Before he would take his own life, Eric wrote down the names of everyone to whom he felt he owed some kind of explanation: a few family members, some coworkers who had become more than that, a couple old girlfriends he’d never quite gotten over.
The list, though long, was not spectacular—ballpoint ink on notebook paper—but as it grew he wondered whether these people cared for him as much as he did for them. It occurred to him that that wondering might be what made life so heavy.
When Eric finished the list, he looked at it for a while, knitting those names together with faces and memories. He decided then that he didn’t want to kill himself, but he still wanted to write the letters.