It was a grand affair, with steak for supper. There was singing, joyous voices in the den, card games. The kid’s mother made a cake. The room went black, the candles were lit.

He was just a kid. Not an adult. And even though he’s a man now, even though he has a family, he’ll always be a kid when he tells this story. I can see it on his face.

The kid had a father—a man who was forty-one. Tall. Handsome.

That Sunday, the kid’s family threw his father a birthday party. It was a grand affair, with steak for supper.

There was singing, joyous voices, card games. The kid’s mother made a cake with blue icing. The room went black, the candles were lit. He took one breath and blew them out.

Monday was sunny. The kid’s father loved yard work. He lived for it. So, by God, they did plenty. The kid mowed near the barn. His father changed a belt on the tractor.

Tuesday, the kid’s father came home late from work. A blue collar man, he put in long hours. Overtime. Then worked more.

The kid noticed his father’s face had changed. Something behind the eyes. The kid will never forget this. How can a kid know a father his whole life—really know him—but not know him? How?

But then, he was just a kid.

There was a fight. A big one. The kid says he remembers how bad it was.

His father’s mind was not working normally. His mother pleaded. The father screamed things that weren’t making sense. The forty-one-year-old tossed furniture against walls. Spit frothed at the corners of his father’s mouth.

The kid tells me he does not want to talk about this anymore. Because after all, this was not the kid’s father. This was a sickness.

The kid’s baby sister was terrified. She buried herself in the folds of the kid’s clothes. The man they called “Daddy” lost his mind.

There are too many things that happened on that night. Far too many. And the kid doesn’t want me to write bad things. This is just a retelling of a sickness. That’s all.

To the kid, it was the worst night ever. There will never be a worse one.

The kid remembers that the air itself was strange. It was not like normal air. It was an eerie calm before a tornado. A dead atmosphere before a hurricane. It was pregnant with violent thoughts.

And it was the last time this kid ever saw his daddy.

The kid remembers the final scene. He was watching his father’s lanky frame, walking toward the police cruiser—fingers laced behind his head. The glow of red and blue lights.

Deputies tackled his father. They shoved his father in the backseat.

There were cop cars in the driveway. Deputies in uniforms lingered near radios, writing on clipboards. Blue lights illuminated the side of the kid’s house.

One deputy said to another, “That fella almost kilt his old lady, coulda kilt the kids, too.”

And the kid hated that deputy. He hated him for many, many years for that one sentence.

Because that officer didn’t know the kid’s father. He didn’t know the kid’s mother. He didn’t know anything. How could he talk like that?

The kid’s father wasn’t evil. He was no killer.

The sick man in handcuffs was a good man. He liked singing in church. And changing tractor belts. He was a practical joker. And funny.

His father had a disease. It was an unseen illness—almost like a tumor. And tumors, no matter how big, no matter how aggressive, no matter how deadly, are not people. And people are not their tumors.

Wednesday—the kid’s uncle posted bail. A few hours later, the kid’s father used a hunting rifle to remove himself from this world. The handsome man was gone.

That was a lifetime ago. On this exact day. The 14th of September.

The last thing the kid wants is for you to read this and feel bad. There are too many things in the world to feel good about.

But perhaps you are a handsome person with a beautiful family. Maybe your wife made you a cake with blue icing for your birthday.

Maybe you know there’s something wrong inside you. You feel it. It’s there. You hide it. You overcompensate for it. You act falsely happy. You laugh too much. You’re a good actor. Mental illness is funny, that way. But I beg you to hear me:

It will kill you if you don’t get help.

Anyway, someone told me it was National Suicide Prevention Week. But for some people, it’s a lot more than that.

Take me, for instance. Today is the anniversary of my father’s suicide.

And I am the kid you just read about.


  1. Ari - September 14, 2018 5:50 am

    Dear Sean, my husband committed suicide 4+ years ago now. The kids were 13, 11 and 9. I think he panicked. Suicide doesn’t have to be a response to mental illness – I don’t think he was ill. He just couldn’t see a way out of the mess he had created for himself except to do what he did. I hope my kids grow to be as amazing as you. I am sorry you have the memories of that night ingrained.

