Today marks, the 4th year, that my Dad left us.
Here’s what was and is difficult to talk about. My father died by suicide. He’s one of the increasing statistic for man in their 70’s that are affected by mental illness.
There’s no shame. There is no shame in suicide. There no shame in having a disease. And it’s not a selfish act if anything it’s a selfless act. An act of all giving in love and spirit loss. Our body and mind are design and created to live. Humans are resilient even in our weakest moments, I’ve witnessed this time and time again with my own child, with cancer survivors, with other children with rare disease or brain injuries, stroke & heart attack survivors.
It’s a difficult topic to discuss because it has never been properly scientifically explored. We don’t understand the brain nor our spirit. Why some individual can be so overcome that suicide overtakes them, we may never know. The truth is genetically my family is predisposed to mental illness, when I trace my family tree into difference branch, I see mental illness in almost all corners. Yet, we never spoke of it unless suicide overtakes them then we are shocked. Most of the time, in hindsight, we can see the signs. However, is there really a way to normalized suicide? Is there be a fear that if it’s too normal that we will see an increase? How do we teach mental health to our younger generations?
I remember on my return at work when a close friend came by my cubicle, I whispered “He committed suicide” and how instantly her eyes filled with tears from the shock and sorrow of the situation. Personally, I believe at one point in our lives, we’ve all came across a suicidal thoughts however vague and unformed, it was. Our spirit sometimes get discourage and then we springboard back to the top, happy to leave behind that incident.
When I’ve discussed it with my siblings, we all agree that the brain injury/concussion that he sustained in 2010 on a vacation in Sweden is more than likely the root cause. I remember him saying that his brain wasn’t working the same and when I asked how, he wasn’t able to say exactly how it wasn’t.
Here’s what I know for sure, my Dad, loved us all. He loved us even when we were hard to love. He loved life and his grandchildren. He was compassionate and he was my corner stone even more so when my daughter was in the hospital. He was my son’s best friend. There’s not a week that goes by that his names isn’t spoken in our home. My son is still sad that he has no more grandfather to confide in and to play with.
My Dad thought me the love of land and respect of animals as a dairy farmer, even though I’m sure it was a tough life one that he clearly said he didn’t want for his children.
He was my genealogy investigator partner for over 25 years, we did that together as a shared hobby. He was passionate about finding relatives, cemetery hunting past ancestors and new connection. He was warm, kind and willing to offer his help however he was fiercely passionate in defending his pride, land and family.
We love Dad and we will always love him.
Please seek help if you need mental health support.