It was always impossible to be angry with Maddy. He had a way of diffusing any situation with a joke or a silly look or a turn of phrase. Those deft social signals belied an immense emotional intelligence. He knew how you felt, and he knew how to make you feel better.
Just as we were heading into the pandemic, Maddy and I got into a rhythm. He would reach out to ask me for job advice. We’d compare calendars and find a time to connect on Zoom.
Then the day would arrive. Maddy would pop onto my screen, beaming, and ask how I was doing. He would share his latest accomplishments and challenges at work, and how he achieved or solved them. Then I would share mine. Then, through a series of gentle, caring, open-ended questions, he’d proceed to give me job advice. I always felt better after talking to Maddy.
I was so angry at Maddy when I heard the news. I couldn’t understand why he would take his life, when he had the most wonderful life to live. Mental health is so hard to understand. It takes a remarkable person to step fully into the experience of another, and to understand how those feelings manifest into actions.
Maddy always knew how you felt, and exactly what to say or do to make you feel better. We’ve never needed Maddy more than we do now.
I’m not mad anymore, just sad. We miss you so much.