  2. C.E. HARBIN - September 14, 2018 6:22 am

    Heartbreaking. I am so sorry you have that memory.

  3. theholtgirls - September 14, 2018 6:43 am

    Dear Sean, I wish I’d known you as a kid. I would have cared.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I will share it with someone who may need to read it… and get help.

  4. Erin Neathery - September 14, 2018 6:57 am

    This brought tears. My day is September 16, 1992, but it also had technicolor days leading up to it all exploding. It’s always there, I know. Sending you and your sister and mama much love today and always.

  5. Susan Self - September 14, 2018 7:12 am

    God bless you Sean. I know that was hard to write. It was hard to read. God bless us all.

  6. Pamela McEachern - September 14, 2018 7:36 am

    This was as raw as it gets, my heart feels like it is no longer in my body. Please keep your good memories to remember your Dad. I think he must have been a terrific person. You and your family have seen Hell by his loss, but keep looking up he is pulling ya’ll higher to Heaven every day. Life moves on and you and your family deserve the best of days.
    Peace and Love from Pam in Birmingham

  7. GaryD - September 14, 2018 9:25 am

    This is a sad story. Really sad.

  8. CaroG87 - September 14, 2018 9:56 am

    I’m so so sorry. The pain you’ve described is palpable through the miles and the years. Thank you for helping us feel a little of it, and I hope we can help you shoulder the load a little too.

  9. Nancy - September 14, 2018 9:59 am

    The past shapes us for the future. If we let it a traumatic event can destroy or it depending on the person it can make them stronger. My Dear Sean, you are so strong and your life and writing touches so many people. So sorry for your loss and this memory that is a piece of you. Love to your family.

  10. Leslie in NC - September 14, 2018 10:01 am

    Sean, as painful and difficult as it was for you to write, thank you for sharing this. I’ve not experienced suicide in my family, but some years ago, a good friend decided to end her life. It was beyond devastating. I, along with all of her family and friends were left wondering why? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t she reach out for help? Why would she leave her young daughter behind? We will never know the answers to these questions. All we can do is remember her as we knew her – beautiful, vibrant and always smiling. All you can do is keep the good memories of your father tucked safely away in your heart and know without a doubt that he loved you.

  11. Kelly Haddock - September 14, 2018 10:40 am

    God bless you and your family. I haven’t had anyone in my family do this, but I know too many that have been affected by suicide, and there is mental illness in our family, so it is never far from my thoughts. I know it was hard to write this, but thank you. And thank you for being you.

  12. Connie Havard Ryland - September 14, 2018 10:49 am

    I lost a friend to suicide not long ago. My heart still hurts to know he didn’t think he had anyone who cared enough to talk to. My heart aches for your pain. Sending you love and hugs.

  13. Heidi - September 14, 2018 11:14 am

    My brother in law killed himself. Left behind four boys. He held down a great job and was a kind, sweet man. He made an amazing teepee for them, went on trips. Things were never the same and his boys had a hard time. This sickness touches so many. I’m sorry you have those memories.

  14. Kara VinZant - September 14, 2018 11:14 am

    The anniversary date of my grandfather’s suicide was July 27th. He was the man who raised me. I was also 14. He was my heart. I’m 45 today and when I think of him, I still cry. Like now. That’s probably why I chose to work in mental health.

  15. Cathy - September 14, 2018 11:39 am

    My daddy did it too but he used a .38..October 28, 1967..I was 12 years old..I always wondered what his last thought was..if it was maybe about me.

  16. Jeanne Butler - September 14, 2018 11:40 am

    God bless you Sean. Sending love and prayers and lots of hugs.

  17. Marilyn - September 14, 2018 11:51 am

    The illness and desperation are real. I thank God that there is help for those consumed by it, and am so sorry your father did not find that help. Peace be with you, Sean.

