Twenty years ago today I awoke to a world without my dad. He’d shot himself in the head in the next room while I slept. There’s something dreamlike about heading to bed one insignificant evening—with a father,— and waking the next morning without one; having someone and then so suddenly losing them.Read More
You would be 54 today, Dad. And I can hardly fathom it. Sometimes, it feels like the only language I know is time and we commune in years. I can still remember when we'd speak in days and hours and minutes, but it's been a while now, for both of us.Read More
Suicide is war. And perhaps not with a foreign or nameless enemy but with oneself. It’s an internal struggle of incomparable breadth. You lose enough battles and you lose the war. Bloodshed abounds. My father was at war with himself for years, if not decades and ultimately, he lost but it was something he could not heave himself out of or walk peacefully away from, waving a white flag. He was slated to fight until the day he died. That was his fate and he handled it as gracefully as he knew how. I have never blamed him for leaving. As quickly as I learned he had died I had forgiven him. Leaving early and on his terms was a non-negotiable clause in the fine print of his life. Somewhere, deep down in the pit of my gut I had always known it.Read More
My father felt a pull away from this anguishing life to the battlefield and conclusively to someplace better and with trustfully less heartache. This goal became his duty and obligation and it was the only way he knew how to move forward. And I have suffered heavily, myself, as a result of this but I no longer hear the Why Me? record skipping in the back of my mind because on December 17th, 1998 I gained something valuable that many people never do: Boundless gratitude for my much deeper capacity for joy. It would only take nearly half my lifetime without him to realize it.Read More
"15 years ago a man moved into the next step.7 and a quarter centuries earlier, another man traveled on too. Their deeds, their lives, even their words and daughters are beautiful echoes. "The future is ours - it's ours to choose." - Clay Tillett "What you seek is seeking you." - Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi... better known as Rumi. This can be a hard day, but I think you know happiness today. The fact that you can feel it today, means you can feel it any day. I'm grateful to be a part of it. I would tell your dad that you are an incredible friend. I'd tell him you are a great human being. That you've grown into an amazing woman. I'd tell him how in love with you I am, and pray I've done good by you, and continue to. I'd hope he found me worthy. I love you, Becky. I'll never stop." —M. O'ShaughnessyRead More
Two nights ago I found out my dad shot himself through the head, not the chest. I can see why most people might wonder why such a thing matters. Dead is dead. But it does. For the last almost-15 years, I've been dealing with a tragedy based on facts that were actually WRONG. And I have no, no idea how I even got said facts. Did someone tell me that? Did I make that assumption when I was being pushed out of my own house and barely got a glance of him? Did I overhear it? Did I create some fantasy of what happened in my head, not really knowing?Read More
Anybody who really knows me knows my growing-up years were a bit tumultuous. My dad was a troubled alcoholic battling some pretty horrific demons. I was a painfully shy only child who morphed into a painfully shy, self-destructive and severely depressed teenager. I remember writing in my journal around the age of 15 that I absolutely would not make it past the age of 19. I'd planned to end it as soon as I found the courage because if what I'd experienced thus far was "life" why bother living much longer? It was all so terribly sad - how unhappy I was growing up and how little desire I had to be happy. In my defense, I think I just didn't know how.Read More
I’m marking the 11th anniversary of you being gone,
by continuing my attempt to forget the pain you left me with.
Every time you creep into my mind
I feel a sharp knife twisting through my back
straight into my heart.
No. 7 /
“Even though I think about you every day. I don’t think of you anymore.
Memories, yesterday, people have all become outlines, silhouettes –
all distractions from my real life.
…from the life I’m supposed to be living now."Read More