I woke up at 3:30 AM one night recently from a dream of me standing over my Dad’s casket. It seemed like it was a repeat of my Dad’s final viewing, except this time I was completely alone. The only living person that existed in this scenario was me, my dad’s body, and the room.
When I woke up, I had this feeling I couldn’t really describe. That feeling stuck with me the entire day after. The more I thought about that feeling the more I realized what it actually was.
The feeling I felt was anger
My Dad’s method of choice for taking his life was a 9 millimeter. The morning I got the news I rushed to his apartment. His body was no longer there, but there was blood everywhere. I saw tiny fragments of my Dad in the dining room: the same dining room in which I ate dinner with him, the same dining room in which I shared my last face to face conversation with him.
Because of what I saw in that dining room, I wasn’t sure what to expect at the final viewing. I walked into the room and he was immediately in front of me. I looked at his face and it looked like nothing had happened. For a moment there I still felt like it wasn’t real like I was going to wake up from a dream and he’d be OK. Reality sent me crashing back down when I went to touch his hand. I’ve never felt anything as cold as my Dad’s hand that day.
When I lost my Mom I was 7 years old. No one would allow me to see her at her final viewing. When I walked in to see my Dad, that was the first time I had seen a dead body of someone I knew. It did something to me I can’t explain.
Seeing the man who helped bring me into this world lifeless took something away from me.
Seeing my Dad like that took the last bit of innocence I had left.
I was surprised I had any left to take.
I buried my feelings deep down within me
I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be angry. My Dad was in so much pain that he took his own life. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be angry for his decision. Four years later, I’ve realized I’m still angry. My Dad and I never had that great of a relationship. Before he died, we finally began connecting. I had a relationship with him I had wanted my whole life. Then within an instant, it was gone.
I’m angry about all the things I never got to discuss with him. I’m angry about the hurt feelings between us two. I’m angry that I will never be able to work them out with him. I’m angry that I will never be able to hear his side of the story. I’m angry that I will never understand why he and I had the relationship we had.
The thing that angers me the most is that I feel like I can’t express my anger. I have to push it deep within me. I’ve buried it for four years and I don’t know if I could even talk about it. Even if I could, suicide isn’t exactly a subject anyone wants to talk about. It’s like no one can understand the pain you feel. It’s a pain that never seems to leave. It runs so deep within you that the pain becomes a part of you.
I wish I could say it gets better. I wish I could say that one day you’ll continue on as normal. The truth is you will never go back to normal. Suicide leaves you broken and angry. It leaves you angry at yourself for not doing more. It leaves you angry at the one you love for taking their life. I don’t have the answer for overcoming this. I’m still trying to figure out that answer myself.
The only thing I know is you have to live the best life you can.