nazi Germany and the holocaust was not make in reference to the Davis Police Department or Detective Paul Narr but rather a more generalized importance of vigilance in society.

  39. Anonymous

    “”In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.” “

    This is an untrue statement. The reference to Nazi Germany and the holocaust was not make in reference to the Davis Police Department or Detective Paul Narr but rather a more generalized importance of vigilance in society.

  40. Anonymous

    “”In this blog you mentioned Nazi Germany and the Holocaust while referring to the Davis Police Dept. and Ofcr. Paul Narr.” “

    This is an untrue statement. The reference to Nazi Germany and the holocaust was not make in reference to the Davis Police Department or Detective Paul Narr but rather a more generalized importance of vigilance in society.

  41. Anonymous

    Correct anonymous, in fact DPD specifically says we do not live in Nazi Germany.

    “Thankfully, we do not live in Nazi Germany, or anything that resembles it, but this is a universal message, not a particularized one. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The ideal of the watchdog is to alert the public when things are unseemly and flat out wrong.”

    How someone could take from that a notion that somewhat DPD is comparing the Davis Police Department let alone Paul Narr to Nazi Germany is way beyond me. It seems to me the only purpose served by stating as much is malice. For one who accuses DPD of doing things, perhaps you ought to worry about about yourself first.

    Since you claim to have attended the Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church, perhaps you can recall Matthew 7-3:

    “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    Why don’t you actually honor the life of someone you claim to respect rather than disparage his name with malicious words?

    I don’t get people like you, thank god.

  42. Anonymous

    Correct anonymous, in fact DPD specifically says we do not live in Nazi Germany.

    “Thankfully, we do not live in Nazi Germany, or anything that resembles it, but this is a universal message, not a particularized one. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The ideal of the watchdog is to alert the public when things are unseemly and flat out wrong.”

    How someone could take from that a notion that somewhat DPD is comparing the Davis Police Department let alone Paul Narr to Nazi Germany is way beyond me. It seems to me the only purpose served by stating as much is malice. For one who accuses DPD of doing things, perhaps you ought to worry about about yourself first.

    Since you claim to have attended the Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church, perhaps you can recall Matthew 7-3:

    “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    Why don’t you actually honor the life of someone you claim to respect rather than disparage his name with malicious words?

    I don’t get people like you, thank god.

  43. Anonymous

    Correct anonymous, in fact DPD specifically says we do not live in Nazi Germany.

    “Thankfully, we do not live in Nazi Germany, or anything that resembles it, but this is a universal message, not a particularized one. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The ideal of the watchdog is to alert the public when things are unseemly and flat out wrong.”

    How someone could take from that a notion that somewhat DPD is comparing the Davis Police Department let alone Paul Narr to Nazi Germany is way beyond me. It seems to me the only purpose served by stating as much is malice. For one who accuses DPD of doing things, perhaps you ought to worry about about yourself first.

    Since you claim to have attended the Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church, perhaps you can recall Matthew 7-3:

    “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    Why don’t you actually honor the life of someone you claim to respect rather than disparage his name with malicious words?

    I don’t get people like you, thank god.

  44. Anonymous

    Correct anonymous, in fact DPD specifically says we do not live in Nazi Germany.

    “Thankfully, we do not live in Nazi Germany, or anything that resembles it, but this is a universal message, not a particularized one. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. The ideal of the watchdog is to alert the public when things are unseemly and flat out wrong.”

    How someone could take from that a notion that somewhat DPD is comparing the Davis Police Department let alone Paul Narr to Nazi Germany is way beyond me. It seems to me the only purpose served by stating as much is malice. For one who accuses DPD of doing things, perhaps you ought to worry about about yourself first.

    Since you claim to have attended the Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church, perhaps you can recall Matthew 7-3:

    “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    Why don’t you actually honor the life of someone you claim to respect rather than disparage his name with malicious words?

    I don’t get people like you, thank god.

  45. chester

    DPD,

    Paul was a dear friend and family member. I have frequently disagreed with, and argued against, your opinions posted on this blog concerning the Davis police. However, I am not disgusted that you attended the service and I am touched by some of your sentiments expressed is this writing.

