Bob Bergeron, whose self help book for mature gay men was about to be published, stunned his family and friends when he took his own life in early January.

Bergeron's life – and the possible reasons behind his sudden suicide – are parsed out in a profile published Friday in The New York Times. It starts with informing readers that Bergeron was so cheery that people sometimes found it off-putting, then posits that he was obsessed with his fading beauty.

The 49-year-old therapist had set out to help other gay men grow older gracefully.

“I've got a concise picture of what being over 40 is and it's a great perspective filled with happiness, feeling sexy, possessing comfort relating to other men and taking good care of ourselves,” he said on his website. “This picture will get you results that flourish long-time.”

Bergeron's book, The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond, was about to be published when the author decided to end his life.

The book, according to a fellow therapist, “emphasized what to do when you're not attractive or you no longer have the appeal you once had. The idea was to transcend that and expand your sexual possibilities.”

A note left behind said, “It's a lie based on bad information,” with an arrow pointing to the name of Bergeron's now-canceled book.