Day 8: A Hodgepodge Before the Tournament

Today is filled with a lot of mixed things going on.  The big event today is Kristin Chenoweth at the Russian Tea Room.  I’m so excited that I’m going to be able to photograph her today. 

The news for today…

1. The hockey wives have decided to develop a fund to help the wives of the Lokomotiv club.  You can donate here.  So far, I see that Eric Nystrom, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Fedor Tyutin have donated to the fund.  Tamara Ribeiro (Mike Ribeiro’s wife) even posted that the Dallas Stars wives are going to try to sell bracelets at American Airlines Center.

For those who are not Facebook donation savvy…there’s a link to the left that says DONATE.  Follow the directions after clicking on that link. 

2.  Sean Avery threatens to punch out NY Post reporter.   Alright, it made me laugh.  Seriously…it made me laugh, especially after reading the NY Post news on the Devils yesterday.  That NY Post…they just keep on making enemies instead of friends.

3. If anything, last week’s hockey devastation has shown that when it comes to hockey, there are no barriers when an entire team is lost.  There’s no KHL or NHL…there’s just a hockey community.  We felt the loss as if it were one of our own teams…not just the KHL’s team.  Because of that, KHL president Medvedev said that the tragedy made him rethink his relationship with the NHL. “Need to meet with Bettman, take steps forward.” 

There is always a silver lining in even the worst of situations.  Even good can come from the most horrific moments in history.

4.  HBO has started filming 24/7 today with the New York Rangers.  That reminded me that I had to decide whether to request (before the season has even started) if I can cover the Winter Classic (even if as a photographer)…or put down a couple thousands of dollars for ONE ticket to the game.  We’ll see what ends up happening.  I’m thinking…I may end up buying a ticket to the game…unless some New York Ranger or Philadelphia Flyer takes pity on me and scores me a ticket.  [Hint, Hint.]

5.  NHL All-Stars.  Looks like I may be in Canada a lot in January.  The All-Stars game takes place on January 29th in Ottawa. 

6. Devils Golf Tournament.  The 2012 NJ Devils golf tournament takes place tomorrow at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, NJ.  I’ll be running around the golf course all day taking photographs.  If you’re not following on Twitter, I suggest you do so for photos during the day and random discussions.  @MichelleKenneth

7. Wade Belak & Depression.  There is a reason why I decided not to do a special piece on Wade Belak after he committed suicide a few weeks ago.  I think the last entry at Losing 100 Pounds of Unhappiness should explain it all.  If I know someone has committed suicide and has left behind loved ones like a wife and children, I do pass judgment.  When you’ve been that wife or that lover or that girlfriend…there are some things that are very hard to discuss.  Anger is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  Forgiveness comes later.  This article written by Michael Landsberg is probably the only thing you should ever read about Wade Belak and depression.

It’s written by a person who lives with depression.  There was one point he makes in his article that I’ve thought about a lot since Wade died, “Suicide is what happens when the angel of death and the angel of mercy start working together.” 

The last person to commit suicide in my life was my boss a year or two ago.  He had just started working at the company.  He talked about his kids like they were the world to him. 

But a week before he killed himself, we started to notice that something was off in the universe, especially when he was around.  We’re talking weird stuff…like little imps messing with you and the people around you. 

Something weird had happened right after he passed my desk.  I turned to my co-worker and said, “Did you feel that?”  She said, “Yes.  That is so weird.”  Then I heard that laugh…that impish laugh that accompanies death. 

That weekend, he killed himself. 

On Monday, his real first official day after spending 2 weeks in training, he didn’t show up to work.  I thought it was strange. 

That night, during meditation, you know that time that’s supposed to be all peaceful and carefree…your one on one time with God…God decided to show me something else.  He said, “You can’t save him.  It’s already too late.”  He showed me my boss…dead.

The next day, my boss didn’t show up to work again.  I called human resources and said something’s wrong.  I called him.  He never returned my calls.  I emailed him, text messaged him and nothing. I asked them if they would please call someone to find out if he’s returning to work. 

That night, his mother called the office and spoke to the Human Resources Director and said that he had committed suicide.  The worst of it…she asked the Director to tell me thank you for letting them know, because it was my worry that alerted them that something was wrong.  If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have found him.

Personally, they could have left out that last part.  I’m too fragile when it comes to that stuff.  I was afraid to meditate after that.  I actually had to get counseling from the sisters at the meditation center.  I was afraid that God would show me something like that again. 

After some time, I was able to meditate again, but it just wasn’t the same. 

Knowing the details of Belak’s death…I’m just too fragile to talk about it.  But I’m glad that Landsberg did.  Truth be known, no one knows what was going through Wade’s mind when he decided to leave this world.  But I do know one thing is for sure, when those little imps start whispering in your ear…if you can’t find the light to get out of that darkness, they will tell you things so horrific about yourself that you feel like ending it all. 

I know, because I’ve been to that point.  But if it wasn’t for meditation, I never would have sensed that evil was following me.  I never would have known how to banish it from my mind.  It’s like a switch.  You can flip on the light, or keep walking in the darkness. 

I recognize that impish laugh.  It surrounds death.  I say their impish, because they like to do very mischevious things to the living.  It’s all in an effort to destroy that person.

Landsberg’s discussion on Belak and depression is probably one of the best stories I’ve ever read about depression and suicide.  It’s one of those…don’t try to understand what was going on through his mind when he left behind his wife and two kids.  Just don’t try to understand.


In the other world…I’ve been reading “The Paris Wife.”  It’s a story about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife.  So far it’s been a great backdrop to the places I’ll be visiting while I’m in Paris.  I can’t wait to sit in the same cafes that Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Joyce frequented.  Who knows…after this trip, I may not want to come back to the States.

What I find interesting is that while Hemingway was trying to get his book off the ground and get someone interested in publishing his work, he lived in Paris with his newlywed wife, living off of freelance work for the Toronto Star and International News Service.  His heart was never in being a reporter.  He went from one rejection letter to the next.  Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein both tried to help Hemingway find his way to getting published.

Despite the rejections in his career, he still carried on.  He knew he would be published someday.  He kept chasing that dream, no matter what the cost. 

You know, I admire that about Hemingway.  He reminds me of myself, as well as how pursuing a dream is all the same routine.  You have to keep going at it again and again and again until one day you reach your brilliance and someone out there understands it enough to publish your stories.  But the point of it all…you have to start from somewhere.  I believe the old adage is true that the more hours you clock in to achieve your dream…the more likely your dream will come true.  10,000 hours is all it takes according to Malcolm Gladwell (“The Outliers”).

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind