Hey there, dad!
Today is a very personal post, the usual greeting would not feel right and had to be replaced for one post. Feel free to skip this post if you get triggered easily by reading about family, mental health, depression, suicide, losing people you love.
18 years ago I lost one of the biggest influences, role model in so many ways. 18 years ago my father did his third suicide attempt. His final, successful one. First one was when I just started school, hitting a tree with a car, second was cutting his wrists artery, third one was like the first one but obviously hit harder when I just had turned 11 years old. People always say the pain will fade, to me it does not. Of course there are days when it does not hurt but no day will pass that I won’t think about him. He is with me, in a way, wherever I am and you will find me asking him for advice in moments of silence.
Even if it would not be on my minds, being biologically related we have the same crooked pinky fingers, the same tiny jawbones and our faces look similar as well. And since he always was a huge role model, inspiration for me I often find myself showing a similar behaviour. Those tiny moments that make you smile, as they say a person is only really dead if noone remembers them anymore.
He was raised in a tiny city in the ruhr area, by a mother who was nice and loving but would fight for what she thought was right and an equally nice father. Let’s say they had clear male / female roles but both strong characters. His name was Fredi, born September, 13th. Virgo. A typical one. A person who could spend hours with his miniature railway, never be satisfied with the details of the houses or surroundings one could buy in stores, DIYing them himself instead. A person who would create garden patches in perfect 90° angles, who would call so many everyday things by their chemical names, who would be an intelligent and thoughtful mind, maybe sensitive, even though he would not show if something upset or hurt him. I wonder if that was one of the reasons he made his masters degree in chemistry or if that degree made him become the typical virgo, the hard working perfectionist I remember?
With that background I understand his tendency for depression, I understand why he did this to himself. He thought he was responsible for keeping the good financial situation of the family, having only a temporary contract at work, he probably was afraid of not being good enough in his own standards. The bosses assured him he would get a new contract after that one but for someone who has a tendency for depression this is something that those demons will stick to until they destroy you. Of course I wish this would not have happened, that somehow the therapies would have helped better, that he still would be here in person. Then again I never had to argue with him during my teenager days, did not hurt him by some puberty behaviour.
I also never saw my parents fight and according to my mom they only had one argument, maybe those moments when both had different opinions but they always found a solution without arguing. Probably what one would call the perfect relationship. He worked a lot, so the time we spent as family was rare but always filled with excitement, never boring. I wonder how he managed to be that full of energy, when there was a day off or some spare time in the afternoon we often went to amusement parks, worked in the garden, learned new things the entertaining way, played board games and talked.
So today being June, 15th it was 18 years ago, in 1998, that a policeman rang our doorbell a few minutes before I had to leave for school, my mom said nothing bad had happened but I am sure she knew what had happened and just sent me to school to be strong for telling me the bad news when I return home. She thought. I knew by the look on her face, by the look on the policeman’s face and by the horrible pain in my stomach that this was not true, that it had to be something really bad.
I often wonder what he would think about my behaviour, my life, my whatever or if he would have some advice to share. Wonder how he would be like today, in a world that has changed so much. He sometimes played Nintendo 64 with me, would he like online games or social media sites? I know he would like to teach me about photography, it was one thing he liked a lot. As you can immagine, there would be a million things I would like to ask him or things I would like to enjoy with him, places to show and all that. That early loss of my dad probably taught me a lot about life though. We have to show the people we love how much we care for them before it is too late. Give them that hugs that you would like to, ask them your questions, spend time together. Life is short and you never know how short it actually is before it is too late. Sure, if you are like me you believe in some kind of connection even after a loved one passed away but still it will never be the same again.
Those 18 years without you often were really painful but I am sure you are still with me, one way or another. See you again, one day. ❤
In case that you read through this entire article, there has been another soul-strip post a few months back: Goth and Depression?