Lost my father, grieving with the public eye

Discussion in 'Suicide Loss' started by Nbrown2237, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Nbrown2237

    Nbrown2237 Member

    Learning to grieve from suicide is far harder to handle then that of an expected death. I have been doing my own research in regards to grieving and the steps and I felt so misunderstood as all these “tips and tricks” were not geared toward suicide. That is when I listened to “Healing from grief after a suicide with Dr. Christina Hibbert”, and I realized that maybe my situation and feelings are not so irrational after all. The feelings of “why” or “if only I” will eventually go away. However, for right now I am overwhelmed with the feelings of “why? could I have done something different? if only I never left the day I did for camp”? Although, deep down I know that there is nothing I could have done differently to save you. That the demons in your head roared far louder then the positive in your life. I have yet been able to publicly speak about my Fathers passing. Only I know every detail police found out. Only I know exactly where, what was used, day and time narrowed done as much as possible. My dad was my hero, my best friend and I need to do what he would want me to and that would be to talk about it and to not let it eat me alive.

    Side Story: I personally suffer from Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, OCD/ADHD, anxiety and manic depression. I clearly don’t deal with emotions very well and I tend to fixate on things that may or may not be realistic (This is important to know and you will read why in a minute). I personally have tried to take my own life, though that was almost 3 years ago now, I know what it is like to feel the feelings my father must have felt moments before he took his own life. However, I also know what it did to my family. My father and I had promised each other never again would I attempt to take my life and that he would never attempt himself as he has watched my mother and I suffer from mental illness for years and knew the heartache it would cause.

    My fathers death was so unexpected and as I wrote in his obituary “deliberately and in his own way”. I had left for camp Sunday morning. Before I left I gave my father a hug. He kissed me on the top of my head, told me to have fun and to relax and that he loved me. He also told my boyfriend to enjoy vacation and that there is no time limits. Off to camp we went not knowing that week would be the ultimate life changer. Monday night I had spoke to my father on the phone for 45 minutes. We were catching up about our days, he was complaining about work and all the BS he was dealing with and just overall having great conversations. We ended the phone call that night around 7:45 PM with the usual “love ya dad - Love you too”. Little did I know this would be the last time I would ever speak to him again. Little did I know that would be the last ‘I love you’ I will ever hear.

    Tuesday morning I woke up to an email from the job site as my dad had not arrived to work that morning. This is not like my dad at all to miss work. I tried calling, text and facebook messaging him with no response. I didn’t worry at this point, he must have over slept or not been feeling good he will call me soon. Wednesday morning came around and the same email came across except this time there was anger behind it and no one has heard from my dad. Again, I had tried to reach him to no prevail and now I couldn’t reach his girlfriend either. At this point, I started to worry. My dad would never not show up for work 2 days in a row, especially since he was supposed to have the job complete that Wednesday and would be picking up a large check. Thursday morning I awoke to still no return calls, no return text messages and all my facebook messages had gone unread. I reached out to a few people my dad talks to daily and no one has heard from him. I began to worry, something in my stomach told me something is not right and maybe I should head home. My family kept telling me not to worry and that my dad is okay. Come Thursday night his phone died. Now my messages will not even go through. Now I am panicking, out of all people in this world my dad would never ever disappear or go somewhere without telling me. It was at this point I had to do something so I contacted a state police officer that I knew and reported my dad missing.

    I came home from camping to an empty house. Nothing looked out of place however my dads work shoes were sitting in my kitchen so I knew he was wearing his sneakers and he must not have been at work. I also found his vehicle missing from the driveway so I assumed he was out. Later I found out his girlfriend took his vehicle but that is a whole other story. The state police were able to pull my dads phone records to try to locate what tower was last used, the police pulled ATM footage and store surveillance footage all showing my dad was in good spirits the Monday night, but nothing since then. Finally after 2 weeks of searching the woods near my house daily, posting fliers, asking all neighbors and having missing person report put on the local news asking for help to find him and we still had nothing. Finally, we got something back. The last known tower that my dads phone had pinged was “home tower” meaning he was within a certain radius of the tower that is located around my house. It is at this point the state police decided to bring in the K9 units to search the woods behind my house that I continued to search daily.

    That day is forever burned in my brain and I will never be able to not replay it in my head. The state police and a game warden K9 unit showed up at my house and let me know they would be searching the woods behind my house and that they would do everything in their power to find my dad. Not needing anything from me and advising me to stay in the house until their return. Four long and excruciating hours later the state police officer and detective knocked at my door and asked to come in as they had a few questions for me. “a few questions?” I thought, leading me to think my dad was not found. I sat on the couch and was asked if I knew what my dad was wearing. I was not home so I would not be able to confirm anything other then he would be wearing white running sneakers and most likely jeans. It was at that very moment both officers nodded their head and the female looked me in the eyes and said “thank you for confirming that, We found your dad and unfortunately he is deceased”. I froze. The only thing I could speak was “are you serious? Where? How?” I didn’t know what to do, my heart was racing. It was at that point my boyfriend walked out of the bathroom and I looked at him with tears in my eyes and in a broken voice I said “They found dad”.

    The detectives had already removed his body from the woods behind my house. Little did I know he was less then 500 yards from my porch yet I never found him. The police told me over and over again that he was hidden and that I never would have found him myself and if it was not for the K9 units his body may have been there all winter long. Now, I am a science major. I knew what my fathers body would be like after being out in the woods for 3 1/2 weeks so I made the decision that no one was to see his body and he will be cremated.

    Now to relive this all over again as the media broadcasts that the missing man was located behind his house. News reporters showing up at my house asking for interviews or for me to show them where he was found. They wanted me to talk about the person my dad was. How on earth could I sit here and tell the media and world any of this information when I haven't even processed it myself. I never returned the medias calls nor did I continue to answer the door from their knocks. The media vultures only made the process and situation more difficult on me and the family. At the end of the day his death remained, suicide by hanging. I would have never in my entire life expect this from my dad out of all people. I then had to pick up the pieces and figure out how on earth I am going to afford any type of services or memorials. Luckily, through the love of friends and family I was able to hold a small service for my dad. His death is still a work in progress and I’m not sure when it will officially be over.

    I can’t talk about this in the open. I have tried support groups but I just can’t bring myself to stay. I constantly ask why and what could I have done differently. I am fixated on the fact that none of this makes sense and there’s got to be a reason - my dad would never do this. As a mental health advocate and someone that knows how to hide behind the Im fines or fake smiles, I can not believe I missed the signs. I didn’t see him struggling with any demons. But, I guess that’s the thing with mental health and suicide - we never know the why or the what ifs. We just have to learn to live with them. Im struggling with this everyday and I am not sure how or when I will get through it. I do know however I have to remain strong for my dad and to live on for him. Suicide is not an easy lose and I hope that through this lose I am able to connect with those that have gone through situations like mine.

    Thank you for reading,


    Just give it one more day
  2. Kellyj72

    Kellyj72 Member

    You are so brave for sharing your story, and despite the sadness you express, there seems that you still want to get through this. This gives me hope, my partner hung himself not even 3 months ago. I have all those what ifs and if only i had of done this or that, i hope this gets easier. I will look into that book you recomended so thank you for that. I hope each day its gets easier for both of us. Thank you for sharing, i mean that.
  3. Nbrown2237

    Nbrown2237 Member

    we definitely do have a lot in common and maybe we can share stories and help each other through a very emotional time. If you are into books as well, my physiatrist recommended to me and I am going to get it at some point - On grief and grieving: finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. Hopefully talk soon and I hope you are doing okay today :)