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Losing my Dad to suicide


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We had a family owned business. My husband was listes as the 2nd person to call in case of an emergency. I answered that call at 4:30 am telling us that there was a fire at one of our buildings and they needed a key holder present to enter the building. He arrives shortly before me and told them that the metal frame of the truck was my Dad's truck and they needed to look further. A short time later we were informed a body was found. I guess since I was the most composed, the fire Marshall askes me if my Dad was missing any body parts (fingers, toes, limbs, etc.). I told him that Dad was missing the index finger of his right hand (he used to squeeze our knee with it and get our funny bone) from a lawn mower accident as a child. I asked him if that was Dad in the building. He couldn't answer during an ongoing investigation. I simply said "you already did." We watches them wheel the body out in a bag. While we didn't see the effects on his body, the vision was very clear. My Mom couldn't comprehend what was going on and kept asking us to take her to other buildings he owned and to their barn to find him. It happened on a Wednesday. They finally confirmed his identity thru previous MRI scans late Friday afternoon. His memorial was scheduled for Saturday. I still rub the cold marble dome of his ashes when I am at my Mom's house. It reminds me of all the times I would rub his bald head when I came in to their house.

You have been shipwrecked and feel like you are drowning right now. We didnt have the luxury of grief, we had a business to run. So it took us much longer. I was a zombie, my only purpose was to make sure my Mom ate for over 18 months. When it hit, it hit hard. But the waves will change. Originally posted by a Reddit reader in response to a question about dealing with grief. I hope hit helps...

"Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

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