For months, Greg has been depressed. My mom has taken him to a shrink and to his dr. They have tried different meds and therapy. Recently, his heart went into a-fib and it scared him. It was a sign of his mortality. Even though he was only 69, he was starting to realize his age was slowing him down. This really bothered him.
One day he called my mom at work and said he had a nightmare. He dreamt he killed himself…it was two different ways. One he drank round up…the other was he hung himself. My mom went home to be with him b/c she was worried. They talked about it and he admitted it wasn’t a nightmare…it was something he was considering.
My mom was scared and called the dr. They up’ d his meds and sent him home. She begged him to let her know if he had any suicidal thoughts again. He said he would tell her.
Monday morning, she left for work. He was still sleeping. She had tried to call him a few times that day to see how he was doing. He never answered. On her way home from work that evening, she was caught on the turnpike behind an accident. She was frustrated b/c she just wanted to get home.
She got home and was confused as to why Greg’s car was blocking the garage, where she normally parked. She got out of the car and went to the back of the garage (his garage is huge – it has a back room and then 3 large bays) and opened the door and hollered in for him. It was dark and he didn’t respond.
She went into the house and it was dark as well. She started to get scared that he had committed suicide and slowly walked into each room, calling his name. As she entered the last room, she closed her eyes, scared of what she would find. But it was empty. She sighed, relieved he was ok, assuming he was in the back part of the garage working on the car.
She went into the garage, entered the first bay and turned on the lights. He was standing there, with his back to her. She said, why are you standing here in the dark? He didn’t respond. She said, Greg. What are you doing?
At this point her eyes adjusted to the light and she realized his feet weren’t on the ground. He was hanging from the engine hoist that is attached to his ceiling. She ran over to him to see if he was still alive, but sadly, he was not.
She called me…Dennis answered my phone, we were eating dinner and it was closest to him. I could only hear his end ‘what? he did what? Who killed himself? What?! Greg killed himself?!’. I flew out of my chair and started getting on my shoes and told him to tell her I was on my way. I grabbed my keys, he threw me my phone and I was out the door in seconds.
It was the longest drive to Swanton, I’ve ever made. It takes about 35 minutes to get to their house, that day it seemed like it took hours. I was worried she was alone with him for so long, but luckily my aunt had made it out there quickly, as well as the sheriffs.
It was a long night…my mom was such a mess. His family came over, he has 6 siblings, and they were more concerned with getting rid of all of his stuff, than the fact that his body was still hanging 40 ft away, while we waited for the coroner to arrive.
My grandfather killed himself when my mom was 19. Now she had to live through it again, 40 years later, only in a different role. I wanted to take her pain away, but that isn’t possible, so I was just there for her.
Sadly, his family insisted she move from the home she had lived in for 4 yrs, b/c legally, it was now theirs.
I know it’s going to take time for her to heal, but I hope her pain subsides a little more every day because her sadness makes all of us hurt for her.
If you EVER, EVER, feel like there is no fixing it and you just want it to end, please…please talk to someone. The pain you leave behind is unfathomable and the questions and blame your loved ones feel is gut wrenching.Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255