Passing of My Friend James Ralston(Malachai Bahir'an)

I haven't really participated much in the community of Aetolia in the last couple months, I've been spending my time on other things. Despite this, I wanted to inform everyone that I heard from Malachai's player's Aunt on facebook earlier today, and she said he took his own life last night.

I am not sure who all has and hasn't met him in Aetolia this past year, or remembers him at all, but he made his character back in March of 2015 or so, and joined House Bahir'an. We hit it off immediately, and I mentored him and we started getting to know each other outside of the game as well. I could tell right away he was really smart and creative and had big potential. He even wrote a short story about the 'task' I gave him for his Embrace.

James and I started our Skype group for Aetolia together back then, and invited Catty. It was just the three of us at first, and then later on we kept adding more and more people, and over time he got less and less involved. After his divorce last year, he stopped playing Aetolia mostly to focus on his real life. Things seemed to get harder for him. Eventually he met a new girl, and she forbade him from playing Aetolia. I still got to meet him though, because the two of them moved in with @Callidora and her fiance.

It's rather selfish of me, but I really wish he would have talked to me about what he was feeling. I feel like I could have helped him. Maybe I could have messaged him first a bit more. I know Callidora is feeling pretty bad about it, like she could have helped him more too, but it was really his choice in the end. He leaves behind his parents, his girlfriend and ex-wife, and his little daughter.

I just wanted anyone who met him at any point to know, and I wanted to remind everyone that Suicide is a very real problem, and particularly with people who play these games. James is not the first, and sadly likely won't be the last, so if you have the chance to help someone with this always be on the lookout to do so. I wish I had messaged him more in the last couple of months, and now I simply don't have the chance anymore. Below are some pictures of him in the better times of his life.

Thanks for reading.

"Hell hath no hold on a warrior’s mind, see how the snow has made each of us blind. Vibrant colors spray from new dead, staining the earth such a beautiful red."


  • You have my deepest condolences, Malok. I know that feeling- like you somehow could have done something to stop what occurred 'if only'- but you are absolutely correct that it was his choice and you shouldn't carry the weight of his decision on your own shoulders. He probably wouldn't have wanted, or even anticipated, your guilt as a result of his action. I lost a dear childhood friend myself back in '09 who I'd let contact with slide, and I've had those regrets that I didn't reach out to her sooner but it is what it is. The path of communication goes both ways and some will hide their pain so effectively that no one can help in time. You can't blame yourself in this.

    Sadly, suicide is the choice of those who, for some reason, don't know or accept that they have other options but there are always other options. It's also the highest act of selfishness, in my personal opinion, as ending a life affects all those who know the person- not only currently but previously too. No person is an island unto themselves.

    Anyway, stay safe, keep your loved ones close, grieve as is natural, and remember your friend as he was. Sorry you're going through this.

    --- Here's two hotlines for those having suicidal thoughts, though there's a lot more available out there:

    (United States)
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) - Veterans can get specialized support by pressing 1.
    Online Chat:

    (Most of Europe)
    EU Standard Emotional Support Number 116 123 - Free and available in much of Europe
    (Web): You say, "I know there's something I'm forgetting.."
    (Web): Sevaan says, "You forgot to border the letter with macaroni art?"
  • Like I said in the original post, James certainly isn't the only person who's done this that I've heard of from Iron Realms. There's still a lot more people we interact with that probably have these thoughts too on a daily basis and we have no idea. The biggest thing I've learned from this, is don't put off messaging a friend. Just do it. Who cares if you're bothering them? They may not be here tomorrow.

    I mean hell, I remember in October, a few months ago, I met him at Callidora's house for the first time and bought pizza for everyone and we were all happy and watching a movie. I had no idea this was going to happen in such a short time later.

    I'm hoping we see @Callidora's first post on the forums in this thread shortly, as I'd like her to share her story of James with all of you, since she lived with him for a few months.
    "Hell hath no hold on a warrior’s mind, see how the snow has made each of us blind. Vibrant colors spray from new dead, staining the earth such a beautiful red."
  • James and I were good friends, and we were extremely close for a long time. I met him through Aetolia, and I was always extremely jealous of Malok for obtaining him as a childe because he just showed so much potential, and he always emoted so well and with such detail. 

    I am a shy person, and it's hard for me to speak up sometimes, because I'm usually concerned about what others will think and how they will judge or react to my opinions. James is the exact opposite -- He is very assertive, and he has pushed me on numerous occasions to think the same, both in game and in life. He always tells me 'If they make you feel bad or unhappy then unicorn them.' (I've never used these forums before, so I didn't think vulgar language was appropriate, however someone mentioned that using unicorns as a replacement is socially acceptable here. Don't judge me). He is so perceptive and is usually accurate in sensing when something is wrong. He calls you out on it with a simple 'You're lying' and 'Tell me what's wrong so we can fix it'. We bicker like children, however he's usually the more mature one in our relationship. The adult in most cases. He, like me, doesn't like for others to be upset. We both grow angry and frustrated when we fail to relieve someone of their troubles or heartache. 