  18. Barbara Pope - September 14, 2018 11:52 am

    Just wondering in his confused broken mind if he thought his ultimate sacrifice was better for his beloved family in the long run–never.

  19. Max Smith - September 14, 2018 11:54 am

    Wow. This brings too much to the surface. Mental illness has reared its ugly head more than once in my family, and I include myself in that number. My therapist and medical doctor were both God sends, helping me to not just function, when days were so dark, but to persevere, and realize tomorrow will be a better day.
    Still, I’m always vigilant.
    But I have a wonderful wife, and a wonderful life!

  20. Cindy - September 14, 2018 12:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  21. Rachel - September 14, 2018 12:25 pm


  22. B Fuller - September 14, 2018 12:32 pm

    June 25, 1975…out never goes away but it gets a little easier to remember the good times. Love and blessings.

  23. Frank Huggins - September 14, 2018 12:44 pm

    I am so sorry, Sean. I once mentored a teen whose father had taken his own life years earlier. The kid doesn’t know it but he probably saved my life. That’s because I quit smoking cigarettes. I quit on day while on a deer hunting trip with him because I wanted to set a good example.

  24. Sandra Smith - September 14, 2018 12:46 pm

    Holding the kid, and the man he became, close. Mental illness and suicide has impacted my family as well. Living with it, living with the memories, all of them…because you have to take the good AND the bad, you don’t get a choice about it. You can choose to talk about it, or not, but you don’t get a choice about living with it. Let the good stuff have free reign, Sean.

  25. Keloth Anne - September 14, 2018 12:48 pm

    God bless you, Sean, for sharing your heart with us♥️♥️
    You are an amazing young man and can’t wait to hear you and get to have some visit time with you and Jamie in Enterprise ❤️

  26. Deloris Salter - September 14, 2018 12:49 pm

    God has blessed you with the fine art of writing. I believe it’s His way of you handling the loss of your dad. Keep it up because you are a blessing to SO many people! May God bless you and your family! Prayers and love going your way!

  27. Richard C. - September 14, 2018 12:52 pm

    May our God provide you with a peace that passes all understanding. We do not understand God’s plan now but one day we will. Perhaps that day will be when you are reunited with your Dad in Heaven. Thanks for writing this. I know it must have been painful to do so, but Someone’s life will be changed for the good because you did.

  28. Edwina williams - September 14, 2018 12:56 pm

    Suicide is hard to understand as an adult, much less as a child. I hope this read will help some poor soul today. Hope it helps them get help from a professional. I enjoy your writings whether they are happy or sad. I pray for you, your sister and any family that has this in their life.

  29. Ann - September 14, 2018 1:03 pm

    My heart & prayers go out to you and your family.

  30. Brenda McLaine - September 14, 2018 1:12 pm

    Depression is a horrible disease.I was at a point in my life one time I contemplated suicide but wasn’t brave enough. God bless you Sean.

  31. Terri C Boykin - September 14, 2018 1:14 pm

    God bless you Sean. Love you much.

  32. Peggy Savage - September 14, 2018 1:20 pm

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing this difficult day with all of us. You are so brave. Sending you love and prayers…

  33. flkatmom - September 14, 2018 1:28 pm

    We lost a nephew in 2008 to suicide. He left behind a wife, a 5 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. That was as bad as bad can get. Thank you for sharing that kids story, give him a big ole hug for being so very brave. May God bless and keep you Sean.

  34. Susan Swiderski - September 14, 2018 1:29 pm

    Suicide has touched so many of our lives, and no matter how many years pass, the pain is still there like a hard nugget stuck in the center of our chests. I’m so sorry for your painful memories, but I’m glad you have the wisdom to let the good ones shine even brighter. Thanks for sharing your story.

  35. Jan Averett - September 14, 2018 1:29 pm

    Dear Sean, I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. You are in my prayers. I admire and respect you so much. The Lord is using you in mighty ways to help so many. Jan Averett, Panama City, FL.

