About the recent incident at Comfort & Joy

About the recent incident at Comfort & Joy

Postby kitten_sf » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:17 am

On the morning of Thursday, August 30th a young man from Colorado chose to end his life in the rafters of a public tent at Comfort & Joy.

Though he was unknown to us, in the wake of his passing we're learning from those who knew him that he was creative, kind, unconventional and smart, and that he was regarded with affection by many.

His final act, committed in solitude, has one lasting effect as it brings us together to mark his passing. To all who have offered our camp their sympathy and support during this time, thank you. To all who knew him, please accept our sincere condolences.

It is estimated that there was an one hour interval between the last visit to the tent by a camp member, and the discovery of the body by a second camp member. It is believed that the tent was unoccupied during this time, and that there were no witnesses to the suicide.

One other individual, not associated in any way with the camp, was in the tent at the time the body was discovered. Emergency personnel were immediately contacted by camp members. Authorities responded within minutes and closed the scene upon arrival.

The Black Rock City Rangers, Sheriffs and other law enforcement officials who assisted us with this incident were very professional, supportive, and helpful to us at a difficult time. We are grateful for their services. We are also thankful for the warm and organized support we have received from the grief counselors from the Black Rock City Mental Health Team. They helped us openly discuss what had happened and come to a shared understanding of the morning's events.

Much of our camp was quarantined while the coroners did their jobs and we canceled that day's events (a yoga class, a queer discussion group, glitter body painting and a watercolor painting workshop).

As a camp, we decided to make a contribution to David Best's Temple of Forgiveness, where people can mourn, remember, write messages and leave items to be ceremonially burned on Sunday night. We felt the rope the young man used represented the terrible violence he committed upon himself and the people around him. By sending the rope up in flames, we hoped to allow some of that pain to disperse. None of us believe that this young man wanted to trouble us with his actions.

The members of Comfort & Joy extend their deepest sympathy to all who knew this young man. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and special people in his life. Although we will never know or understand him the way you did, he indeed touched us as well, made us grow, and hopefully become better individuals. May the rest of his journey be peaceful and lead him to the joy we all seek in our lives.

We look forward to continuing our mission of creating positive, warm and supportive queer community both in Black Rock City and the Bay Area.

With love and respect,

The Comfort & Joy Family
:: Comfort & Joy
:: http://www.playajoy.org
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Postby fluffernutter » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:13 am

Thank you for your lovely, thought inspiring words. As someone touched by suicide, they are healing words.

My heart and sympathy go out to his family and friends, to Comfort and Joy members and to all of those affected by what happened.
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Postby BitterDan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:13 pm

It must have been hard to enjoy the rest of your time at the burn with this lingering on your mind.

I heard about it on Friday morning and at first I thought it was just a playa-rumor but as more and more people brought it up I figured it had to be true. It's a shame that he felt that there was no other options even in a place of acceptance like Burning Man.

Condolences to all who knew him. :cry:
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Comfort and Joy....truely

Postby qjkoshea » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:55 am

As a member of Oral Moistening Camp and a neighbor of Comfort and Joy, I was aware of the passing of this man early in the morning of Thursday.

Sadly it reminded me of the death ( in the same manner ) of a dear freind of mine I had actually come to the Playa to honor. Although I was shocked and hurt by his choice, I came to realize he wanted to change, transform, in much the same way that we of the playa want to change and transform the world- or at least our dusty part of it(?!)

The beautiful people of Comfort and Joy have always made this place a welcoming and nurturing environment and in this place one individual felt determined enough to exchange his life for another reality.

I wish him and the members of Comfort and Joy peace and happiness now and forever...on the playa and where it counts most, in your hearts.

Love,
Quasi
former Artery member , current Oral Moistenator member ;9:00 and Desert
To make art, make life and love here and forever....
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Postby joel the ornery » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:23 am

dying is easy, living is tough.

r.i.p.
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the Bay Area Reporter gets it right!

Postby kitten_sf » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:19 pm

Money Quote:

"Nevada law enforcement officials and Burning Man organizers this week disputed a widely reported rumor stemming from a suicide at the annual festival in the Black Rock Desert last month.

Press reports and blog postings that stated that friends and members of the Comfort & Joy camp thought the hanging body of a young man was an "art piece," are untrue, according to Sheriff Ron Skinner of Pershing County, Nevada, and Andie Grace, spokeswoman for Burning Man."

FULL ARTICLE:
http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2207
:: Comfort & Joy
:: http://www.playajoy.org
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Re: the Bay Area Reporter gets it right!

Postby fluffernutter » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:40 pm

kitten_sf wrote:Money Quote:

"Nevada law enforcement officials and Burning Man organizers this week disputed a widely reported rumor stemming from a suicide at the annual festival in the Black Rock Desert last month.

Press reports and blog postings that stated that friends and members of the Comfort & Joy camp thought the hanging body of a young man was an "art piece," are untrue, according to Sheriff Ron Skinner of Pershing County, Nevada, and Andie Grace, spokeswoman for Burning Man."

FULL ARTICLE:
http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2207


I'm glad they corrected their earlier statement.

Cheryl
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Postby BAS » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:52 pm

Me, too. And I am glad to know Comfort & Joy is continuing. As sad as the incident is, I can see choosing Black Rock City as a place to take oneself out of the equation that is Life.


B.
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Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:17 pm

This rumor is still out there - i heard it at a BM gathering in Anchorage
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Postby MoisturePup » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:03 pm

mdmf007 wrote:This rumor is still out there - i heard it at a BM gathering in Anchorage


That's disappointing. Everybody in our camp was very offended by this rumor.
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Postby chiefdanfox » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:23 pm

I think everyone here has been in awe of your respect of the situation. His final decision was a heavy burden, but your sagacious report tendered solace and inspiration.
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Postby TahirHas » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:44 am

Hi friends,
Just wanted to let you know that I was one of the guys who found the body at Comfot and Joy last year. You can read a more in depth blog about what happened on myspace.com/TahirHas . Bad things happen all the time and there is no reason to think the playa is immune from that. Thank you for posting information on the kid who killed himself. I still know nothing about him and if anyone has any information on him or his people feel free to contact me at TahirHas@hotmail.com. I would love to know a little bit about his life and those who loved him...T
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