    Paul, like many men these days, was carrying a tremendous burden. This was infinitely compounded by the complexities and burdens of being a cop. Cops are human beings and have standard human flaws and problems. Yet, they are bombarded with additional pressures of superhuman expectations and oversight that can and does put their flaws and problems on public display. This, in turn, creates a pressure that leads cops to keep their problems secret.

    Paul was an outstanding and decorated public servant. He treated every person he encountered with dignity and respect… and in many, many cases, much more respect than the person deserved. Yet, even with this glowing track record of performance, Paul told me he felt like he was always one-step away from losing his job over something he did or said. Where else, I ask you, does this performance pressure exist? Certainly it does not exist for a journalist or social activist that frequently complains about the cops.

    We will never know if these pressures contributed significantly to Paul’s decision to end his life. It is rational to assume so, but suicide is not a rational act.

    If we learn anything from this sad occurrence, I think it should be recognition of our tendency toward vitriol and de-humanization of events that are human issues. There are those that hate cops, and others that are convinced cops, in general, are racist. I suggest these people either tone-down their approach or be marginalized so they no longer have a voice. Likewise, those that cannot participate in a civil exchange of ideas for how law-enforcement can be improved without vitriol and name-calling should also be marginalized and silenced.

    Paul was an outstanding officer and person. The Davis PD is filled with people like him. They need citizen support and understanding for the difficult job they do. They will make mistakes because they are human. They deserve the same forgiveness we provide other citizens and fellow humans. They deserve our protection as they protect us.

  46. chester

    DPD,

    Paul was a dear friend and family member. I have frequently disagreed with, and argued against, your opinions posted on this blog concerning the Davis police. However, I am not disgusted that you attended the service and I am touched by some of your sentiments expressed is this writing.

    Paul, like many men these days, was carrying a tremendous burden. This was infinitely compounded by the complexities and burdens of being a cop. Cops are human beings and have standard human flaws and problems. Yet, they are bombarded with additional pressures of superhuman expectations and oversight that can and does put their flaws and problems on public display. This, in turn, creates a pressure that leads cops to keep their problems secret.

    Paul was an outstanding and decorated public servant. He treated every person he encountered with dignity and respect… and in many, many cases, much more respect than the person deserved. Yet, even with this glowing track record of performance, Paul told me he felt like he was always one-step away from losing his job over something he did or said. Where else, I ask you, does this performance pressure exist? Certainly it does not exist for a journalist or social activist that frequently complains about the cops.

    We will never know if these pressures contributed significantly to Paul’s decision to end his life. It is rational to assume so, but suicide is not a rational act.

    If we learn anything from this sad occurrence, I think it should be recognition of our tendency toward vitriol and de-humanization of events that are human issues. There are those that hate cops, and others that are convinced cops, in general, are racist. I suggest these people either tone-down their approach or be marginalized so they no longer have a voice. Likewise, those that cannot participate in a civil exchange of ideas for how law-enforcement can be improved without vitriol and name-calling should also be marginalized and silenced.

    Paul was an outstanding officer and person. The Davis PD is filled with people like him. They need citizen support and understanding for the difficult job they do. They will make mistakes because they are human. They deserve the same forgiveness we provide other citizens and fellow humans. They deserve our protection as they protect us.

  47. chester

    DPD,

    Paul was a dear friend and family member. I have frequently disagreed with, and argued against, your opinions posted on this blog concerning the Davis police. However, I am not disgusted that you attended the service and I am touched by some of your sentiments expressed is this writing.

    Paul, like many men these days, was carrying a tremendous burden. This was infinitely compounded by the complexities and burdens of being a cop. Cops are human beings and have standard human flaws and problems. Yet, they are bombarded with additional pressures of superhuman expectations and oversight that can and does put their flaws and problems on public display. This, in turn, creates a pressure that leads cops to keep their problems secret.

    Paul was an outstanding and decorated public servant. He treated every person he encountered with dignity and respect… and in many, many cases, much more respect than the person deserved. Yet, even with this glowing track record of performance, Paul told me he felt like he was always one-step away from losing his job over something he did or said. Where else, I ask you, does this performance pressure exist? Certainly it does not exist for a journalist or social activist that frequently complains about the cops.

