Other People's Stories
I was 18 when dad died. It was just over 6 years ago and he died from suicide. I was in my first year of uni. I tried to keep studying but I couldn't so I took a few months off and went back the next year. I finished my degree now and I think I'll do some more study.
I still don't like talking about it. Some people avoid me but some people want to talk to me but mostly I don't know what to say. I wonder why he did it. I'm angry that he left us - that's the thing I have most - I'm angry. Angry at what he did, that he hurt mum and his parents and my brother and sister. But I'm not as angry now as I was.
Sometimes I was angry with the doctors, mum tried to get him into hospital but they said he was OK and he didn't need to be in hospital. Sometimes I was angry with mum because they used to fight; I was angry with my older sister because she had some drug problems; and I was angry with myself for not going home to visit mum and dad more and for a whole lot of things.
He phoned me the day before he did it and asked me if I wanted to go to the footy with him. I said no. I had exams and wanted to study. I go over that phone call and think I should have said yes. I don't think any more that it would have stopped him, but at least I would have had more time with him, another day.
I couldn't talk to my family about it at the beginning. I was too angry and I think I was confused and I just thought someone was to blame - dad or me or mum or my sister. I don't think like that now but I did and I couldn't say it to anyone.
My dad's brother did it, killed himself, before I was born, so that's why I'm angry with him too. He could see how bad that was and he still did it. Everything turns to shit and everybody feels bad and no-one knows what to do. And now I worry that sometimes I won't be able to cope with life too and that I'll do it.
I used to hate it when mum cried and I hated it when my sister cried, I'd just want them to stop. I would feel bad and not know what to do. It was too much.
Being with some of my friends helped, being around my grandparents helped. Being with my brother helped, I used to worry about him. I worked part-time in a local shop and the manager was good and that helped. I kept on working. Drinking a lot didn't help, but I did it for a while anyway - but it didn't help.
I've got a girlfriend now which helps. Her brother died years ago, from asthma, so she kind of gets how it is.I talk to my mum more now, and my brother and sister. I see them most weeks and we meet up for his birthday and the anniversary. I wasn't into this when it first happened, but it's OK now. At least we can be together now and not all feel really bad. And we can talk about dad now and things he did and how he was and funny stuff and we laugh. I thought we might not laugh ever again but we do. We all still miss him though.