It's been three years. Three years. Time flies, huh? I guess
it is time to give my story before I forget any more
I still remember the days that led up to Ian's death. How
could I? Ian was one of my best friends that carried on from
Crocker to Aragon. We would always hang out together during
lunch and break, talking.
I remember, Ian told me: "In high school, I won't hang out
with anyone from Crocker."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because... I don't really like them."
But we were still hanging out until that day.
I was an insecure 14 year old at that time. Quiet, reserved.
And I felt a need to open up to someone.
On Monday of that week, I told Ian "I feel like I am missing
something in my life."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"I don't know."
I was referring to my insecure image. I don't know if I told
him that or not. Probably not. I was really quiet back then.
On Tuesday, Ian told me he wanted to show me his guitar
skills. He did so that night, and with my crappy reception
at my house, I listened to a barely consistent guitar riff
of the Iron Man Theme. He said something when he messed up.
I couldn't make out what he said though.
On Wednesday, Ian said to me "I think I know what you are
"What?" I asked.
But he never told me at that moment. And I will never know
what he thought I was missing.
On Thursday, Ian sent me a message on AIM. It was a very
detached message: that he was sorry for all the bad things
he had done and that he thanked me for being a great friend.
It was sent around 6pm.
I wasn't home at 6pm.
I got home at 8pm from being tutored. I saw the message. I
wrote: "Ian?" "What's wrong?" No answer. I disregarded the
message, because Ian sent a similar message a few months
earlier, and he came to school the next day. I didn't know
until Friday that a friend immediately ran to Ian's house
right after he sent that message a few months earlier to
stop him, and that's what kept him alive for tomorrow.
I guess no one did the same for the second time.
On Friday, the news broke out. It was English class, and
I was feeling pretty happy for a change, than the usual
listless feeling I had during school. Then Ms' Deitz
told the news: Ian McGinnis had passed away last night
at 6:24 pm. The cause of death wasn't reported.
Everything I felt turned upside down at that point. I
felt nothing. No grief, no fear, no anger. I couldn't
even feel sad, even though a few tears streamed down my
face. I couldn't even cry. All I could ask, "how did he
But the teacher didn't tell me. The counselor didn't
I wasn't until I talked with a few of my other friends
later that day, and we were talking like Ian died a long
time ago. Very casual, no hint of grief. They said they
weren't surprised. That Ian most likely killed himself.
Ian killed himself? Why? That wasn't the Ian that I
knew. I tried to deny it, but it was the most
logical explanation. The cause of death wasn't told to
the school because he committed suicide.
It made me realize how much Ian didn't tell me. How much
of the other side of the Ian that I didn't see. I
thought we were closer friends. But this made me realize
how much we were not.
I failed him as a friend. I couldn't stop him from
killing himself. I kept going back to that Thursday. Why
couldn't I run to Ian's house, and stop him? Why didn't
I do that? Would have it been better if I stayed home
that day? Would I have decided to go to Ian's house to
stop him then? Did I know that was a suicide message?
I went home that Friday, and went into my room. And then
the tears started falling out. And I couldn't stop.
I head that teenagers are more likely to commit suicide
themselves if one of their friends have committed
suicide. I turned Ian's death into strength. I could say
that Ian had stopped me from committing suicide myself,
and I detached myself from Ian, allowing me to work my
way to an independent person. I pulled myself from
depression and toward a self-confident, outgoing person.
I made more friends. I took risks. And somehow, I was no
longer afraid of death.
Perhaps everything I had done would have happened anyway
even if Ian was still alive. But it doesn't matter. Ian
pointed me in the direction I should be going in life.
Thanks, Ian. I owe you.
Here is one thing Ian made fun of me with: Ian said I
get turned on when girls speak in Victorian English, and
also when wizards take off their pointy hat to show a
bald head. I have no idea what that means. But that was
Ian's sense of humor for you.
Here is a video. Ian's 8th grade Spanish class: It is
probably one of the last videotaped recordings of Ian
McGinnis with his shenanigans. Especially with the
bloopers in Part 2.
Thank you Ian. For being a great friend. For listening
to me. For helping me pull myself out of the pit of
depression and inspiring me to work my way to the top.