I got an email notification from a legal publication about the death of a prominent Philadelphia plaintiffs’ lawyer. He had killed himself.
The name caught my eye. He referred an FTCA malpractice case to us a few years ago. I remembered talking with him and being complimented by the referral.
The article contained in interview with with his law partner. The firm was doing well. The lawyer was happily married and his sons were getting ready to go to Harvard. By all appearances, he was successful both personally and professionally.
Why does an individual like this accomplished lawyer commit suicide?
It’s easy to look at someone and assume their life is easier or better than our own. It’s hard not to make comparisons and such comparisons can quickly turn to envy.
Our hearts get hardened.
We usually never have any idea about the inner struggles of our colleagues and neighbors. Even family members often fool those closest to them.
We don’t know what demons torment others, even those who we know well. Worse, we often don’t really want to know.
This sad death is a reminder that we all need to open our eyes - and our hearts - to the potential suffering of others.