I recently received an email from an Australian organization, The Word, asking if they could use an image of mine on their web site. I’ve always believed the internet was a communal resource and never say no to a request for using a photograph. I assumed the request was from an account I have on stockxchange , a royalty-free image bank.

Suicide, a lithograph by ted drakeI was surprised to find the image requested was one a lithograph about Ken, a friend who committed suicide over 10 years ago. I met Ken through an AIDS organization. He’s life revolved around taking care of his partner, who suffered every imaginable condition associated with the disease. When Ken’s partner passed away, Ken felt empty and lost. What was he to do now? Everything he had known seemed to be gone.

Ken and I went to the gay-pride parade that year and marched with the AIDS Foundation float. We had a great time and spent the day at the festival and that evening at a restaurant. Ken seemed happy and proud of the care he had given his partner

Two days later, Ken shot himself to death.

I made this lithograph shortly afterwards. The loss was still fresh, the dismay palpable. I still think of you Ken. Maybe not everyday, but your memory still pops up. I hope my lithograph and your story helps someone going through similar pains.