Monday, May 16, 2011

Too pretty for suicide

The truth is, I don’t know which day my dad died.

I know you're not going to know what to say, and that's OK. You don't need to say anything. But I need to write this.

It might have been yesterday, two years ago. Or it might be today, two years ago.

They were both warm, sunny May days, full of lush, green grass and vivid flowers. I remember that. And I remember thinking, a beautiful day is not a day to kill yourself.

These days are too pretty for suicide.

It took a long time for the coroner to determine cause of death. I won’t go into details, but there were two to choose from, and apparently for insurance purposes – Nick says to rule out the possibility of involvement by a beneficiary – it matters. It was hard to imagine how it could fucking matter, at that point, but it did.

I wanted to call them up and say, “Just fucking pick one! Just pick! And give us the final death certificate and let us move forward!”

But it dragged. And when the documents finally arrived – multiple copies, because you just can’t believe how many places need a copy – I couldn’t look at it. I still haven’t. I don’t want to know.

Because he left very quietly Friday morning, the morning of the 15th. My mother called me about noon that day, and said, “Dad is gone.” And we knew.

I left work in a panic, but I knew. We were frantic, terrified, you name it, all day. All night. All the next day. Until late afternoon, when we’d exhausted all ideas, and Nick suggested we call the morgue.

We called them about 45 minutes before their representatives came knocking on the door. Nick and I were out driving around in DC, and we got back to my parents’ house shortly before they arrived.

So we bore the news. They just added some details. They were very nice. I seem to recall everyone being nice.

But I don’t want to know, either way. I don’t want to know that it was Saturday, because then I wonder and wonder what he was doing, and if he was reconsidering, and why didn’t he come back home, and do you know how many times I called his goddamn cell phone that was turned off and do you know how unfair all of it is?

But I don’t want to wish it was Friday, because that’s one fewer day. You would never take a day away from someone, particularly a last day.

And so I don’t know. Is that easier? I don't know. It's what I can manage.


  1. Oh Lisa. I'm so sorry.

    Give your boys the biggest hug.


  2. Thinking of you, Lisa. Thinking of you a lot.

  3. I am thinking you and hugging you right now. Can you feel it? Good.

  4. Thinking of you. That is all.

  5. Sending you a warm hug, Lisa. I hope writing this has helped. Your strength and the love you have for your family is amazing, genuine and to be admired.

  6. I had something all written out. It was hopefully inspiring to some degree, and comforting in others. At the moment when I clicked, post, Google ate it. So now I'm teary eyed and haplessly trying to remember every word I wrote.

    I can't.

    Grief and pain are like joy and happiness. You carry them around with you all your life. They serve a purpose and for those who say you should give your pain up to God and he will take it away, may not actually be dealing from a full deck of cards.

    Obviously since we have to feel them, they serve a purpose. Whatever that purpose is. Personally from past experience it is so you learn your Soul's Karma. Your Lesson. That sounds harsh, and I don't mean it to sound that way. Some lessons of the Soul are gentle, easy. Like loving Big J. Some are sucky, crap-tastic, mongo-hate fests. Like the loss of someone. I hate those, but no body said I would get to pick and choose, right?

    My biological grandfather who I knew for literally three out of the thirty years of my life died suddenly. One minute he was laughing and joking over burgers and dogs with friends, and the next he was on the ground -- gone. The doctor's told us when we got to hospital that nothing we did could have helped. He was gone before he hit the ground. It was harsh.

    Try to be strong, give Big J huge hugs and kisses and tell him anything funny and happy you remember about your Dad. Give him the gift of the Good that your Dad was, even if you'll harbor this grief and pain. Maybe that is what you have to teach your son, or learn yourself.

    I guess I don't really have a point. Your entry really touched a nerve in me, and I couldn't help but try a little, like you to offer something. SOMETHING to help you make some sense of it. Because mostly ... it just doesn't.

    And that bites.

  7. I'm sorry, Lisa. Hugs to you and the family.

  8. Lisa, I cannot imagine what you have been through or will go through in dealing with this. I know that your strength inspires others and I hope you will find peace.

  9. I cannot imagine your grief. Much love and strength and peace of mind to you.

  10. I was denied the option of looking at Jason's death certificate and the cause of death. And I was very angry about it for a long time. But now, it is more of a blessing than anything. Because I know why he died. And I know that he was gone long before he actually passed. And that he needed to be gone, whether I was going to miss him or not.

