Bill Walton Wishes He Could Have Helped Junior Seau Before Suicide

by May 08, 2012


Bill Walton, who has contemplated suicide himself in the past, is beating himself up for not being there for the recently deceased football great. Per the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I am sad, I am ashamed, I am embarrassed that I wasn’t there to tell Junior not to give up,’ Walton says. ‘When I think of the tragic scenario of last week, I only wish I could have done more. I talk to people every day. You can make it. I spend a lot of time talking people back from the brink, from the end of the cliff. It’s a duty, a responsibility I have. There is an alternative. I now know tomorrow is going to be better. I could never get from Junior that there was pain. He never portrayed that to me. I have failed Junior; I have let him down. But, oh, my gosh, I can tell you that people called me every day trying to help. I’d hang up on them. I didn’t want to talk. I turned my back on them. I know now there is a way out; a space. But on the outside, you never saw that something was different with Junior. Now he’s gone, and I am sad I didn’t help.’ In 2007, Walton went down with severe back pain. Before he had the miracle surgery in 2009, he was all but paralyzed and the pain was so fierce he saw no way out and seriously considered ending his life. How ironic it is that two of San Diego’s all-time greatest athletes and citizens contemplated suicide. Except Walton managed to escape. ‘But I was right there,’ he says. ‘If I had a gun, I would have used it. I was on the edge of the bridge, seeing if it was high enough and the ground was hard enough. The difference was that Junior wasn’t lying there helpless. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t bathe, I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t do anything. I can’t begin to re-create how bad it was and how bad it could have been. I can’t comprehend it. First, you think you’re going to die. Second, you want to die. Third, you think you’re going to live. You see no way out. You go through so many different phases. But I am so lucky. I got all the way better. I have no pain. I take no medication. And before the surgery I had no idea what life could be like without back pain. But I pulled back from the edge. I started to get better and the pain slowly stated to subside. I was able to do things that created a positive foundation that created a life worth living. I’m the lucky one. I got better.’”