The last year has been one of the most difficult ones for me, and for my remaining family. In the past six months alone we have lost my oldest brother and father to suicide, followed by my grandfather due to age. And it was almost a year exactly, of this downward spiral, that my grandmother died. I’m not sure the month of April will ever be a good month for me, seems it has a lot of terrible events and history, just sad I was born in the month.
I can only guess why my dad decided to follow after my brother’s example and end his own life six months later, and like most people in similar positions, my thoughts aren’t ones that leave a positive impression. For the most part my dad’s passing has been dealt with by anger, at least on my end. I am just so mad at the choice he made.
A week after they found him I learned he started writing a farewell note in the car, but I haven’t bothered reading it. When I told my manager how my dad wrote a note while slowly suffocating in his own vehicle, I jokingly expressed what a load of horseshit it was because all he had to do was open the damn door. I’m not sure that sentence articulated the feelings I have about the whole situation, but I hope it came off angry, because that was its intention.
And nevermind the whole note, it could be filled with all the heartfelt crap he wanted to put in it and I’m not sure if at this juncture I would feel anything but anger if I read it. The fact is he made a choice, and it wasn’t even a quick one like my brother’s, but one that took time. Lots of time. Enough time that if there was any doubt whatsoever it wouldn’t have happened, because he went by asphyxiation and all he had to do was crack a window.
What really hurts is believing that one of the key causes of him deciding to end everything was because of my brother’s passing. I know he lived vicariously through him, but it makes me feel like such a failure as a child to think I wasn’t good enough for him to stick around for. That my younger brother and sister weren’t good enough for him. It isn’t a surprise that my older brother was highly favored, he was very successful, smart, caring, and devoted. As a middle child, and someone that doesn’t feel successful in life, my self-esteem was already low before all of this drama. The passing of my dad just helped show even further just how little I meant to him.
I realize that’s a poor look to have, especially after the passing of two very important people in my life, but if I’m being honest with myself, I just feel a huge burden of inadequacy.
My step-mother tried telling me my dad wasn’t doing well, so I attempted to reach out. I called him the weekend before everything happened to go over our Easter plans and to confirm I had the time off to be with him. I made it a point to be with my grandparents, his parents, every Easter for the past many years. I’m not sure if my dad ever realized every single vacation day I ever, ever took from work since getting a job was spent with my parents. Well, except for one; last year I did use one for my birthday. But that is a work history of over thirteen years where I constantly had my family in my heart when taking time off.
I am so happy I didn’t distance myself from my family as I got older, but at the same time I am resentful because I feel it slightly thrown in my face. With my older brother I felt a distance from him after he got married. We use to be so close growing up, but with the military and later on a family that bond became more of a memory. The biggest regret I have with his passing is thinking if I only reached out maybe he wouldn’t have made that choice. With my dad, well, that regret isn’t there because I can honestly say I tried. And so I’m a bit resentful, because it just wasn’t enough. I just wasn’t enough.