    James is also the only person I've ever met IN MY ENTIRE LIFE who also thinks that forks are essential utensils when eating Oreos. I can not count the nights when we did nothing but binge on Netflix, Diablo III and Dragon Age after having consumed pounds of the scrumptious delicacies. I also can not even estimate the number of rounds played in Cards Against Humanity together solely for my entertainment. Maybe a million? Zillion? 

    James moved out of my home two months ago, and shortly after that I moved to Illinois. He didn't leave on the best terms for several reasons, and because of that we lost touch. We hadn't talked since November 1st, and the last thing I told him was that he needed to stop being a hot-head and stop arguing with the people that cared about him. I told him that I would get in touch with him later. We had been bickering back and forth and he finally replied with a simple 'Thank you'. I regret never texting him back like I said I would. I regret having grown tired of being the first to text or call the other almost ninety percent of the time. I regret waiting for him to contact me first, because he never did, and now he never will. 

    I regret every action that I failed to take that could have helped him, because now we will never have the all-nighters playing Diablo like losers. We will never have mornings that we share being hungover on Jäger and all sorts of toxic crap we were stupid enough to put into our bodies. We will never again argue about how it's rude and piggish that he always eats over half of the Oreos before I realize they're in the house, or how he spends a total of three minutes eating a five-course meal for a family of twelve.

     Not only is he leaving behind his daughter, but it was overlooked that he also had been taking care of his girlfriend's young child also. A little girl who didn't have a father figure in her life until he came into the picture. I would also like to mention that he volunteered an the local animal shelter from time to time, and that he loved dogs. And my three cats that are hateful to everyone except him for some reason. 

    I think that depression is something that at times can be inescapable, and I've felt myself slip into that same dark place at least once in my life. And even though I can sympathize with the constant feelings of failure and pain, I still don't feel as though it's the right choice. It isn't the right choice. I think that at times suicide can be selfish or selfless, but you can't make that call when you know almost nothing of what that person was dealing with. Saying suicide is selfish doesn't make the feelings of a person who suffers from depression pointless. It does NOT make their emotions or thoughts invalid!! So do not say that, because it does not help.

    The choice to die is the most personal choice someone can make. Regardless of how you feel or what you're going through, the choice of suicide is YOURS. It is your life and if you want to end it, or if you feel like it is the only option left then you should know the ripples and effects it will cause. 

    James took care of two little girls, even if he didn't see them every day. Their ages are three and two. They are babies. From personal experience, losing a parent at this age can almost feel like never having one at times. When they are older they will wonder what he was like outside of what they are simply told. They will contemplate his decisions, and they will try to understand why they weren't enough to keep him here. At least once. He left a trail of people who love him and care for him behind. Who are devastated and won't recover from this. People who will forever be irreversibly affected by his actions. I know James would never make this decision without thinking of those people, and because of that his actions are selfish. You can be thoughtful and caring as well as loved and deeply missed, and you can still be selfish. 

    It's selfish of the people who love him to wish that he didn't take his own life because it will cause them untold suffering. Just because we are selfish for thinking of our own pain doesn't mean he wasn't. 
  • My condolences. I didn't know him beyond the Aetolian name, but he sounds like he was a good guy and a good buddy.
  • For anyone who would like to view his obituary, and happens to live nearby and would like to visit the service(as unlikely as this is, given how scattered we all are), information is at this link.

    Also, I'd like to thank @Callidora for having the courage to post her feelings, despite her reluctance at doing so. I also would like to thank everyone for posting, and continuing to post and remember our fellow Aetolian and friend.
    "Hell hath no hold on a warrior’s mind, see how the snow has made each of us blind. Vibrant colors spray from new dead, staining the earth such a beautiful red."
  • I'm so sorry to hear about this, and that you have to experience it. I remember when he first started playing and we had an absolute blast RPing and BSing a lot on skype. I remember when he stopped playing, and we slowly stopped talking as much on skype too. Had I known he was struggling like this, I'd of certainly done more to keep in contact. I feel terrible for those children and for those he left behind.

    Though having dealt with a significant amount of suicide in my family and several friends in my life, I'm going to strongly urge you guys not to beat yourselves up over this, or feel personally responsible for not doing more to try to help him. You had no idea, and you as an individual probably could have done nothing to stop it even if you -did- know about it. I know it hurts, it sucks, and the guilt is probably eating you alive. However, I've seen people that had a million friends around do it, and I've seen people with only a few friends that have done it. It is something that sucks, but you need to separate your feelings of guilt and just focus on grieving his loss.

    I have my own thoughts about suicide, but they probably aren't appropriate for a public forum because I'm bitter and will always be bitter about it.
  • This is a terrible and tragic loss. He will be missed and loved eternally. Many nights were well spent grinding the nose to the RP stone.

    Condolences to his friends and family- you were hit the hardest.

Sign In or Register to comment.