    We will never know if these pressures contributed significantly to Paul’s decision to end his life. It is rational to assume so, but suicide is not a rational act.

    If we learn anything from this sad occurrence, I think it should be recognition of our tendency toward vitriol and de-humanization of events that are human issues. There are those that hate cops, and others that are convinced cops, in general, are racist. I suggest these people either tone-down their approach or be marginalized so they no longer have a voice. Likewise, those that cannot participate in a civil exchange of ideas for how law-enforcement can be improved without vitriol and name-calling should also be marginalized and silenced.

    Paul was an outstanding officer and person. The Davis PD is filled with people like him. They need citizen support and understanding for the difficult job they do. They will make mistakes because they are human. They deserve the same forgiveness we provide other citizens and fellow humans. They deserve our protection as they protect us.

  48. chester

    DPD,

    Paul was a dear friend and family member. I have frequently disagreed with, and argued against, your opinions posted on this blog concerning the Davis police. However, I am not disgusted that you attended the service and I am touched by some of your sentiments expressed is this writing.

    Paul, like many men these days, was carrying a tremendous burden. This was infinitely compounded by the complexities and burdens of being a cop. Cops are human beings and have standard human flaws and problems. Yet, they are bombarded with additional pressures of superhuman expectations and oversight that can and does put their flaws and problems on public display. This, in turn, creates a pressure that leads cops to keep their problems secret.

    Paul was an outstanding and decorated public servant. He treated every person he encountered with dignity and respect… and in many, many cases, much more respect than the person deserved. Yet, even with this glowing track record of performance, Paul told me he felt like he was always one-step away from losing his job over something he did or said. Where else, I ask you, does this performance pressure exist? Certainly it does not exist for a journalist or social activist that frequently complains about the cops.

    We will never know if these pressures contributed significantly to Paul’s decision to end his life. It is rational to assume so, but suicide is not a rational act.

    If we learn anything from this sad occurrence, I think it should be recognition of our tendency toward vitriol and de-humanization of events that are human issues. There are those that hate cops, and others that are convinced cops, in general, are racist. I suggest these people either tone-down their approach or be marginalized so they no longer have a voice. Likewise, those that cannot participate in a civil exchange of ideas for how law-enforcement can be improved without vitriol and name-calling should also be marginalized and silenced.

    Paul was an outstanding officer and person. The Davis PD is filled with people like him. They need citizen support and understanding for the difficult job they do. They will make mistakes because they are human. They deserve the same forgiveness we provide other citizens and fellow humans. They deserve our protection as they protect us.

  49. Been There

    Sometimes the pressure of a particular circumstance can be overwhelming. Not everyone who thinks of suicide has a chemical imbalance or needs to take drugs or will be helped by psychotherapy.

    One time in my life I contemplated suicide, because the incredible pressures on me seemed insurmountable, and the circumstances surrounding me at the time made me feel as if I was a worthless human being. I am well educated, with multple advanced degrees, a type A personality. (I achieved the last degree while raising three toddlers as a single parent.) But my personal situation was unbelievably bad (serious financial and medical problems).

    At the time, I felt the circumstances were somehow my fault, I was a bad person and worthless human being. I can look back on it now, and realize my thinking was very off – just as someone who thinks they have anorexia is somehow “fat”. I can remember the psychologist treating me for depression asking me if I would make sure to call her if I felt I was going to take my life. Of course I said yes, because I knew it was what she wanted to hear, but I knew I would not. If I was going to kill myself, I was going to kill myself, and it was none of her damn business.

    My road to recovery was long and hard. Pills did not work, psychotherapy did not work – and no I did not have a chemical imbalance. I had to realize there are many things in life we have no control over. As the old adage goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I immersed myself in volunteer work, to bring about a better sense of self worth.

    I still lead a very difficult life, and my situation is not an enviable one. But I have learned to laugh a little more at life’s adversities, not take responsiblity for everything that goes wrong, make changes for the better where I can, yet accept that some things are beyond my control. Worrying and fretting are very destructive coping mechanisms. So is negative self-talk. I have also severed toxic personal relationships. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it.

