Saturday, January 12, 2008

In Memory of Michael McQuaid
by Stephen Rubin, President of the Santa Fe chapter of UVA Alumni (and proud BPD patient)

Editor's note: We originally posted that it was possible that Mike McQuaid committed suicide and we apologize for the error. Someone who was close to the deceased wrote to us to say that suicide was not the cause of death, and that Mr. McQuaid died "doing something stupid." We won't speculate on what that might be. It remains that Mr. McQuaid was a BPD patient and that his death was untimely and probably sooner than necessary.

In Memory of Michael McQuaid

With much sadness, I just read of last year's death of UVA classmate (CAS 96) Michael McQuaid. McQ, as we called him, was a fun loving, entertaining and wild in all the right ways kind of guy. Smart but not pretentious he was goofy and always willing to talk and have a good time. And he was a great lacrosse player. I was manager of the lax team and he and were often roommates when we traveled and otherwise spent a lot of time together. We were neighbors fourth year and often bussed, walked, carpooled or otherwise got around campus together.

I have since learned that McQ suffered from a similar mental problem that afflicts many of people, myself included, more then people might imagine: bi-polarity. On the surface we may look like happy go lucky exuberant people but underneath we often suffer from extreme lack of self confidence, fear and sadness in the world and general depression. From what I hear, McQ, in his post UVA years, spent much of his life traveling in service of people like us and others in general around the globe having reached every continent but Antarctica in his quest to explore and help others and he was currently seeking a degree in an appropriate field.

Hearing of his death makes me quite sad. I bonded closely with Michael at Virginia and never thought as I perused the pages of the obituaries in the Alumnimag that I would read of somebody I knew so well. My heart goes out to his family and friends and all of our lacrosse compatriots.

Also, I send my support out to those who suffer from bi-polarity but are not recognized or not taken seriously by society as needing help and support. Yes, in a sense all humans are bi- olar, its called moodiness, but there are chemicals in some of our brains which make this transition more violent and harmful than it is in others. Bi-polarity is recognized by the respected psychiatric community as a treatable ailment that people who suffer from it can, with proper medication and therapy, live somewhat happy and healthy lives.

May Michael McQuaid find peace wherever he is and best wishes to his surviving family and friends.


Post a Comment

<< Home