Someone in my extended family died last week, by his own hand. I can’t imagine the pain he must have been in to do such a thing, and I don’t want to.
There’s been a lot of conjecture online about things he may have done, incidents that may have have happened to precipitate his disappearance and the taking of his own life. This is the bane of social media ~ the dark side of what can be a bright coin ~ that anyone can say anything he or she likes, be it truth, half-truth, or conjecture ~ and others can take up those threads and conflate other instances with what might have happened or make up falsehoods of whole cloth to support their position or opinion (because opinion it all truly is). Truths, half-truths, conjecture, conflation, and outright lies ~ there’s a reason such things are called “witch hunts.”
None of that helps anybody. None of it solves anything. What means something doesn’t take place online with “friends” you’ve never even met in person, with whom you’ve never built a real relationship, with whom it would barely make a ripple if you disappeared tomorrow. And none of what happened “then” or what someone should have done and didn’t, or didn’t do and should have ~ none of that solves the puzzle either. The reality is that no one can go back and do things differently because he or she is hurt or grieving or angry about what is now. Even if they could, it wouldn’t guarantee a better outcome.
“Man hands misery on to man.” Generational trauma really is a thing, and that’s something we can and should do something about. Even though it hurts, and it will; even though it’s hard, and it is; even though it scares us, some of us to the point that we refuse to look, refuse to see, and, in the rare moments it shoulders its way into memory, hope against hope that, since we don’t see it, it’s no longer there. But there has to be a way to heal these wounds, and we have to know what that is before we open our own or ask others to open theirs. There has to be a way to see that the trauma ends with this generation.
But, today, here I am, still feeling the ebb and flow in the wake. And all I can think of is this video clip from Ted Lasso of Roy Kent talking about how footballers aren’t just footballers, they’re people. And how none of us know what’s going on in each others lives. Saying, with that Roy Kent intensity, “So for Isaac to do what he did today ~ even though it was wrong ~ I give him love. … As for why he did what he did, … that’s none of my fucking business.”
This scene, from what is arguably my favorite episode of the 3rd season (yeah, I know most people pick “Sunflowers” but, for me, this is it), resonates and stays with me, because, like so much of what lies at the heart of Ted Lasso, it is true, not just in this TV show but in reality ~ and for everyone. This press conference scene and the scene between Nate and Jade that it segues into, to the strains of Bear’s Den’s “All That You Are,” and from thence to best friends Colin and Isaac.
This is the essence of Ted Lasso, even more than “Believe” ~ it is Love. Love that ties best friends, even when you discover that in some ways you’re so different; Love that is a balm when you’ve been hurt, that takes you in, comforts, and protects; Love that is compassionate, patient, kind ~ even when you don’t understand.
More importantly, this is the essence of life: Love is the answer. Even if you don’t know the question ~ and even if you think you do.
In the end, this is the answer.