First of all, as a person who thinks of listening to opera (and even writing operas) as a way of "safely" working out emotional situations that people in real life don't usually ponder in public, I can appreciate the extremes of emotions that opera singers, particular great ones like Jerry Hadley, have to understand, as well as bring to life, night after night. When Jerry Hadley sang, it was real. He had a beautiful voice and great dramatic understanding, and he was a great musician.
I became fascinated by him when I heard him sing the emotionally-complicated role of Jimmy Mahoney in Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and was amazed to learn that he grew up on a farm in rural Illinois, and went to school in Illinois. Since I know that he was close with people I know and work with, he is kind of like a neighbor, which makes this whole situation even harder to process.
Then there is the suicide question--a question that is really the largest of taboo questions. A failed suicide attempt is riddled with confusion. Hadley is now on life support with serious brain damage, and is not expected to live. We can talk about his singing career in the past tense, but we don't have the chance to put his life into perspective. Nobody does. I feel for his family and for his close friends, and for all the people who knew him and worked with him.
There are people who will hear him for the first time, people who are new to opera but who read the news on line, perhaps, now that he can no longer sing. And they will be moved. In a way I wish the media-driven world could be arranged in such a way that people who have influence would use this fantastic technology of seemingly-unlimited musical access to point the way to the recorded work of singers who might be a little past their vocal prime, but are still complicated artistic human beings with the same emotional needs that they had when they were actively performing. When the applause is over all of us, whether we are great opera singers or not, need some kind of emotional cushion to help us move on with our lives.
It must be hard to be a person with a natural gift and a brilliant career that existed in the (not so recent) past. Instrumentalists sometimes have to deal with the problem due to injury or Illness, but a singer's voice is an instrument with a finite lifespan. Some singers, like Domingo, devote their energies to conducting. Some go into musical administration (like Sills) or composition (like Viardot) or teaching. Some are happy and fulfilled, and some are not.
Musicians like Jerry Hadley are a sensitive lot, and we can't afford to lose anyone else due to whatever factors the musical market might present, like the value of youth over experience for tenor roles, the necessity to pander to audiences with pop music, or simply the huge number of excellent musicians serving a listening public that is not as large and as supportive as it should be in proportion to the population.
Please read what Frank Thompson, Richard Slade, Dick Strawser, and Daniel Gundlach have to say about Jerry Hadley.