  36. annie - September 14, 2018 1:31 pm

    My daddy, too. That one shot left a huge hole on our family. I’m glad you can talk about it. Your stories make mine easler. Thank you.

  37. Dianne - September 14, 2018 1:36 pm

    I am so sorry that you have the painful memories of that night, but know also that you have good memories from many other days and nights which I hope will comfort you on this day.

  38. Rhonda Howell - September 14, 2018 1:38 pm

    It took a life time of living at the intersection of dysfunction junction and why, to learn that hurt and its side effects can be passed down like heirloom furniture. That it wasn’t my fault. But I had to make payments for something I had nothing to do with.

    I am thankful you found a way to live with it. There is no get over or get passed it, just the struggle to try to feel good about something every day. Especially when you are a child who has no way to understand something so complicated that adults can’t deal with it either.

    On this day I hope the sun will warm your face. I hope your dogs will lick your face and let you know you are loved. I am glad Jamie is there to love you through it. And I hope God will find a way to let your Dad tell you it wasn’t your fault.

    Love ya man. mean it!

  39. Travis - September 14, 2018 1:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I too have been touched by this terrible event. I pray for all!!

  40. Dana Dunnigan - September 14, 2018 1:46 pm

    Sean, thank you for sharing this. I lost my brother on July 22, 2007. My niece, who we raise now, is 14. She was 3. It tore our family up, but we have survived and have started to live again after these 11 years. However, his daughter is just now feeling and suffering the loss and it is so hard on her. We are going to see you at her high school in Panama City later this month. We can’t wait. Jade is really looking forward to it. In fact, she asked me two days ago, when she realized you lost your father the same way, if you could speak to our group at Angel House Bereavement Center next year. Thank you for your beautiful stories.

  41. Terrie - September 14, 2018 2:10 pm

    ?? and ? for you and your family.

  42. paula jones - September 14, 2018 2:11 pm

    A vivid and personal story like yours does more to help a hurting person than 1000 clinical expositions on suicide. Thank you.

  43. Ann - September 14, 2018 2:11 pm

    Sit outside, watch the sunset, smile, hug your wife, play with your dogs and remember your wonderful father who loved you so much. The disease was not him and he and your mother raised an amazing son. God bless you!

  44. emmbeedee - September 14, 2018 2:19 pm

    Hugs to you and your family today.

  45. Sondra - September 14, 2018 3:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. My heart is with you today.

  46. Barbara A W Hood - September 14, 2018 3:09 pm

    What courage it took for you to share this. I know every mother in your audience is sending you a big hug. Hug your mother for us. G-d’s blessings on you and your family. NanaHuck

  47. Nancy - September 14, 2018 3:14 pm

    God bless you

  48. Fraulein - September 14, 2018 3:18 pm

    This makes my heart hurts. God bless you!

  49. Jane Vaught - September 14, 2018 3:21 pm

    My son took his life on 9/10/00 .. I know

  50. Edna B. - September 14, 2018 3:51 pm

    What can I say? Hopefully, your story may help someone else who is thinking of taking this way out. Hopefully, they will go for help instead. God bless you Sean, you have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  51. Roxanne - September 14, 2018 4:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for living. Thank you for carrying the love of your father in your heart, for bearing the weight of it, and for showing us how you survived.

  52. James E Godwin - September 14, 2018 4:20 pm

    The tears, big tears are pouring, I love you Sean.

  53. Jim Rooks, MD - September 14, 2018 4:27 pm

    So sorry for the painful memory of today Sean. Your father I’m sure looks down from heaven proud of the man you’ve become that means so much to all of you who love your columns and admire you so much. God Bless.

