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The Day He Killed Himself

November 15th, 1995. That is the day my grandfather shot himself rather than face me in court.

My memories are few and vague. I remember the hotel that morning, going to check out the continental breakfast, I have flash memories of the detectives coming to tell us my grandfather was dead of his own hand, and that’s it.

I don’t remember the 36 hours prior to packing up the hotel, traveling to the airport, or flying back home to California. I don’t really remember the inside of the courthouse, or the faces of the judge, the lawyers, and detectives that I had been working with for a year or so at that point. In fact, if it weren’t for my diary entry, I wouldn’t even remember the name of my court-appointed advocate. A woman that I do remember in essence.

The one solitary diary entry that I wrote about this day gives me no additional details either.

For such an impactful and pivotal moment in my life, it’s almost like it never happened. I let myself, perhaps even encouraged myself, to forget.

I’ve touched on this in therapy; my lack of memory, and about how this experience makes me feel. This is a part of my childhood that I never give much thought to. I brush over it in therapy. I can see why, I have dissociated all feelings towards it.

Coincidentally, I do have a never ending ocean of tears to cry over it though. It’s like my mind just wants to erase this day from my memory but my senses can’t shake the grief.

I feel like I can’t catch my breathe sometimes. Sometimes, the complexity of my trauma knocks the wind right out of me when I try to touch it, but I know I have to lean into it.

So today, I am acknowledging one of the worst days of my life. A day that changed many of my perceptions of the world: of family, of safety, of stability, and of my own place of existence. Many of those perceptions followed me like a shadow into adulthood and try to get in the way of normal daily functioning.

I’m going to be patient with myself; I am going to feel it, process it, and do the best I can to move past it. If only the feeling and processing part wasn’t so painful and tiring.


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11 thoughts on “The Day He Killed Himself

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  1. I appreciate the courage it takes for you to share your story. My heart aches for what you experienced. I can connect to your reaction of having a flood of emotions instead of cogent verbal memory.

    1. I have a snuggly toddler, an Afghan project, a great book, and an amazing husband … plus therapy twice a week if all else fails. πŸ˜πŸ˜…

      But in seriousness, I am taking it easy, and I appreciate your words of encouragement. πŸ’œ

  2. What a powerful post. I quoted some of your words to my therapist. There are years missing from my life and I wish I had written more in my teenage years. I believe I encouraged myself to forget too….

    “Coincidentally, I do have a never ending ocean of tears though. It’s like my mind just wants to erase this day from my memory but my senses can’t shake the grief.”
    I had to share this with my therapist, because it speaks so accurately to my own experiences. Thank you for your words, I am misty eyed.

      1. I am comforted to know we and so many others are healing together. You are breaking the cycle, it takes immense courage to be a parent such as yourself and it will make all the difference ❀❀

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