Life and Death

Today I've received a sad call on my cellphone.

It was my mother washed in tears saying that one of our very best friends had committed suicide.

This is a sad day for me, his name was Pedro Simão.

He was the sort of person that always seemed disconnected from the traditional way of living. I was lucky to meet him when I was little above 8 years old.

At the time, he was the chief of the scouts organization where my mother placed me and my younger brother Edgar to learn how to live in the outdoors and also spend more time with other kids.

Those years were a truly valuable life experience.

Simão was around 23 years old but treated kids a bit like adults and taught us very early in life the reason why discipline, hard work and a good taste for adventure allow to achieve good results.

It's probably because of him that I first joined the army. The scout experience really prepared me to face without fear the human limits of exposing myself to stress conditions. He used to say: "Anything is possible if your mind is set on a goal" and I believe him.


At this last decade after 2000, I just wish that the younger Simão could have talked some sense into the older Simão.

Things started to collapse after Simão returned from his army mission at Mozambique when he quickly wasted his saved money on all the wrong things. A mix of naive personality with the desire to fulfill some his dreams have lead to the quick depletion of his saved resources and I think this was the turning point that somehow demotivated this once inspiring soul.

Over the last years, he got himself into an awful amount of debts to pay the car, the house and so many other things that simply couldn't be afforded by his monthly salary.

He'd frequently drink in excess, most of the times all alone at his home.

It was sad to see Simão going down like this. Also didn't helped the fact that I was never around Coimbra anymore just like most of our mutual friends that also went to somewhere else and he was left all alone by himself to linger on these sad things of life.

Now thinking clearer, I feel awful for not spending more time with him after my last visit to Coimbra last month. I saw him so briefly. He was always available to help others and I asked him a lift to the bus station where I could pick the bus that would leave for Lisbon.

We only talked for less than 10 minutes at the bus coffee house. Then I went for the bus and waived goodbye. Just wish he hadn't gone or at the very least drop a call to talk with me or someone else. Even worse because in a couple of months I'll be living again at Coimbra and would have a chance to talk with him much more often.

I'm simply too disappointed on myself because I could have done better.

Things weren't well and I fell that I've disappointed a good friend in this mad pursuit for my own selfish goals in life. Didn't even took some quality time to look closer at what was happening and ignored all the warning signs.


He had a bad life in the last years but he also had a very kind heart. Was the sort of person that I would trust wholyhearted knowing that he'd never break this trust.

Pedro, if you're listening. I'll miss you.