    Most folks would probably be crushed under the weight of the burden I bear, yet others could handle it with aplomb. It is the tree that can bend with the wind that will survive, but the tree that stands full force against the wind that will ultimately break.

    Officer Narr’s family should not waste one minute thinking there is something they could have done to prevent his decision to commit suicide. I can assure you his decision was an irrational view of life that was the result of a very skewed way of thinking at the moment. If he was determined to keep things to himself, to cope on his own, then there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. To those who think suicide is the coward’s way out, walk a mile in our shoes before you pass judgment. No one is immune from this sort of destructive thinking at certain points in their lives.

    When you work too many hours under stressful conditions, and are coping with more than you can handle at the time, anyone can temporarily lose their sense of balance and perspective. Especially those who are very giving, and somehow feel they are not achieving perfection in giving it their level best. Everyone tends to expect more from those who give more, and the giving are hardest on themselves.

    Life can be unbearably hard at times, and it can be difficult to weather the storm, especially if you have got it in your head, no matter how irrational, that you are somehow to blame for being less than perfect.

    And I have to tell you, the blame game today is a popular pastime. I would recommend to everyone, before they say an unkind word, or stand in judgment over someone else, or somehow think they are superior to another, THINK AGAIN. Reach out to your fellow man with kindness rather than accusations. You may have need of that very same person some day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    There is also another interesting phenonenom to think about. Have you ever noticed that not much is demanded of folks who are difficult to work with, because they have surrounded themselves with the protection needed to insulate themselves from criticism and accountability. Yet we are hardest on those that give till it hurts, because it is the easier path to take. Remember this well the next time you ask a favor of someone you know will say yes, rather than ask the person you should be asking, because it is easier to take the path of least resistance.

  50. Been There

    Sometimes the pressure of a particular circumstance can be overwhelming. Not everyone who thinks of suicide has a chemical imbalance or needs to take drugs or will be helped by psychotherapy.

    One time in my life I contemplated suicide, because the incredible pressures on me seemed insurmountable, and the circumstances surrounding me at the time made me feel as if I was a worthless human being. I am well educated, with multple advanced degrees, a type A personality. (I achieved the last degree while raising three toddlers as a single parent.) But my personal situation was unbelievably bad (serious financial and medical problems).

    At the time, I felt the circumstances were somehow my fault, I was a bad person and worthless human being. I can look back on it now, and realize my thinking was very off – just as someone who thinks they have anorexia is somehow “fat”. I can remember the psychologist treating me for depression asking me if I would make sure to call her if I felt I was going to take my life. Of course I said yes, because I knew it was what she wanted to hear, but I knew I would not. If I was going to kill myself, I was going to kill myself, and it was none of her damn business.

    My road to recovery was long and hard. Pills did not work, psychotherapy did not work – and no I did not have a chemical imbalance. I had to realize there are many things in life we have no control over. As the old adage goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I immersed myself in volunteer work, to bring about a better sense of self worth.

    I still lead a very difficult life, and my situation is not an enviable one. But I have learned to laugh a little more at life’s adversities, not take responsiblity for everything that goes wrong, make changes for the better where I can, yet accept that some things are beyond my control. Worrying and fretting are very destructive coping mechanisms. So is negative self-talk. I have also severed toxic personal relationships. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it.

    Most folks would probably be crushed under the weight of the burden I bear, yet others could handle it with aplomb. It is the tree that can bend with the wind that will survive, but the tree that stands full force against the wind that will ultimately break.

    Officer Narr’s family should not waste one minute thinking there is something they could have done to prevent his decision to commit suicide. I can assure you his decision was an irrational view of life that was the result of a very skewed way of thinking at the moment. If he was determined to keep things to himself, to cope on his own, then there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. To those who think suicide is the coward’s way out, walk a mile in our shoes before you pass judgment. No one is immune from this sort of destructive thinking at certain points in their lives.

    When you work too many hours under stressful conditions, and are coping with more than you can handle at the time, anyone can temporarily lose their sense of balance and perspective. Especially those who are very giving, and somehow feel they are not achieving perfection in giving it their level best. Everyone tends to expect more from those who give more, and the giving are hardest on themselves.

