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Truth is stranger than fiction

My dad took his life yesterday some time between 12-3 pm. 

My phone rang around 9:30pm last night, I saw my parents number come up on my phone. I was expecting to talk to mom about mothers day. I talked to my dad Monday about plans for Sunday.

That was the last time I talked to him. I am so grateful, that I got to talk to him. It was a good discussion and the last words I ever said to him were,”I love you”. Every patch of darkness that comes in I remind myself of that talk, his voice.

It is a bizzare, out of body experience.  It is surreal.  Tomorrow I will go see his body, I found myself wanting to run outside where his body was and touch him.I stopped myself because he shot himself and I did not want to see that. Not to mention the swarm of police to stop you from doing that.  I was told by an officer when I got to the house that I couldn’t go outside. 

The feelings of sadness that we will never see him again come in waves. I also experience a stream of memories of packpacking, bicycling (across Colorado twice), stories he would tell us around a campfire, trips we have taken together to the Grand Canyon and Disneyland. I called my mom today and got their voicemail,  I broke down hearing his voice, knowing I will never hear it in person again.

My dad was a Vietnam vet, an officer in the recon unit. He witnessed things that would make your skin crawl. He was awarded 2 purple hearts of bravery.He never was the same after vietnam.Depression and obsessive thoughts and flashbacks became normal. He attempted suicide many times growing up. He also got help, went on medicine,  went to therapy.  He tried and failed over and over. It became a rock and a hard place with his allergies and changing medicines. He choose to go off the medicine.

My heart is not mad. I understand his pain was bigger than him. This act was not personal, it was about ending pain. I know he was starting to loose his eyesight.  He also had feet problems,  and he never recovered from radiation from when he had prostate cancer 7 years ago. He left a suicide note ; explaining he couldn’t hear God. He just wanted to be with God. He took a plaque from the wall psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepard, he makes me lie down in green pastures… He shot himself looking at that.

I don’t think mental illness is different than physical illness.  Some people commit suicide if their cancer returns. His was mental and he fought a good fight. He couldn’t keep going.

I miss him so much! I know we are grieving his loss. He however is not in pain, surrounded by love. That brings me great comfort he no longer suffers.

My sister had been  estranged from him. I feel so terrible for this happening during that time. My peace comes from knowing I got to have a lot of hearts to heart with him over the past couple months. I got to apologise for being a disrespectful brat growing up. I was able to communicate that I forgave him and he did the best he could like we all do as parents. It brings me peace that those words were spoken.

I have never experienced death to someone so close to me. The shock that makes you feel numb. The surge of sadness.  The happy memories. I sat in his leather rocking chair and was surrounded by his things, I picked up his wallet and looked through it. I picked up his shoe and just fell apart knowing his foot would never be in it.

I feel his presence more now. Strange,  like he is here.

When I talked to my therapist,  he mentioned ,’that I will experience detachment at work.’  I asked him,’ how long to take off work?’ It is an individual answer to your circumstances.

We are doing a memorial to celebrate his life. I will be working on that from hear on out. I am going to write about him and all the things he taught me, the things I loved about him, calling my daughters,” hot shots.” His bravery and service to our nation. 

I love him and will miss him greatly.  I am proud to be his daughter.

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Mom and dad's 40 year high school reunion

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6 thoughts on “Truth is stranger than fiction

  1. Words never seem to communicate what I want them to – right now they are terribly inadequate. I am so sorry. Please know that you & your family are in my heart, thoughts, & prayers. Sending you love and peace. ❤

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