Happy Birthday Daddy 1940-1992

I’m reposting for Mental Health Awareness Month. If you know someone who is suicidal or you think will harm themselves please encourage them to go to the nearest hospital.


The morning after you killed yourself we went to secure the house. I knew immediately you suffered slowly. Among the papers, trash, and clothes I found your lockbox. The divorce paperwork to my mother, every card I gave you as a child. I found the pad you were writing on. Your Bible on the coffee table, dried tears as you read Job.

The note had 11:30 a.m. written in the corner. I could see you called your best friend and the phone number to a suicide line. There were words and a drawing that made no sense. Granny paralyzed, crying, asking why. The house ransacked, not sure anything made sense to her.

Dirty dishes piled high, nothing in the refrigerator, how did you live like this, how long? You phoned me several times in the months before your death. Delusional and highly paranoid each time. Someone was tapping your phone, they were trying to get you and the rest I could not understand, you were already gone. As much as I hated you, I cried, begged you not to kill yourself, trying to reason Granny would never be the same. I paid your bills for months. You weren’t in touch with reality.

The outcome will not change if determined. I knew you would take your life and told no-one. I’ve wondered what went through your mind in the hours doodling to writing the note, then killing yourself. I received the call at 10:00 p.m. Gramps said your dad has done away with himself. I called right back to see if you were dead or going to the hospital.

The boxes of cassettes were next to your bed, taking months to listen to. You were mentally ill, not under the care, no medications. Your temper went 1-10 in seconds, obnoxious, loud, racist, screaming, out of control.

I think of you one day a year.




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