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Suicide Matters: A Tribute to the Life of Dave Buchner (1961-2008)

Updated on June 2, 2020
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Ms. Carroll is an amateur photographer & freelance writer who likes to fuse nature and photography with life experiences.

Dave Plays the Banjo
Dave Plays the Banjo

Few people really try to understand the reasons behind suicide. Most people condemn it and the life of the person who committed it, gets hollowed out by the actions of their death rather than the actions of their life. Suicide is not viewed as heroic like the actions of men who know they will die on the battlefield, but as the act of a mere coward. But sometimes war is personal – sometimes there is a war inside a man’s heart that is no less threatening than a war between nations. This tribute is for my friend, Dave Buchner who suffered from the longstanding war against depression.

In the movie The Last Sumurai, when asked how the Sumurai died, the answer was "no, instead, I will tell you how he lived." God rest your soul, Dave Buchner. I pray you found the peace you were looking for and the war within yourself has finally ended. I will tell people how you lived.

To Dave (read at his funeral),

If you thought you’d be in a better place now, you were right.

If you thought you were one of the best LEAD rock climbers in the South, you were right.

If you thought you were a good caver, you were right.

If you thought you could make a difference in the world, you were right.

If you thought picking up cans and garbage made an impact on the planet, you were right.

If you thought meditation and aroma-therapy could calm the heart and mind, you were right.

If you thought pokeweed still has medicinal value, you were right.

If you thought magazine clippings and seeds mailed to those you loved could make you be remembered, you were right.

If you thought the only thing to do in Remlap, Alabama was look at the stars, you were right.

If you thought true friends were hard to find, you were right.


If you thought we never grew your seeds, you were wrong.

If you thought we misunderstood your dumpster diving, you were wrong.

If you thought we didn’t think your swimming pool poles and curtain rods made good tent stakes, you were wrong.

If you thought we didn’t want you to teach us Tai Chi, you were wrong.

If you thought we never read "The Martian Race" and believed it could actually happen, you were wrong.

If you thought we didn’t understand the mess the world is in, you were wrong.

If you thought we didn’t appreciate your talent for the flute, you were wrong.

If you thought we got upset that you were never in a hurry, you were wrong.

If you thought we never noticed your kind words and deeds, you were wrong.

If you thought we would not miss you, you were sorely wrong.

We will miss you, Dave Buchner. Every word. Every kind thought and deed. Every phone call at every hour of the night and day, whether happy or sad. Every voice mail that ended with a beep. Every song played from your flute. Every breath into your harmonica. Thanks for everything good you brought to us and everything bad you tried to keep from us. Thanks for trying to make a difference in this world rather than being satisfied to blend in. Thanks for your willingness to stand up and stand out, and for your ability to do that without ever raising your voice. Thank you for inventing "going green" before anyone else did. Thank you for every can and every piece of garbage that you ever picked up in an effort to make the world a cleaner and better place. Thank you for not judging any of us. Thank you for every stranger’s banjo that you ever played in a gas station while waiting for the tanks to fill.

Thank you for all the joy you brought to all the hearts of those you love you, not the least of which was mine. Thank you for not being afraid to live – and for not being afraid to die. We love you, and we will never, never forget you. The world may not seem to notice, but the hearts of those that truly knew you will never really be the same without you.

Dave Climbs at Palisades
Dave Climbs at Palisades
Dave Caves at Rumbling Falls
Dave Caves at Rumbling Falls
Dave Climbs at Sandrock
Dave Climbs at Sandrock

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