  54. Beverly C Stokes - September 14, 2018 4:33 pm

    ….and there was love. I have watched you grow personally and professionally this year via these articles. The journey you made to your “other” home this year was the best trip you could have taken. The hurt remains but the love is showing through the pain, more and more. Love is now your theme….I am so grateful for you and your talent. I wish every person who has ever thought about suicide would read this article. Thank you…. and may blessings continue on your journey…

  55. sandysewwhatever - September 14, 2018 5:14 pm

    Hugs Sean, to you and your family. Ours was November ’98. They didn’t find my brother til 2 weeks later. My sister had yellow ribbons round all the trees. They looked and looked.
    The fallout for us went much deeper and other lives were messed up because of it. I still haven’t seen his little girl since she was 4 mo. old. Now she is 20. I am hoping I can get in touch now that she is an adult and hopefully can chose her own friends…and her own family. I cry every time I think about her Grandma only getting to talk to her if she went to the school and talked through the fence.

    Like you say, Get help if you know you are hiding something wrong inside you.
    It will kill you if you don’t get help.

    It will NOT make things better for everyone else for you to be gone.

  56. BILLY - September 14, 2018 5:23 pm


  57. Mary Lee Morris - September 14, 2018 6:04 pm

    You’ve referred to your father’s suicide before. You are in my prayers because that experience is from the devil. I’m glad you have many good memories of your father and they help you cope with this heartbreaking experience. God has blessed you and all of us with your musings.

  58. Patricia Gibson - September 14, 2018 6:38 pm

    Bless you, Sean!

  59. Marjorie - September 14, 2018 6:44 pm

    My brother killed himself. He was 25. He had mental illness. Depression. I do too. It’s hard to live with it. I think my whole family has it. 7 children and two parents. I lived in a very dysfunctional home. Sean, you rock! And you make me feel a lot better. God bless you!

  60. Sandi - September 14, 2018 7:17 pm

    You are so talented and have a God-given gift for writing. Thank you for being so vulnerable and brave! Blessings to you and your family.

  61. Jay Ward - September 14, 2018 7:25 pm

    I love you brother.

  62. Karen Murphy - September 14, 2018 8:09 pm

    Thank you for your transparency. I pray that this will speak to, and stop, any awful suicidal thinking.

  63. Sue Ellen Terrell - September 14, 2018 8:32 pm

    Oh Sean, this is the worst kind of illness. I’m sorry you had to see this as a child. It’s hard enough on adults left behind.

  64. Bob Hubbard - September 14, 2018 8:37 pm

    And today, all the children of God said “may the Lord bless you and keep you, and cause his face to shine upon you, and give you peace”.

    You deserve all the peace you can find…..

    Bob Hubbard

  65. Rhonda - September 14, 2018 9:20 pm

    Tears upon tears. If I could wave a magic wand this is the sickness I would cure. It hurts so many so much, especially the ones who are so desperate that they see no other way. Thank you for sharing your story and my prayer is that it will show someone that there IS another way. Your words touch me daily but today most of all. If I lived nearby I would hug you. Long-distance hugs!

  66. Kathy Bacon - September 14, 2018 9:32 pm

    May God bless and keep you, Sean…and all of us who’ve seen and heard things we wish we hadn’t, while growing up. There’s no suicide in my past, but plenty of family turmoil and ugliness due to mental illness and alcoholism. Thank you for sharing your story, in hopes it might help someone.

  67. Donna Gulliver - September 14, 2018 10:00 pm

    You are a good man, Sean. I have never met you but I feel as if I know you….your Dad would be proud of you! So many hard lessons in life…..

  68. Susan Kennedy - September 14, 2018 10:40 pm

    Sean you are so loved. I pray the Lord holds you tight today. ?

  69. Janie's Jottings - September 15, 2018 12:02 am

    Sean, I have told you my story before and was so touched by this. I have no words for how I feel about you sharing your personal story with the world. I am glad you are able to write so beautifullly about your daddy. He had a story and the fact that you are sharing it to help others would make him so proud. I hope that this account of how suicide affected your family will reach far and wide and will help those who need it to seek help. If even one life is saved what a blessing that will be.

