It’s the 18th anniversary of my dad’s death.
He killed himself.
I wish there were some less offensive words to describe what happened. I think the words commit suicide sounds so violent. I guess it’s a violent act when one turns on himself. So I am trying on ‘killed himself’ today.
I swamp he was in that much pain.
I swamp I couldn’t stop it.
I heard a voice when I left and I knew something was about to shift forever. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew.
I swamp I left to go away for the weekend.
I swamp he was supposed to go too and he refused.
I swamp it was my then-husband’s birthday and I chose to go celebrate. I chose to go away for the weekend even when my Dad wouldn’t come.
I swamp it was my daughter’s birthday 2 days later and I held her 6th birthday party inside of that pain.
I have a wide range.
I swamp my sister found him. I swamp we haven’t spoken in 3.5 years.
I swamp I had to deliver the news to my grandma that her son had attempted to take his own life.
I am grateful he lived 8 weeks in the hospital and that there was hope.
I am grateful I got to say goodbye.
I was the health proxy and we had to let him go. He was a brilliant man and living brain dead was not an option. I carried out the wishes he made clear to me.
I swamp we took him off life support on Mother’s Day. I was with my grandma that day. I look at pictures of her from that day and I wonder how she sat through lunch in my backyard. I think it all sucks balls.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I am doing great. I loved my dad and we had a great relationship. He taught me about life and loved me so much. He was funny, brilliant, an incredible mathematician and so generous. He was always trying to learn about relationships and work on himself. I forgive myself for what happened. I didn’t know.
I used to think I was the CEO of the Universe and if I had only not gone that weekend, or if I had said the right thing it wouldn’t have happened. It turns out I couldn’t control anything.
I left to go to that wedding. I chose. He chose. He left my house and swallowed a shitload of pills. I used to think it was so selfish of him. How could he do that to me? To our family? To the kids? But that has all alchemized into compassion. He was in so much pain he just had to make it stop. I have a lot of love and compassion for him there. I wish I had known more at the time and yeah, I wish it didn’t happen.
It’s a big weight to carry. I used to think it was a burden to carry. I had shame about it and kept it a secret for a long time. Talking about it helps, and I am shocked that I am writing about it here.
I have learned to feel my feelings. Some years this day has been easy and sometimes it’s been really hard. This year I cried a lot. It feels good to honor the sadness and create a space for the truth. So I let myself feel it all today— the suicide, the loss, and the sadness in my heart of missing him.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255