    Life can be unbearably hard at times, and it can be difficult to weather the storm, especially if you have got it in your head, no matter how irrational, that you are somehow to blame for being less than perfect.

    And I have to tell you, the blame game today is a popular pastime. I would recommend to everyone, before they say an unkind word, or stand in judgment over someone else, or somehow think they are superior to another, THINK AGAIN. Reach out to your fellow man with kindness rather than accusations. You may have need of that very same person some day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    There is also another interesting phenonenom to think about. Have you ever noticed that not much is demanded of folks who are difficult to work with, because they have surrounded themselves with the protection needed to insulate themselves from criticism and accountability. Yet we are hardest on those that give till it hurts, because it is the easier path to take. Remember this well the next time you ask a favor of someone you know will say yes, rather than ask the person you should be asking, because it is easier to take the path of least resistance.

  51. Been There

    Sometimes the pressure of a particular circumstance can be overwhelming. Not everyone who thinks of suicide has a chemical imbalance or needs to take drugs or will be helped by psychotherapy.

    One time in my life I contemplated suicide, because the incredible pressures on me seemed insurmountable, and the circumstances surrounding me at the time made me feel as if I was a worthless human being. I am well educated, with multple advanced degrees, a type A personality. (I achieved the last degree while raising three toddlers as a single parent.) But my personal situation was unbelievably bad (serious financial and medical problems).

    At the time, I felt the circumstances were somehow my fault, I was a bad person and worthless human being. I can look back on it now, and realize my thinking was very off – just as someone who thinks they have anorexia is somehow “fat”. I can remember the psychologist treating me for depression asking me if I would make sure to call her if I felt I was going to take my life. Of course I said yes, because I knew it was what she wanted to hear, but I knew I would not. If I was going to kill myself, I was going to kill myself, and it was none of her damn business.

    My road to recovery was long and hard. Pills did not work, psychotherapy did not work – and no I did not have a chemical imbalance. I had to realize there are many things in life we have no control over. As the old adage goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I immersed myself in volunteer work, to bring about a better sense of self worth.

    I still lead a very difficult life, and my situation is not an enviable one. But I have learned to laugh a little more at life’s adversities, not take responsiblity for everything that goes wrong, make changes for the better where I can, yet accept that some things are beyond my control. Worrying and fretting are very destructive coping mechanisms. So is negative self-talk. I have also severed toxic personal relationships. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it.

    Most folks would probably be crushed under the weight of the burden I bear, yet others could handle it with aplomb. It is the tree that can bend with the wind that will survive, but the tree that stands full force against the wind that will ultimately break.

    Officer Narr’s family should not waste one minute thinking there is something they could have done to prevent his decision to commit suicide. I can assure you his decision was an irrational view of life that was the result of a very skewed way of thinking at the moment. If he was determined to keep things to himself, to cope on his own, then there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. To those who think suicide is the coward’s way out, walk a mile in our shoes before you pass judgment. No one is immune from this sort of destructive thinking at certain points in their lives.

    When you work too many hours under stressful conditions, and are coping with more than you can handle at the time, anyone can temporarily lose their sense of balance and perspective. Especially those who are very giving, and somehow feel they are not achieving perfection in giving it their level best. Everyone tends to expect more from those who give more, and the giving are hardest on themselves.

    Life can be unbearably hard at times, and it can be difficult to weather the storm, especially if you have got it in your head, no matter how irrational, that you are somehow to blame for being less than perfect.

    And I have to tell you, the blame game today is a popular pastime. I would recommend to everyone, before they say an unkind word, or stand in judgment over someone else, or somehow think they are superior to another, THINK AGAIN. Reach out to your fellow man with kindness rather than accusations. You may have need of that very same person some day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    There is also another interesting phenonenom to think about. Have you ever noticed that not much is demanded of folks who are difficult to work with, because they have surrounded themselves with the protection needed to insulate themselves from criticism and accountability. Yet we are hardest on those that give till it hurts, because it is the easier path to take. Remember this well the next time you ask a favor of someone you know will say yes, rather than ask the person you should be asking, because it is easier to take the path of least resistance.

