The donation from us all is on it’s way. I looked at the wepay account. Cougar had called me to say that he was able to make a request for his funds. That was after I added him to it. I notice a pending transaction from Cougar’s Recovery Fund, to his credit union. Now we’re just waiting for approval, and my part in this is coming to an end. I hope the best for you Cougar this holiday season, that you feel well soon, and keep on keeping on.
This all started for me last Thursday, when I awoke to the following status update posted by Cougar on Facebook. Thanks to whatever is the new algorithm for Highlighted Stories, it is at the top. I like to sort by recent first but due to a known issue I am confronted by Cougar’s posting his suicide note.
As I read through the comments, someone has located the guy and taken him to a nearby hospital. Unable to talk, he’s survived the ordeal. Cougar updates us later that the doctor is surprised that he did. But it’s as I read the last comment shown in that image to help get him a job that I start thinking, let’s raise some funds.
As I read on about people wishing the best and stating that they would contribute help and support, in any way that they could, I keep thinking that we should do a kickstarter type of thing for him. I look in to it, and it turns out they are only for projects.
So I do a quick search and find gofundme, a site backed by wepay that supports many different types of fundraising ideas. It’s integrated with other social media sites and I sign on through Facebook and create an account. The process is simple and in minutes from deciding to take action, I have posted it on a few of the social groups in which I’ve seen Cougar at events. Later on, I also post it to his wall. People are commenting there on what’s going on, and giving well-wishes.
This is pure chaos, and so I’ve decided to act first. Later on, people have asked me why I’ve done this. And at this time I question it myself. What I hope to accomplish is to help offset the medical expenses incurred in an intentional tragedy. Especially one inflicted in a circumstance of financial straits. I’ve seen this before. Actually, with this specific person. But with other people. too.
The most recent one was just a couple of weeks earlier. Someone in our family buried his best friend, who shot himself. The man had found an insurance policy years before which would still pay out in the event of such an event. The 5 suicides in Palo Alto come to mind. Another friend’s Dad went in to a suicide pact with his wife and daughter. They succeeded, he did not and spends his life in jail. I’ve had a cousin leave her family in a car left running in the garage.
There’s been some other close calls. A roommate from college. Another family member. The impact on people emotionally, and financially, is great. And I’ve heard of health, and other insurance companies, unwilling to pay out for such intentional events. How that must make the survivor feel, after such devastation.
While I can try and be there for people to work through the grief, that kind of help is so intangible and subjective, it can be tough to convince myself that anything but time could even start to make a difference. So giving financially seems to be a practical step, where the result is tangible, and progress can be checked. It is also a more productive channel for dealing with the nearly overwhelmingly out-of-control and helpless feelings I had when reading that post.
The outpouring of donations from of all us has helped me, and probably us, in trying to react appropriately to a situation we don’t understand. I hope it helps you too, Cougar my friend. While I had my own intention on how I’d hope the money could be spent, it’s not up to me. It is a gift to someone so clearly in need. It won’t solve the problem. Maybe it can help what seems to be a vicious cycle spinning out of control, fueled by financial problems which I feared this attempt could exacerbate.