A very personal and taboo post

A very personal and taboo post

For those reading this because I sent you here…thanks

For those here who kind of know me or don’t know me at all, welcome. I apologize profusely in advance for anything you are about to read. My mind runs a million miles a minute and I find that I often write that way too. Yikes. It has taken me several months to build up the courage to even start this post, let alone finish it. I’m not great with putting how I feel into words (that’s entirely my sister’s thing), but my therapist told me to give it a whirl and see how I feel. I want to take you guys back with me. I don’t want to relive the moment we lost my dad. Instead, I want other people to see how much it affected my life after he was gone. If this could even help one person for a moment, that is the best I could ever ask for.

March 15th, 2017. The Ides of March. The worst day of my life.

Nothing can prepare you for a phone call from your younger sibling telling you your father “passed away” during the night. I put the term passed away in quotations because I really hate using the phrase. However, until I can find a better phrase for “my dad committed suicide that night”, passed away might just have to work. It was 6:45am and I was just waking up for work, as per the usual. I remember looking at my phone to snooze, only to see that I had a missed call from my sister, Laura. This was strange as she knows I don’t get up before 7am on weekdays and the fact that she had called at 5:45am. What could be so important that she called that early? I saw a text from her that said “text me when you wake up” which shouldn’t be alarming, but in that instance I was already freaked out. I immediately was awake and called her back. As soon as she answered, I knew the answer. Dad was gone. I asked no real questions, only hung up the phone in shock. Ten seconds later, reality set in and I immediately lost it. I walked out of the bedroom into the living room sobbing. Michael (my boyfriend) was already awake and rushed to me. “Krissie! What’s wrong?? What happened??” It took me forever to repeat what my sister had just said to me and then I collapsed on the couch. My entire body was numb and I couldn’t move. Eventually after a few minutes, I found the strength to get on the phone and call my mom. That was one of the most awful conversations I have ever had in my life. My parents were married 32 years before they got divorced, and had been divorced approximately 5 at the time of his death. I know my parents couldn’t really stand each other in those later years, but hearing my mom breakdown after I told her my dad died is not a conversation I wish on anyone. After that phone call, I went into breakdown mode. I knew I had told my sister at one point that I would drive down to Sicklerville to be with her and my aunts and uncles. However, I could not move. There was nothing that could get me to physically get off of the couch. The fact that my dad died and he was still in that house RIGHT THEN with them was more than I could handle. I at this point did not know how or what caused my father’s death other than suicide. I remember texting my boss and telling him I wouldn’t be at work but not telling him why. I remember texting my friend Merideth what actually happened and had her go tell my boss because I was unable to. I remember ignoring every single phone call I got that day and every single text. Eventually, Michael got me to go down to Sicklerville where I endured the longest several hours of my entire life. I also learned what happened to my dad during those last few hours.

According to my sister and my aunt, my aunt had come down from Massachusetts the previous night to try and help my dad feel better. Dad had been on a really bad drinking binge and saying crazy things to my sister. Only a few weeks before did we have dad in the hospital for possibly drinking windshield wiper fluid…there’s no way he’d try that again..right? So, my aunt was down to try and do an intervention with dad and two of his other siblings were also on their way down. That night, dad locked himself into his bedroom. Laura and my aunt Jude said goodnight. The next morning, it was my aunt and my sister who found him. Bleach. Fucking bleach is what the medical examiner found in the cup next to my dad’s bed. So, while my family tried to keep alcohol away from him, my dad was hurting so badly that he decided poisoning himself was the only way out. I am not sure how my sister handles this but let me tell you, that is a picture that I think about once a freaking day. The fact that someone can literally not want to be on this earth anymore to do something like that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Now, let me just say something. When Laura called to tell me the news…I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. There were moments in the previous months that led us to believe that this could happen. But he was our dad. Our dad was a man’s man. He was not good with his feelings or showing them for that matter. He was old school and to be honest, I’m not really sure he believed in having a “mental illness”….even though Laura and I have struggled with ours our entire life. He was a military man who never once would ever admit he had a problem, whether it be from what he saw overseas or the fact that maybe, just maybe he also had a mental illness just like his daughters. The fact that he was too damn proud to admit any of this is what ultimately made my dad take his own life. Just writing this makes me so sad and so unbelievably angry. It makes me so fucking mad that he couldn’t just admit he had a problem. It makes me angry that there wasn’t anything more that we could do, that he was going to do it regardless of what we said. It makes me sad that Laura and I have both struggled with suicide and depression and we are still here. I’m angry that he left us to clean up everything when we are still trying to figure out how to be actual adults. School doesn’t teach you how to pay for a funeral or how to sell multiple houses that aren’t in your name. These are things that Laura and I were literally tossed into! We are now doing things that typically a spouse or an older adult handle much, much later in life. But most of all, I’m sad. Dad and I may not have had a great relationship, but he was still my dad…our dad. And mental illness stole that away from us. So, if you are reading this and you know someone who is sad or depressed, maybe someone who even tried to commit suicide…let them know, you are not alone. For those who lost someone to suicide, you are not alone. Mental illness doesn’t just effect one person, it affects everyone surrounding that person.

With that, good night all. Thanks for stopping by.

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7 Replies to “A very personal and taboo post”

  1. I wish I was on the East Coast so I could give you the biggest of hugs right now. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was for you to write this; your emotion, your holistic view of the entire situation brought me to tears. I am so sorry that you’ve had to live through something so imaginable, but i am so proud of you for doing everything needed to heal (while honoring your father’s memory).

    1. Welp this definitely made me cry 😭. Thank you so much for the kind words, it took me a long time to be able to find the right words on what to say. Love ya to the moon and back 🙂

  2. Courage is what I picture when I think about how you have responded to the way you lost your dad. You could have done just as he did but you’ve chosen to have courage and work through the demons chasing your health. I have hope that your response and ability to reach out to others will help them in similar situations find the same.

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