When I write anything about Junior Seau, I still get caught up reading reflections on his life and his final days, and they inevitably turn into discussions about how his death is an example of the severe concussion trauma that plagues players long after their retirement. But perhaps more importantly, Seau’s suicide was also a reminder of how difficult it is to walk away from such an emotionally-charged game that’s steeped so deeply in a week-to-week, and month-to-month routine.
And when I read those reflections similar to the several I wrote back in early May, the instinctive reaction is to want answers to questions that are difficult to answer. And even if the answers become plain and clear, they still may not be easy to accept.
Was Seau suffering from brain trauma as we’ve all assumed? Or was has main malady a sleep condition which required heavy medication that contributed to his depression? What about a degenerative brain condition, like Dave Duerson’s?
We may get those answers soon.
Seau’s family has decided to donate a portion of his brain tissue to the National Institutes of Health for further study, according to The Associated Press. Not much beyond that is known right now, like when results can be expected, and if those results will even be made available to the public. But it’s apparent that after being initially hesitant and uncertain, Seau’s family has decided to push ahead and see if a condition of some kind led to the linebacker’s decision to commit suicide.