  52. Been There

    Sometimes the pressure of a particular circumstance can be overwhelming. Not everyone who thinks of suicide has a chemical imbalance or needs to take drugs or will be helped by psychotherapy.

    One time in my life I contemplated suicide, because the incredible pressures on me seemed insurmountable, and the circumstances surrounding me at the time made me feel as if I was a worthless human being. I am well educated, with multple advanced degrees, a type A personality. (I achieved the last degree while raising three toddlers as a single parent.) But my personal situation was unbelievably bad (serious financial and medical problems).

    At the time, I felt the circumstances were somehow my fault, I was a bad person and worthless human being. I can look back on it now, and realize my thinking was very off – just as someone who thinks they have anorexia is somehow “fat”. I can remember the psychologist treating me for depression asking me if I would make sure to call her if I felt I was going to take my life. Of course I said yes, because I knew it was what she wanted to hear, but I knew I would not. If I was going to kill myself, I was going to kill myself, and it was none of her damn business.

    My road to recovery was long and hard. Pills did not work, psychotherapy did not work – and no I did not have a chemical imbalance. I had to realize there are many things in life we have no control over. As the old adage goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I immersed myself in volunteer work, to bring about a better sense of self worth.

    I still lead a very difficult life, and my situation is not an enviable one. But I have learned to laugh a little more at life’s adversities, not take responsiblity for everything that goes wrong, make changes for the better where I can, yet accept that some things are beyond my control. Worrying and fretting are very destructive coping mechanisms. So is negative self-talk. I have also severed toxic personal relationships. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow it.

    Most folks would probably be crushed under the weight of the burden I bear, yet others could handle it with aplomb. It is the tree that can bend with the wind that will survive, but the tree that stands full force against the wind that will ultimately break.

    Officer Narr’s family should not waste one minute thinking there is something they could have done to prevent his decision to commit suicide. I can assure you his decision was an irrational view of life that was the result of a very skewed way of thinking at the moment. If he was determined to keep things to himself, to cope on his own, then there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent the tragedy. To those who think suicide is the coward’s way out, walk a mile in our shoes before you pass judgment. No one is immune from this sort of destructive thinking at certain points in their lives.

    When you work too many hours under stressful conditions, and are coping with more than you can handle at the time, anyone can temporarily lose their sense of balance and perspective. Especially those who are very giving, and somehow feel they are not achieving perfection in giving it their level best. Everyone tends to expect more from those who give more, and the giving are hardest on themselves.

    Life can be unbearably hard at times, and it can be difficult to weather the storm, especially if you have got it in your head, no matter how irrational, that you are somehow to blame for being less than perfect.

    And I have to tell you, the blame game today is a popular pastime. I would recommend to everyone, before they say an unkind word, or stand in judgment over someone else, or somehow think they are superior to another, THINK AGAIN. Reach out to your fellow man with kindness rather than accusations. You may have need of that very same person some day. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    There is also another interesting phenonenom to think about. Have you ever noticed that not much is demanded of folks who are difficult to work with, because they have surrounded themselves with the protection needed to insulate themselves from criticism and accountability. Yet we are hardest on those that give till it hurts, because it is the easier path to take. Remember this well the next time you ask a favor of someone you know will say yes, rather than ask the person you should be asking, because it is easier to take the path of least resistance.

  53. chester

    This is a very nice blog Been There Said…

    Thank you for sharing your history and thank you for your deep and impactful thoughts. It does help to get perspective from someone that has been there.

    I pray that you stay well.

  54. chester

    This is a very nice blog Been There Said…

    Thank you for sharing your history and thank you for your deep and impactful thoughts. It does help to get perspective from someone that has been there.

    I pray that you stay well.

  55. chester

    This is a very nice blog Been There Said…

    Thank you for sharing your history and thank you for your deep and impactful thoughts. It does help to get perspective from someone that has been there.

    I pray that you stay well.

  56. chester

    This is a very nice blog Been There Said…

    Thank you for sharing your history and thank you for your deep and impactful thoughts. It does help to get perspective from someone that has been there.

    I pray that you stay well.

