Life story: Man fought depression courageously, family says

On up days, John “Eric” Lund cherished his friends, family, landscaping and being outdoors.

There were down days when Lund was depressed and reclusive.

Diagnosed as bipolar, Lund was beset by mood swings. On Dec. 5, Lund climbed a tree at the Port of Everett marina, his family said, and after years of struggling, finally found his own peace.

“Many people who are bipolar end up suicidal,” said his mother, Nanette Meade. “Bipolar was the cause of death.”

She said that on his up cycles, her son was very imaginative.

“Depression lasted several months,” she said. “He was strong and courageous. It takes a soldier to make it through.”

Lund, 31, was a gentle soul, his mother said, not judgmental, the nucleus of the family. He ate Skittles, had zero body fat and played pool with his friends.

“He was a bit of a daredevil,” his mother said. “He loved skateboarding and go-karting. He had an engineer’s mind.”

A sharp dresser, Lund could wear white shoes for a year and they would still look brand new. He was careful about his appearance, his mother said.

John “Eric” Lund leaves his father, John Gilbert Lund; his mother, Nanette Meade; an older sister, Hollie Lund; an ex-wife, Amy Anderson, and her two children, Tanner and Courtney.

Lund went to Edmonds-Woodway High School. He dreamed, with his father, of cruising around the world on his father’s boat. Lund was a landscaper and owned his own business for a while.

“He took pride in his knowledge and skills,” his mother said. “He designed yards with water features and streams.”

In the summer of 2008, Lund visited his sister in the Hood River area of Oregon.

“We grew up spending summers sailing around the San Juan Islands with my Dad and I can’t tell you how many hours Eric and I spent rowing the dinghy around the bays,” Hollie Lund said. “The rowboat was usually tied off to the sailboat, unless Dad was with us, but we didn’t care.”

That summer in Oregon, Hollie Lund said, her brother reminded her to get the most out of every moment of life.

They went whitewater rafting and her brother looked like he was 6 years old again, leaping on boulders and climbing trees. They jumped off cliffs into the icy water.

The next day, they went kayaking.

Lund attacked the new sport with verve.

“He got turned around backwards at one point, but he got himself straight and kept on going. His grin was so big by the time we finished that you couldn’t help but smile just looking at him.”

Lund’s father said that without medical insurance, it was hard for his son to stay on medication to control his mental health condition. He was on a new medication before he died.

“He will be remembered for his good times,” John Lund said. “Nobody will remember the negative times.”

A few days before the suicide, Meade said her son seemed to be saying goodbye to people. He told her he wanted to find peace.

Lund spent the day before he died on his father’s boat at the Port of Everett.

His body was discovered at 10 a.m. the next day.

“We made plans for the future,” John Lund said. “He made appointments for the next week.”

“I look back,” his father said. “He had no signs to me.”

John Lund said it’s imperative that people who are bipolar see mental health professionals.

“There is a lack of understanding in society about the help my son needed,” Lund said. “We as a nation should provide help to those who need it. I so believe that.”

Friends gathered at the tree to pay their final respects. Nanette Meade said they shared special memories.

“We said goodbye to him at the last place his feet touched.”

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451,

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