I wrote this right after our oldest son committed suicide. I never published it because I found myself in such a bad spot emotionally, I could not look objectively at the facts. It has been 2 years since he died. I can now talk about him without bursting into tears… Journaling and blogging helped me to arrive at the place I now philosophically. Emotionally, I will never fully heal from this loss, the scar will run deep. One thing I have realized since writing this blog post in 2015 is that the text “draft” on our son’s phone was written right in front of his home. His suicide letter was that draft. He never pushed send. Instead he turned off his phone. The police “pinged” his phone to see when it had been last used and seems it was there. What if he had pushed send? How many people do not push send in the very real sense of letting others know their pain… His ex-wife loved him and felt he was her best friend. Had she known what he had in his head maybe he’d still be here…
October 22nd, 2015
Finding grace in the midst of a melt down can be pretty hard. Especially if you did not even know that a meltdown was hiding behind a simple little billing problem.
Today, I had to talk to a customer service representative about canceling a program I had signed up for a trial period. The trial period was to end on the 23rd of October. As it turns out, the 3 month period I had signed up for was during the 2 main months we dealt with our sons suicide last year. The months of August and September were especially difficult months around our house.
We are angry that things can’t be different. We are angry that he chose suicide– his last words left on his cell phone to his ex-wife- “…you gave up, I am just giving up more drastically.”
I am so mad at him for thinking that line could in anyway make it okay to kill himself. How- could this happen???
Our son had a drinking problem but it did not look like one. He worked full time (even had a part time job so that his then wife could go to school). He was an involved father, friend and good in-law to nearby relatives.
He started drinking in his teens. Actually, after an argument about his drinking, when he turned 18, he moved out because he wanted to do what he wanted to do… He had 3 months and a 1/2 credit, and a 3.67gpa to go to graduate from high school. He was a smart kid.
But he was hurting and drinking seemed to numb the pain for him. He was a shy kid and had gotten into some trouble. While in counseling he refused to see he had pain that needed to be dealt with and just went along to get through the ordeal. He wasn’t ready to deal with what was making him find solace in drinking.
By August of that year, after he got naturalized on the 4th of July, he started to feel bad. He wrote us a letter after attending his friends graduation and said-
“Mom and Dad, I am so sorry I did not graduate. While sitting in the audience, I realized this is where my family should be sitting…”
With the idea that he was going to start over, he moved with friends to Medford, Oregon where one of the friends was attending college. He said he was going to get that 1/2 credit and go to school there. He was determined. Unfortunately he did not follow through with that plan.
Once working at his dream job- as a chef- he didn’t see the need to finish school so he didn’t. But by now he had met and married the love of his life, achieved his dream of becoming a chef (he was a Tappenyaki Chef at Shoji’s Japanese Restaurant making good money), where finally, when his wife was divorcing him, that he admitted he had a drinking problem. He started and stopped counseling at this time. He was going to save his marriage, not himself.
1 year ago we had 4 living children. Now we have 3. We adopted him 8 years old from Korea . He came with some huge wounds and we tried to help him get over them. But one of the wounds that he never got over was that he would not let himself get mad. He had been around angry Korean men in Korea and had remembered being abused. He was adamant about not becoming one of them. Sadly, he did not let his anger out until he let it out on himself.
A gun, a cellphone, a picture of he and his wife in happier days was what was found at the top of Mt Ashland where he took his life.