  57. Anonymous

    To you who were “disgusted” to see DPD at the funeral, I’d suggest you go home and pray for yourself, instead. Do you think Jesus would have had such an inhumane reaction? Focusing on hate at a time like this is not Christian. Pray for yourself…you’re the one who needs help.

  58. Anonymous

    To you who were “disgusted” to see DPD at the funeral, I’d suggest you go home and pray for yourself, instead. Do you think Jesus would have had such an inhumane reaction? Focusing on hate at a time like this is not Christian. Pray for yourself…you’re the one who needs help.

  59. Anonymous

    To you who were “disgusted” to see DPD at the funeral, I’d suggest you go home and pray for yourself, instead. Do you think Jesus would have had such an inhumane reaction? Focusing on hate at a time like this is not Christian. Pray for yourself…you’re the one who needs help.

  60. Anonymous

    To you who were “disgusted” to see DPD at the funeral, I’d suggest you go home and pray for yourself, instead. Do you think Jesus would have had such an inhumane reaction? Focusing on hate at a time like this is not Christian. Pray for yourself…you’re the one who needs help.

  61. Anonymous

    When my son attended a memorial service at the First Baptist Church for a friend of his who had died after a year long struggle with cancer, he spoke from his heart about what he was struggling with at that moment in time and in his grief said “if there was a God, he would known that it was better to leave her with us.” This was very upsetting to some in attendance. The pastor, to my great relief and appreciation, interrupted the flow of people coming to the microphone to state that there is nothing that a person could say at that moment that would be incorrect. My son was only voicing what many were thinking and struggling with as death does challenge us and stirs up questions about what we believe as we search for a reason for what has happened.

    So be kind to the person who says he was disgusted by David’s presence at the memorial. In that church, at that time, there is nothing wrong or incorrect, in grief, that a person could feel or say. In fact, it is the very best time and place to feel one’s grief.

  62. Anonymous

    When my son attended a memorial service at the First Baptist Church for a friend of his who had died after a year long struggle with cancer, he spoke from his heart about what he was struggling with at that moment in time and in his grief said “if there was a God, he would known that it was better to leave her with us.” This was very upsetting to some in attendance. The pastor, to my great relief and appreciation, interrupted the flow of people coming to the microphone to state that there is nothing that a person could say at that moment that would be incorrect. My son was only voicing what many were thinking and struggling with as death does challenge us and stirs up questions about what we believe as we search for a reason for what has happened.

    So be kind to the person who says he was disgusted by David’s presence at the memorial. In that church, at that time, there is nothing wrong or incorrect, in grief, that a person could feel or say. In fact, it is the very best time and place to feel one’s grief.

  63. Anonymous

    When my son attended a memorial service at the First Baptist Church for a friend of his who had died after a year long struggle with cancer, he spoke from his heart about what he was struggling with at that moment in time and in his grief said “if there was a God, he would known that it was better to leave her with us.” This was very upsetting to some in attendance. The pastor, to my great relief and appreciation, interrupted the flow of people coming to the microphone to state that there is nothing that a person could say at that moment that would be incorrect. My son was only voicing what many were thinking and struggling with as death does challenge us and stirs up questions about what we believe as we search for a reason for what has happened.

    So be kind to the person who says he was disgusted by David’s presence at the memorial. In that church, at that time, there is nothing wrong or incorrect, in grief, that a person could feel or say. In fact, it is the very best time and place to feel one’s grief.

  64. Anonymous

    When my son attended a memorial service at the First Baptist Church for a friend of his who had died after a year long struggle with cancer, he spoke from his heart about what he was struggling with at that moment in time and in his grief said “if there was a God, he would known that it was better to leave her with us.” This was very upsetting to some in attendance. The pastor, to my great relief and appreciation, interrupted the flow of people coming to the microphone to state that there is nothing that a person could say at that moment that would be incorrect. My son was only voicing what many were thinking and struggling with as death does challenge us and stirs up questions about what we believe as we search for a reason for what has happened.

    So be kind to the person who says he was disgusted by David’s presence at the memorial. In that church, at that time, there is nothing wrong or incorrect, in grief, that a person could feel or say. In fact, it is the very best time and place to feel one’s grief.

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