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So many people I meet here in Bend, Oregon have lives desperately in need of repair. How strange it is ! very strange !! because in every way this small city appears to be as near paradise as any place on Earth is likely to be.

I don’t know all that many people, and yet this last year I have been uncomfortably close to four suicides. The first was the best friend of a close friend: that person’s best friend broke his neck in a bicycling accident and was declared a quadriplegic, with no hope of recovery. He chose to voluntarily end his life – which is a legal option here in Oregon for hopeless cases.

His best-friend … my friend, who was a sane and beautiful person, apparently was so depressed that he too voluntarily checked out. That brought me to tears at his funeral.

Then there was a prominent woman, actually locally famous here in Bend as an enthusiastic motivational speaker … who went to a beautiful place in the mountains … called the police … to make the clean-up easy, and then shot herself. I had had lunch with her a month before.

Yesterday, I discovered a friend’s wife had killed herself, last week.

Why? Why? Why? … Bend is so beautiful.