I was saddened to read, today, of the apparent suicide of David Carradine.
According to the Fox News website, he was found hanged, in a closet, in the luxury hotel suite he was occupying during filming, in Bangkok, Thailand. He'd been dead some hours when found, and apparently was hanged using a cord from draperies in the room.
The article reported that he had often talked, before, about suicidal thoughts. He'd discussed some of the actions he'd been tempted to take, from simply rolling off a 4th floor window ledge he'd been sitting on, to using a pistol he had, to "blow his head off". I'm assuming that those conversations with others, about suicidal thoughts, were the reason why the authorities seem confident he took his own life.
He was a member of a privileged class. His dad, John, was a famous character actor, and David himself was famous, having hit the big time by portraying Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series King Fu, which aired from 1972 to 1975.
I remember it well.
Here he is, filming a motion picture in Bangkok, presumably making a good living, living in a luxury suite, and he doesn't see any reason to live. Or rather, he'd rather die than go on doing that. I guess there are just some things we just can't understand, and I also guess I'm glad we don't.
It'd seem, from the outside, he had it all. A nice house on Hayward Drive near Laurel Canyon in a suburb of Los Angeles, an established career, and I'm guessing at an income commensurate with his career. But it apparently wasn't enough to cause him to want to go on living.
There was a terrific line in the film A Family Thing, which was a neat movie unfortunately filled with profanity. But the line .. which takes a long backstory to explain .. was this: "Happiness ain't nuthin' more than havin' somethin' to look forward to".
I guess David Carradine didn't have that.
In one sense, I can understand it. I'm 71, uncomfortably close to Carradine's 72, and I've done most of the stuff I dreamed of, but never expected, when I was a kid. Cars, nice houses, travel, family, all of that. But, aside from my family, all all those things have gotten old. The "glitz & glamour" is pretty well worn off. In fact, Peg and I haven't gone away on our usual birthday-anniversary trip in March, for three years now, as we just can't really think of anyplace we want to go. Well, bad enough to actually GO there.
So ... I can well understand getting tired of all the "stuff" the world has to offer. But I must say, the most thrilling things now . and the things of which I never will get tired, are things related to my living as a Christian in a lost world. I love teaching the Bible, talking about spiritual things, ministering to others, fellowshipping with other Christians; all the things God has placed me in a position to do. I cannot imagine being anxious to end this, which is really the most enjoyable time of my life! Enjoyable, that is, in terms of appreciating and embracing our lives, understanding who we are and why we're here, and looking forward to what God has in store for us in the future.
However long that may be.
Truth be known, this world doesn't have enough to match that. And in that context, if all you have is all the world has, then there never will be enough.