Blog post by Tina Winterlik © 2011
Why? you ask...well for alot of reasons. One, the biggest is because I had to deal with it at a very young age...just 11 years old. My father, a very loving kind man, took his life. There I said it.
I have been told throughout life by some, to just say it was a heart attack or something. My mom always told to to tell the truth. Mostly I never say anything.
It was a long time ago, 38 years so no reason to talk of such sad things. I'll tell you though that there was no help for him back then, we lived in a pretty isolated community and I remember the doctors giving both my parents lots of pills to deal with the terrible stress in their lives. I'm not going to share all the personal info but I just know they had no one to talk to. At one point they both tried the pills. My dad threw up or didn't take them, my mom took them and ended up getting her stomach pumped.
I know my dad tried a few times, he used to kiss us and tell us he was going off...to die...and we as numb little children would cry and beg him not to go and then go back to watching tv ...what could we do, while he drunkenly drove off....
He came home and said a police officer told him to go home.
On the day my dad succeeded he didn't do it with pills and it wasn't a car crash, I'm not going to go into all the details, I will just say that there was a gun involved. I hate guns.
My poor mom, I really don't know how she coped, that explains her heart attack and open heart surgery at 45 I guess. I was 14. Some people said we should have gone for counselling but we didn't. She was doing her best to keep us in school, fed and clothed and a roof over our head. She really was amazing! I miss her so much. That stress was what played a huge roll in why her body just broke down over time and she left us at the early age of 76.
To be honest, when someone you love commits suicide, it plants a seed in your head. When I was 15 I was terribly sad about a boy...totally normal, what young teen doesn't get hurt this way..but I decided I was going to end it all and I tried but my mom just got mad at me and told me I was stupid and never do it again. Yikes! But that tough love helped me somehow get thru it...and I survived my teens, and I don't think I told anyone.
Later in life, something terrible happened, and I lost my job and I was being harrassed by a teacher in a course I was taking and my whole life was turning into a disaster, and I thought about jumping off a bridge, just like this man. Luckily I didn't and when I got home I did tell someone, and we talked and talked and I survived.
I've learned a couple of things that have helped so much since then,
One is that if you can just get thru that very bad day, things truly will get better tomorrow.
Two is talk to someone you trust- tell them- just telling someone your burdens truly lifts a huge weight
I hope people will start to talk more and this subject stops being so secretive. We need to protect the ones we love and reach out if you think someone is awfully quiet or acting odd. If someone you love is depressed spend time with them, let them know you care.
Well I have to go make breakfast. Let me tell you something about the secretiveness and taboo of suicide, my daughter knows about what happened to her grampa and it makes her very sad and she cries, but it is life and I feel she needs to know. Where as my niece has never told her children and she feels they are too young to know about stuff like that...they are older than my daughter. It's definitely taboo and I don't know if we can ever break the cycle...after all it's against the law...and many believe against God's law.
Just one last thing, if there's any mommies or daddies out there who are super stressed and really feel that you can't cope, STOP! Stop right now and think about your kids and what will really happened to them if you leave them all alone in this world. Don't do that to them. They need you. They need you as a whole healthy loving supportive person. Please, please reach out and get some help. Take it from someone who has been there. Please don't give up, just get thru today, tomorrow a miracle will happen. Just pray for help, pray hard and you will be amazed. I'm praying for you today. Don't leave, it will get better, your family needs you. Don't leave your children behind. Call someone, go have a coffee, meditate, focus on positive things, BREATHE! Please reach out for the sake of your child. Please!
So weird, as I watch this little video I created to remember my dad, I am reminded I will be the same age this year as he was when he passed, and I can not help but feel teary and sad as I wish things had been different.
But I have my little girl and I will go give her a big hug and we will do our best to have the best day even though we have lots of stress from the men grinding the cement off the outside of our building to a host of other issues...but all we can do is get thru today...and the next and the next and miracles do happen...all the time....some little some big...but we just don't know what God has planned for us, we just have to stick around and wait and see....Please do that for me...Okay! Don't ever give up! :) As my family always says to me, "Chin up buckroo!! Chin up!"