Former Kansas City Star sports reporter and SportsInReview.com editor Martin Manley shot himself in front of a police station yesterday morning. His suicide note instructed whoever found him not to contact loved ones — he had already sent them notes. He also left a whole website explaining his actions.
I’ve planned to end my own life for as long as I remember. I didn’t put a date on it, however, until June 11, 2012. I never accepted the (what I would call…) archaic notion that I should simply die at some point – either in a long drawn out miserable death or in an instant for which I was not prepared. That was an insane thought in my orderly world and I knew the only way I could be confident about going out the way I wanted was to do it at a relatively early age.
I was pretty much comfortable living a somewhat abnormal life because I was simply not willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to have a more normative life. Besides, I always felt that being different was something to be proud of. Although “normal” is a moving target and is nothing like it was 30 years ago, I stayed well in front of the term for most of my life and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Reading through the site’s pages, you’ll quickly notice just how organized and deliberate everything is. He wrote: “I decided I wanted to have one of the most organized good-byes in recorded history and I think I will be successful.”
Where there is organization and obvious intelligence though, there’s a terrible lack of happiness. He wrote on the picture page:
My mom said I was always a happy baby. It seems odd to me that would be the case considering I’m not sure I ever really learned what happiness was as an adult.
Manley had two ex-wives, but no children. He wanted what the luckiest of us have: loved ones to remember him.
The point of this is that with only a brother and sister, no children, no nieces or nephews, I will have been forgotten pretty fast unless I did something that was way outside the box. And, so would my parents have been forgotten. At least on this site, I also remembered them. As long as MartinManleyLifeAndDeath.com exists, so do their memories.
And, for that, I do not apologize.
The least we can do for Manley is to ensure he’s not forgotten. But even better, if there’s a Martin Manley in your life, reach out to him or her.