…and any advice would be appreciated. it’s irrelevant whether you’re a friend or just a stranger who’s stumbled across this blog. i realize it’s not the kind of situation most people would have dealt with, but you never know.
so, for those of you who don’t know, i work at a small, eccentric law firm. i was out of the office buying candy for my boss (as he’s a do-whatever-the-hell-i-want senior citizen, he subsists largely on boxes of good & plenty). when i came back, the office felt strangely tense, and i heard my boss say to the law clerk, “ask [ocean] what she thinks! she’ll know what to do?”
so i went into the conference room and asked what was up. “tim _______ called. he’s thinking of committing suicide. i think it’s a great idea!” he said, casually. tim is this client of ours. with his twin brother, we’ve represented them in their father’s estate.
tim is in his late 30’s, mentally ill, physically ill, on disability, very few social skillz, no known friends, no known lovers, no hobbies. both of his parents, who cared for him his whole life, are dead. he has nobody except his twin brother, who he argues with endlessly. he hears voices. he thinks everyone is out to get him. he’s been institutionalized countless times, to no avail.
so, tim is coming in next week to chat about suicide with my boss, who seems to think the whole thing is rather amusing. he’s got a pretty caustic sense of humor, so i don’t know if he’s just saying that behind closed doors. (adding to the complicatedness of this situation, one of our other clients DID kill himself 2 weeks ago–the son of one of my boss’ close friends. i was the one who had to break the news to him.) i don’t know if he will be more sympathetic when this client is actually in the office. i sure hope so.
but somehow i feel like this is gonna fall on me, because i’m the only one in the office with a shred of fucking empathy. how do i convince this man not to kill himself? is that even a good idea, if he truly feels like he has nothing to live for? i have talked people out of killing themselves before, but they were people i loved deeply, who had other stuff going for them. i don’t love this man, although i do find him mildly amusing & endearing in a strange way. but seriously, seriously, what do i do?