Monday, March 04, 2013

My Father's Suicide: On the big week

Confession: I debated whether or not I wanted to post this today. Maybe part of me thought I could save my heart just a little bit of pain if I didn't make a big deal out of this week. Maybe I could somehow put a protective wall around my heart, shielding it from a week that will surely be a difficult one.

But that's a foolish notion, isn't it? To think that I have the power to easily distract both my mind and my heart -- as if I could just turn them off like a switch. It's a naive thought, really. Because I simply can't turn off my emotions, even if I wanted to. There's just no way I can turn them off in the face of something like this.

This week is most definitely not the time to be playing hide-and-seek with my emotions. After all, it's The Week. The week before everything changed some 10 years ago, before everything in my once-stable world began to crumble around me. At least, that's how I feel now about this week, the week before my father committed suicide on March 10, 2003.
Now, if you had asked me 10 years ago to describe this week, I would have painted you a very, very different portrait. Last week, I was telling my therapist that it all seems to come down to a matter of perspective. The 2003 me was so excited for this week. It represented the promise of a new beginning and the hope of a brighter tomorrow. After all, my father had just finished all of his chemo and radiation. No more going back and forth to the hospital every day. My father -- all off us, really -- had just been set free, and we couldn't be more thrilled, thankful and hopeful. We were certain that the cancer was gone for good and would stay gone for good.

And the 2013 me? Well, needless to say, she's not too excited about the upcoming week. She knows all too well what happened a decade ago and what's happened since. It's a lot to take in -- maybe something that can only be absorbed in very small doses.
Perspective can be a funny thing. You may think you're seeing something perfectly clear, and then, it's only years later that you look back and realize your supposed 20/20 vision was pretty off the mark. Looking back, I can't believe how differently I can view the week leading up to my father's death depending on the perspective I'm looking at it from. It's almost as if it changes your entire world view. How will I view this week in 10 more years from now? How about 20? I'm not sure, but look for more posts about my father throughout the week, friends! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. Melissa, I'm so glad you have and continue to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel. I can only imagine how hard it has been. I think you're incredibly brave and strong. I can definitely understand the sentiment of how much perspective makes an incredible difference in the emotions that surround a memory, especially a difficult one. Wishing you peace today and always. xoxo

  2. Gaining perspective with each passing year must be difficult and healing at the same time. I am glad you are able to write about it and so sorry for your loss.

  3. Annie -- exactly! I never really thought I'd feel such a change in my emotions over the years. It's pretty amazing what time can do.

  4. Kate, thanks so much for your kind means a lot! xoxo

  5. Wow Melissa- so brave of you to tell your story. I am sorry for your loss.

  6. Melissa if I were in your shoes I know what would be going on in my head. Every moment would be reliving the week in slow motion. Looking for signs, thinking what if... I hope that you don't go there. You are very brave to talk about all of this and please know that you have a community that is behind you, rooting for you.

  7. i think its amazing that you wrote about this and its probably helpful to get what you are feeling out, as its not any less i'm sure than what it was 10 years ago. hugs.

  8. I can't imagine how hard this week must be, but I'm honored that you share the struggle with all of us.


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