A Father’s Suicide

I was five when I found my father's lifeless body sprawled across the floor of his study. I didn't understand that he was dead. I was just a child.

In the end I gave up.

Some might say I’d attempted to accomplish too much. A few might have even seen just how lonely I really was, but those weren’t words or sentiments I was going to hear.

In fact, I wondered if I’d hear anything at all before the bullet emptied my skull.

A long pause now, and I’m surprised to find myself sweating. It runs down my face, dripping from my chin onto the paper.

I hope they won’t be mistaken for tears.

My reasons are irrelevant. All that matters now is the press of cold steel against my face and the will to end this suffering.

A click, or perhaps a bang. I wasn’t sure. Maybe I’d hear nothing…



I was five when I found my father’s lifeless body sprawled across the floor of his study. At the time I was too young to understand my mother’s selfishness, or the burdens he carried in life to provide for us. All I knew in the world was his big warm hands and the love I felt every time he hugged me or my brothers.

The police found me curled up on his chest, crying uncontrollably. I didn’t understand that he was dead. I was just a child. I thought I could somehow warm his cold hands in mine or wake him by kissing what the gun had left of his face, but I could not.

My childhood ended that day, and with it a part of me I’ve never gotten back. I couldn’t wake him. Instead I had to learn what death was before I’d even begun to discover life.

For most of my life I couldn’t understand why my father chose to take himself away from us, rather than taking us away from a world that had so abused his generosity and kindness. But irony is a viscious beast, and at forty I find it constantly at my heels.

All I do is work to provide for a beautiful wife who never seems to have time or interest in sleeping with me. I have three wonderful boys I’m never able to see, and in the midst of it all not a soul to turn to. My only comfort is that I have at last come to understand the burdens of my father and the sorrow he carried. I just wish he were here to hold me and to comfort me.

It’s not the first time I’ve wished he were here, but it will be the last.

Maybe I’ll hear nothing…

H.J. Buell — August 2015 – a Scriggler first

Image Credits: Flickr

Suicide – NIMH

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