  70. Helena Shirley - September 15, 2018 1:50 am

    Mental illness, including addiction, touch just about every family. Suicide is the ultimate symptom of this devastating disease. Thank you for sharing this very difficult story. I pray it will encourage others to overcome the desire to keep these issues hidden. I truly believe that discussion can be the first step to healing.

  71. Paul J LeBlanc, RN - September 15, 2018 2:39 am

    Sean, thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully folks who are involved in that same sort of situation will read it and get help for themselves or their loved one who needs the help. My brother committed suicide two years ago-we still really don’t know why, but I guess that is what it is about to the survivors, isn’t it? All the best to you and yours.

  72. Becca Allison - September 15, 2018 4:47 pm

    May you have peace.
    My husband’s father ended his own life on the day before my husband’s nineteeth birthday. They say that sometimes people do that and think they are giving their family member a present. His father had lost his wife three years before and had four other children, all under 13. All the kids have become wonderful people, having been raised by a wonderful aunt. My husband struggled, with me by his side, but at sixty-eight, has done the best he could and raised two wonderful sons.
    Perhaps it was a present.
    Good bless you.

  73. Carol - September 15, 2018 5:46 pm

    I understand what you are saying, I have a relative who is a happy good person an then one day because he couldn’t afford his medicine did a bad thing , and no one would listen or read his medical records and is in prison for 20 yrs.
    Thank you for sharing. He’s 74 and I’ve lost my baby brother so far away I can’t travel anymore to see him
    It’s been 7 yrs!
    Love ya!

  74. Laura - September 15, 2018 6:06 pm

    Sean, i have seen you write this story of your father and his troubled mind and death a number of times and each time it speaks to me, I feel the pain and sorrow of a young boy whose life was forever changed by the event. I can only imagine how your mother, sister and you felt that day and since. I have cried with many families in ERs and ICUs over my 48 years as a nurse, but have not personally experienced what you did. Loss and anguish, mixed with questions and sometimes guilt, can’t be quantified. We don’t understand and that makes the pain even worse. Thanks for always sharing your feelings and helping so msny know they are not alone. Love you, Sean!

  75. Kathy - September 15, 2018 6:29 pm

    Sean, thank you so much for your help in ending the stigma of mental illness and suicide. I have been in treatment for depression for more than 20 years, and have contemplated suicide many times. I’m also a recovering alcoholic. I am not ashamed of my story and share it on FB quite often. I want people to know help is out there. Thank you, Sean.

  76. David - September 15, 2018 6:32 pm

    Sean, such a poignant email about your father. I’ll pass on the advice I gave to a dear friend who lost his son to suicide a couple of years ago: “It’s not your fault.” Take care. David

  77. Grace - September 15, 2018 11:29 pm

    Bless your heart at any age. I’m sorry.

  78. red1mi - September 16, 2018 1:49 pm

    Dear Sean,
    You’ve told me many times, and it’s about darn time I told you: I love you. I can’t truly imagine what it’s been like for you, but your character shines through in your writing, and you take that worst moment and you create good from it every day. Thank you. So much.

  79. Jack Darnell - September 17, 2018 12:39 am

    I’m glad the kid knows a good man from a bad one! Thinking of you.

  80. Connie - September 19, 2018 12:31 am

    Suicide touched my life, 30+ years ago. My kids were young. I hurt more for them, than myself. I love you, Sean. I don’t know you, but I love you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  81. Bebe - September 19, 2018 2:02 am

    I’m sure your dad rarely ever leaves your thoughts. I’m sure glad you remember all of the wonderful things about him. I’m sure glad you recognize that he was sick and it was his illness that caused him to end his life by his own hands. I’m sure he would be so proud of the man his son has become. In my beliefs God did not cause this to happen, this was not his “plan” but I do believe that what you have been through has made you the empathetic, sympathetic, wonderful writer that you are. I truly believe our loving God makes good things come out of horrific events. I’m sure that someone out there will read your words and be affected by what you have said and just might realize that their life is so very important to those who love them. God bless you and keep you.