    It is too pretty. Any day is too pretty.

  11. Hugs. Giant, warm, hold-you-up hugs.

  12. God, grief is just to damned hard isn't it? And there should be a law against the world going about it's merry old way of turning and shining and acting like nothing has even happened. But there are some of us that know. Some of us that ride the tilted universe you live in and we know the pain of grief and as much we understand the absurdity of the sun shining at all. Love You Lisa.

  13. We each deal with these things in our own way. My sisters poured over my parents medical reports etc. I did not read a single line of them, I dont want to. I know they are gone I do not need to know any more than that.
    You have done so much living in the last two years Lisa, you are moving forward, one step at a time and you will always wonder about some things, this is our nature. You are doing well and so is Betty, it is hard but you are doing well. (((hugs)))
    As my Dad used to say to me when past events started weighing on me...."It's ok to look back occasionally, but dont stare too long"

  14. I rarely comment, so this I'm sure sounds weird coming from a total stranger, but I'm thinking of you. Losing a parent is hard, losing a parent to suicide is unimaginable, any day is too pretty for death. And any day is too pretty for grief.

  15. There's nothing wrong with not knowing. Because once you know something, you can't un-know it. And with knowing something comes a fresh new hell of what ifs. Not knowing isn't easier. It isn't harder. It isn't right. It isn't wrong. It just is.

    Big hugs, hunny bunny.

  16. Sending lots of love your way.

  17. Sending you love and hugs Lisa....

  18. I remember. Sending much love your way.

  19. Geeee, Hillary, well said.

    Lisa, we all virtually group hug you, hon.

  20. What Hillary said. You can learn, later, if you want. But you can't unknow it once you know. Sometimes grief and loss needs you to know. Sometimes it needs you to not know. Whatever it is YOU need is what's right.
    Sending you my positive thoughts.

  21. thinking of you and sending hugs from boston.

  22. Miranda - Thanks. I did. Hugs to you.

    Jennie - Thank you.

    lexa - Huge hugs back. Thanks, my friend.

    Jules - Thank you. I appreciate it.

    HK - You're so lovely, as always. Hugs.

    Moue - Oh, it makes me so mad when blogger does that. Now I try to remember to copy every comment before I hit Post, because I feel like it eats them 50% of the time.

    Thank you for this. I appreciate your words and your sentiment. No, it doesn't make sense. It never makes sense when you lose someone you love.

    Luna - Hugs to you. And counting down for the baby!!!

    Angel JAM - Thanks so much for the kind words.

    Dana - Thank you very much.

    Kate - This was amazingly helpful. Thank you so much and hugs and strength to you.

    Jessica - Thank you, lovely friend. I wish huge hugs back to you.

    Lynn - It is so damned hard, and it feels so unfair when everything else just marches forward all happy. Thanks for sharing the tilted universe with me. :) Hugs to you, Lynn.

    vvk - Hugs, my friend. (My now-long-time-friend! 4 years?! How did they fly by like this?)

    Laura - Thanks - hugs to you!

    Go-Betty - I like what your dad said. It's very good advice. And you are so right - we react depending on our nature. Hugs across the world to you.

    Moomser - I so appreciate the kind thoughts and words. It's true, any day is too pretty.

    Hillary - Thanks, hunny bunny. Those are very helpful words. I appreciate it.

    Lynn - Love to you, my friend.

    Kate - Thank you so much. To you, too!

    Lisa - Oh, wow, Lisa. We've been in this blogging thing together for quite some time now, haven't we? Love to you.

    tamater sammich - She did, she really did. Thank you for the hugs. Back to you, too.

    Ginger - Thanks for the nice thoughts. And yes, you can't unknow.

    brookem - Hugs back to you in Boston. Thank you!

  23. Love and hugs, Lisa. Your post made me cry, and remember having exactly the same thoughts about when my dad died. And then the facts that streamed in and just made things...worse, really.

    Because when they're gone you wonder what they thought and how they felt and why they did whatever it is that they did and so on and so forth until you nearly destroy yourself with the musings.

    Hold on to the beautiful memories, and let some of the details go, lady. Because the details, in the end, really don't change a thing.

  24. Wise words from your loving community here. I can just add a little more love these two years later. Aaaand, hugs.


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