My Dad took his own life on July 2. I was 7. Yes I saw him lying face down not moving. My Mother was screaming his name “Reuben! Why!!?? ” she then saw me and screamed “Mandi get out of here! “. I was numb through the whole ordeal. I saw relatives get sedated because they couldn’t deal. It’s an event that lives in infamy.
How do you get over a tradgedy such as this? You never do, but you learn to cope and you become stronger. I wish I could tell you a secret to living with it. I guess I’ve dealt with it better by knowing my Dad really thought he was helping his family by no longer existing. People say suicide victims are selfish and I’m here to tell you that is far from the truth. My father was a brilliant man who worked for GTE(now Verizon) on the main frame computers that controlled most of Indiana’s GTE phone companies data services. A brilliant man with dark demons telling him lies. Depression is a disease. Even the smartest man can’t escape the dark abyss. My father couldn’t. I have never hated him. I feel sad no-one could help him. At that time there wasn’t Prozac readily available for him like today.
So every July 2 I’m stuck in this life sentence of mourning. 4 years after my Dad’s death my beloved dog Alfie got hit by a car and he died after crawling home in our garage on JULY 2. Then two years after that my best friend’s Mom was shot dead in a murder suicide by her Step Dad on JULY 2. She then had to move away. I was convinced I shouldn’t do anything on July 2. That’s irrational. I do believe I’m a country song tho. However, in all seriousness, the date nonetheless reminds me of my Dad’s demons. Why does one life event cause us to be sad even 20 + years later?
So here I am today playing the events over and over in my head. Maybe mourning makes me more grateful for my grandma who helped take care of my blind diabetic mother after he died and still takes care of me. When you’ve lost so greatly, you do have more appreciation for life’s gifts. I am for sure empathetic as a result. I may have gotten my sense of humor because of the event. I found being funny was a good distraction to my sadness. Maybe someday JULY 2 will give me something wonderful. Life is unpredictable so the possibility is 50/50 chance unless you choose to see only the good and it’s 100% chance of wonderful.
In memory of (Charles) Reuben, who parished at 33 but gained his angel wings to watch over me.