- Death & Loss of Life
Time Stood Still
My Dad had been gone all morning. He hadn't been feeling well and I was wondering where he was. He came in close to lunch time and seem frustrated. I always stayed out of his way when he was like this. My son, 1 week shy of being 4, said to my Dad," What you doing Granddaddy?". " I am looking for something right now little guy, go on and play, Grandaddy is busy".
My son and I had some lunch and My Dad had shut the door to his room. My son went to get something in the refrigerator and when he shut the door I heard a pop. I told him not to shut the door so hard. My son said "Mom I didn't". and of course I said "ok" and just went on. It would be hours before I realized what that pop was.
At about 12:20 the phone rang and it was for my Dad. I went to his door and Knocked and he didn't answer, I tried again still nothing. I called to him and no reply. Then I tried the door and it was locked. I thought maybe he had left again and checked the drive for the van and it was there. At that point I became frightened. So I beat on his door and still nothing. So I got a knife and pried the lock open and there was my Dad lying on the floor and I could see he was bleeding from his ear.
I ran and called 911 and they said they would send someone right out. In the mean time my son had been behind me when I had got into the room and was just crying and crying. I went back into the room to check for a pulse and there was none, i got blood in my hand and went into the kitchen to wash my hands and I remember standing at the window looking out in a daze and thinking " This is a dream, this isn't happening." Then I was brought back to reality as my son is hugging our boxer and saying " He's dead Babydoll, He's dead". He spoke the words and I realized it was true and I went to him and held him and time just seemed to stand still for us in those few minutes, that seemed like an eternity, for the ambulance to get there.
When the parmedics arrived they went in to him and within a short period of time came to me and asked me to sit down and asked me if my Dad had been sick. I told that he had been injured on his job several months ago and that he had been depressed. And that is when they told me that my Dad had shot himself. I was devastated, I couldn't believe it. I was angry, I was hurt , I was sad, but most of all it broke my heart for my little son, he adored his Granddaddy, and the pain he was feeling ripped my heart out.
Then I had to tell the family and my oldest son. Nothing harder than having to tell what happened over and over as I made phone call after phone, near and far, to let them know of my Dad's death. My oldest son, broke down, but ran a track meet that night as a tribute to my Dad, and won. My sister just collapsed, my Uncles couldn't believe it.
I held up good for everyone, I was strong. I made all the arrangements. Picked out his clothes & the casket. He was simple man and wouldn't have wanted anything extravagant, so I buried him in his jeans and western shirt, as he would have wanted it.
At the service, there were so many friends and family and I tried to greet them all with a smile and accept their condolences, but I felt so numb inside. They announced the final viewing and I told everyone to go ahead and as pew after pew passed by, I felt so desperate to run, because I could feel something welling up inside me and I didn't know how I was going to handle it. Finally after the last person, I thought, had passed out the door, I started toward the casket and I heard a noise that I couldn't explain and the instantly realized it was coming from me. To this day I can't tell you who it was but strong arms caught me and held me as I sobbed uncontrollably and then as I caught my breath they were gone.
That was 21 years ago. I cry as I write this , I miss my Dad so much. But the anger for his leaving is gone, the deep sorrow, has eased, but the tears are less now and the smiles are more as I remember good things about my Dad and not the bad thing that happened that day, so many years ago when it felt like time stood still.