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I'm writing this because I feel I need to talk about it with people who understand.  I've been talking with a therapist for the better part of a year, and my current girlfriend has been very supportive, but they can't understand fully and I'm hoping just writing this will help.  I apologize for the lengthy post, but it is all relevant to the story and I feel I need to write it down.


My father took his life two days after my mother's birthday in November of 2013.  He used a shotgun.  He was found by a friend.  I'm both grateful that our immediate family didn't find him (I have a younger sister and brother both over 18 at the time) and horrified that someone else had to endure that.  I was 26 at the time.


My mother began divorce proceedings in late January of 2013 due to marital issues largely stemming from monetary differences.  My father always had a very hard time holding down a job.  As the months went on my father became increasingly agitated and belligerent, even forcing my mother’s firm to enact a restraining order against him.  He always had a history of depression but took the prescribed medicine like Tylenol, only popping pills when he felt he needed them, and only giving therapy a cursory try.  Growing up he was not around much, and my memories of him are mostly of him in an angry or depressed state.  I always had so much hope that someday we would have some semblance of a normal relationship but it never happened.


I had been aware of my mother’s wishes to divorce him since the age of 17 so it came as no surprise to me when she decided to go through with it.  I frequently ended up in the role of middle man, talking with both of them separately and desperately attempting to help them in my own way.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had just stayed out of all of it.


During this time my father would frequently call me and request that I gather my siblings and intervene and convince my mother how terrible of a mistake she was making.  He would frequently say things such as “you don’t understand what the result of this divorce will be.”  When I would ask him to go into more detail, he would simply respond with “you’ll see.” 


In March or April of 2013 during one such conversation, I firmly stated that my siblings and I didn’t need to be involved in the divorce.  My father got very upset and made some very, very, very nasty and ignorant comments regarding my girlfriend’s mother, who is a lesbian and divorced her husband in order to live the life she kept buried.  When I requested that he take back what he said, he responded by telling me it was the truth and that I needed to hear it.  I ceased almost all verbal communications with him at that point in time.


For the next 7 months or so I barely communicated with him.  Any communication we did have was in anger.  He refused to apologize for his comments and I made it a point to make him aware that his refusal was unacceptable.  I still can’t remember the last words I said to him, but I fear they were in anger.


During this time he acquired a new job that helped stroke his ego enough to cause him to dig his heels in even more.  He was a very hard working man, however, his personality was such that he refused to take orders and this eventually led to his being let go a short time before his death.  After being let go he lost a substantial amount of weight, and appeared to finally give in to the divorce proceedings and began to cooperate with the judges, lawyers and the like.  He despised lawyers almost as much as he despised therapists.  His world didn’t deem these professions as necessary and he saw them as useless contributors to society.  He was a farmer by profession.


About the same time, my relationship fell apart, a new one began and I switched jobs all in the same month or so.  I’m sure some of this change was inherently tied to the stress, guilt and hopelessness I felt at the situation.  Approximately one month and a half into my new job, my mother arrived in the lobby, hysterical and broke the news to me.


I was told shortly before his death that my father requested that someone get me to call him.  I never did.  I did agree to go to thanksgiving dinner with him separately via text message but he never responded to my text.  The date he proposed didn’t work and I suggested a new date.  He killed himself a few days later.  I will always wonder if I avoided becoming the victim of a murder suicide by proposing a different date.  His suicide note to me simply said “the loss of your love is forgiven.”


I am bearing an almost overwhelming amount of guilt that I never called him.  I can’t remember the last words I said to him.  I am so angry at him for this and at the same time I am trying to understand the depth of his despair and it is crushingly depressing. 


I have so many regrets for all the memories he deemed not important enough to make with me and this regret has spilled over into other facets of my life.  I feel like I am having a mid-life crisis at the age of 27.  I have been in therapy since the beginning of the divorce proceedings and that has probably saved me from making incredibly terrible life choices but I feel like I’m stuck in these awful cycles of rage, depression, guilt, etc.


The unanswered questions are driving me crazy.  I am reminded all of the time by the smallest things.  I just want to feel better.  I want to talk to him one last time and tell him how sorry I am.  I feel like a terrible son.


Thanks for listening to my story.

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Dear RKC, I am so very, very sorry for the passing of your Father. I am so sorry that he was a difficult person and he has left you with the guilt you are feeling.


I am sure you saw my response to unyolden's post and I saw your response to her, which was very good advice and so true. While my sweet Mother that was the one that committed suicide, I had an extremely difficult Father growing up and it was his way or the highway. My brother went for years not talking to my Father, so I do understand how difficult a Father like that can be.


Know that it was not your fault. He may have been sad that you were not talking to him, but just think how many people each year have family problems, arguments, do not talk to each other, yet they do not committ suicide. As I was telling unyolden, there is something within themselves that is just not right. He had trouble coping, and he was very, very tired deep inside of trying to cope, or medication altered his thinking abilities. Either way, you are not to blame. You are not responsible for his actions.


We do feel tremenous guilt because we did not see their pain, or what they were thinking, or on and on and on, it is never ending. You are not a terrible son. It sounds like you did all you could do. There comes a point in time, in order to keep your sanity and a positive life, that you have to disconnect from people that are negative and drag you down emotionally, even if it your own family. Tough love I suppose.


God created you a very special and unique individual. Emphasis on "individual." Long before you were given the parents you had, you had a purpose, a mission. You were sent here and given those parents, family, and friends. Our parents helped us along the way, but your true Father, walked beside you every step of the way, in order for you to find your purpose. Earthly parents, being human, have faults and defects, we all do. But, you still have your purpose, with or without them. We love them dearly, but they are very fallible. You now must go on and find your purpose and be the very best you can be and enjoy life to the fullest. Apparently he did not enjoy life but you can. You can honor his memory by achieving happiness. Your Dad's spirit is still ever so present, you just don't see him. But you will again one day and all will be well. He understands that now and I am sure he understand now how he has made you feel. He hears you.


We are very sad that they had their traumatic issues to deal with, but all we can do is go forward and make our lives the best they can be. You have already proven to be so much stronger than you ever thought possible, you have already proven to be more compassionate than you ever thought possible. As in most things in life, you have grown and learned through pain.


Our lives have been altered forever. My heart goes out to you and I pray that God will give you comfort, peace and strength. Be good to yourself, love yourself, and know that you deserve a positive, happy life.


Sincerely, Sherry

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