  82. Anna Ehrhardt - September 19, 2018 5:28 pm

    I am so sorry. Hold dear to your heart the wonderful memories that you and your Dad had – nothing will replace that. I hope and pray that more attention will come to mental illness in this country. Thank you for sharing.

  83. Wanda Gumz - September 29, 2018 2:20 pm

    Thank you for this article. I lost a dear nephew in 2016 to suicide and I still keep asking where did I fail him. Love your colum. God bless you.

  84. Terri - November 10, 2018 12:31 pm

    Dear Sean: My mother had severe depression. When I was 10 years old, I walked into the bathroom to find her sitting on the edge of the tub with a revolver pressed to her head. I ran out of that room and out of the house and kept running until I couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t want to go home because I was afraid of what I’d find. But I was a kid, so I did go home. She didn’t do it. She died less than 2 years later from pancreatic cancer. I still miss her every single day, even after more than 40 years.

  85. Julie - November 10, 2018 1:40 pm

    Thank you for trusting us enough to hold this story in our hearts. And may your words lead someone to take that first scary step and ask for help. Much love to you.

  86. G. Mitchell - November 10, 2018 3:21 pm

    Sending you and your family love and blessings for enduring this anniversary yearly and for turning it into knowledge and positivity for others to learn from. <3

  87. Mignoc. Watson - November 10, 2018 4:08 pm

    Love you. So sorry for the bad memory.

  88. Mignoc. Watson - November 10, 2018 4:09 pm

    Should be mignon. Watson

  89. Steve Winfield - November 10, 2018 11:45 pm

    You have so many “fans”. Much different from typical celebrity fans. People who really care for you, your wife, your dogs. A real blessing. I consider myself one. Most of us have experienced unexplained pain at some point. Knowing that makes us hurt for, and with you. Don’t ever stop sharing your life with us. It helps many of us just have better days. It really does.

  90. Wrenn Spencer - November 11, 2018 12:55 am

    That day for me was such actraume that I can’t remember whatcday it was. But it was end of August. I was to begin a job September 1st,1993. But when I got home, the big strong husband I’d left at home that morning was a broken 4 year old barely clinging to sanity. His father had just shot several people &then fatally shot himself. Every childhood memory hit my husband at once. It crushed him. It squeezed the life out of him. He got lost in the anger & despair. I couldn’t reach him. I started the job 2 weeks later, still numb & in shock. Two and a half years later, I had to move out to protect myself & my children from his anger which turned into abuse aimed at me. We struggled with separation. I went into counseling. He refused. We even remarried 9 years later, but the ghosts were still haunting him. In his world love hurt. I refused to accept that. We’ve been apart 14 years now. I still love that man. He’s a good soul. But he let his father’s actions destroy him. I live with that every day,separated by over 1000 miles from the only man I ever loved totally. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you lived through that. My children lived through losing Grandpaw the watching their daddy become a shell of who he had been. I hope people will read this &get help. I know your father had to be a good man,because look at you. No one’s life should be defined by their 1 worst mistake. But only those of us who have lived through it know this. You are an inspiration to me.

  91. Debbie Anderson - November 14, 2018 12:17 am

    I am devastated and gutwrenched for this kid, his sister, his mama, and his daddy. What a raw and bareboned telling of a terrible and horrible moment that was probably the singularly defining moment in this kids life. In the flashing of the blue lights, one can scarcely breathe, and I find myself in a flood of tears, as is usual when I read the stories that hint of this night. You have pulled back the curtain many times, but today you ripped it from the wall and threw it down, and I felt the terror of the two huddled children, whose lives were splintered with every piece of broken furniture, every shattering word spoken, every ugly thing that even now cannot bear remembrance. This is the most difficult thing I have ever read. It may well be the most important thing you have ever written, not only for your own healing, but for ours. Thank you for sharing with us and inspiring us daily. God’s Peace to you and your family!
    Debbie Anderson


Leave a Comment