Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm glad it's August. Now I can put the sad, summer anniversaries behind me for 10 more months.

June is the month of my parents' suicides. Mom took way too many pills and died what I hope was a peaceful death on June 17, 1982. Daddy blew his brains out on June 17, 1987. His death was not peaceful, nor was it quick; he lived, comatose, on life-support, for several hours afterward. My sister had to scream at the hospital staff to "let the old man die! He wanted to die!" They pulled the plug.

July 26 is my father's birthday. It was also the day that I left my first husband, 39 days after Daddy died. All I could think of was that I didn't want to be like Daddy, always berating myself for doing this or that or for not doing this, that or the other. I didn't want to be 70 years old and still in a marriage that I hated, with a domineering man whom I sometimes loved, but often hated. I wanted to make my own way in the world, make my own decisions, go where I wanted, when I wanted. Granted, I wasn't thinking clearly at the time. Grief had distorted my thoughts. But I have never regretted my decision, even though I came close to mimicking my parents' actions, more than once in the next two years.

But now it's August! I am happy with my life; though it would by nicer if it weren't so hot outside.


KELSO'S NUTS said...

I tried to read through this but I couldn't. It has been just over a year since one of my closest friends put himself in your father's position (he clings to life in a hospice still).

I still don't know how to process it. I can only deal rationally with the subject with those who knew him best -- another of his buddies, his mom and sisters, etc.

I'm still in shock.

Mathman6293 said...

I'm always moved by stories of parental passings. Both my parents died younger than 60 (dad '83 April Fool's Day and mom '92 MLK Day) and I think them everyday.

Madam Z said...

Kelso, I extend my sympathy. The sudden death of someone you love is painful. If it is by suicide, it's even more painful because guilt acts as salt in your wounds. "What could I have done to prevent this horror?" is the constant refrain. But if the would-be suicide committer lives, comatose, through the attempt, that is the worst scenario of all. It is that fear that ultimately kept me from making my own attempt, back in the bad old days of '87-'89.

Mathman, I have a theory that as long as you think of parents who have "passed," in some sense, some part of them still lives. You carry their genes, of course, and countless memories remain fresh in your brain. I still have dreams involving my parents, and they are very much alive in those fleeting moments. Nothing supernatural or any religious connotations, I hasten to add. I don't believe in an afterlife or ghosts. Just the strength of memory.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

mathman & Z: very moving song ("We Never Went To Church") on this very subject by MIKE "THE STREETS" SKINNER'S on most recent CD "THE HARDEST WAY TO MAKE AN EASY LIVING."

Miss Smack said...

I am without words...just touched that you shared something so very private with your readers.

jewgirl said...

I'm with honeysmack on this, I'm so profoundly touched that you shared this very private and sad story.

I am so, so very sorry that you endured the horrific deaths of your parents.

I don't know how you got through it and became the woman you are today. what an inspiration!