Have you ever heard someone talk about how you can feel a difference in the world when you’ve lost someone you love? Let me tell you, it’s beyond true. I remember sitting in church at nine years old and sitting up because my stomach had randomly dropped. I just felt a change. Leaving the church was worse. We got in the church van and we drove in basically silence because the drivers (who happened to be my neighbors) knew something I didn’t yet. We drove a different route and they took me to Wendy’s because we, for some secretive reason, had to meet my aunt Kelly (who was living with us at the time) there so we could go to my grandmas. As soon as I got in the truck, a negative vibe reassured me that something was wrong. I started to cry before I even got the news. I overheard my aunt Kelly on the phone with my half-brother. I already knew what happened. I just didn’t know how.
We finally arrived to my grandmas. I climbed out of the truck, fighting my tears. My grandma motioned me to sit by her, as if she already knew what she was going to say.
“Kayla,” she said softly. My palms began to sweat as I looked up to her. “Your dad,” she paused, “He’s with your grandpa Jo.” I already knew but hearing it said to me made the room spin.
“He killed himself,” my aunt Kelly blurted after I asked. I guess it was supposed to be a secret. I wondered what my mom would feel when she was told, and who would be brave enough to give her the news that she lost her husband to suicide. I also wondered when my mom would be back. She took a break. That’s always what I’m told. My mom disappeared because she needed a break. And while she was gone, my dad was sucked into depression.
That day was normal; beside the fact that my mom was gone. I remember my last conversation with my dad like it was yesterday, and I am forever grateful for that. I heard after he kissed me and my sister goodbye to go run some errands he went and told everyone else goodbye for good. He never directly said he was going to do it, but looking back I know he planned it. He went and told everyone how much he loved them, went home, and shot himself. There’s no way that’s a coincidence.
I wish my dad would have left a note. That’s something I’ll always wish I had; something to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault. It’s hard not to blame yourself when someone you love commits suicide and you couldn’t even tell they were depressed. It’s a different kind of emotion.