Essays on Death and Suicide - Death of My Father

Essays on Death and Suicide - Death of My Father

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Death of My Father



The most significant and life changing experience in my life was when my dad died two years ago. It really awakened me to how the world works and how fragile life is. I remember the day perfectly. I was working with my guitar teacher, George at Nick Rail Music, when my dad passed away in a car crash at Mussel Shoals.


Later we learned that his heart had stopped while he was driving on the freeway due to an infection in his heart. Therefore his car went out of control when he lost consciousness, and drifted into the oncoming traffic.


Unbeknownst to my mom and me, we went home and I went to my friend Land's house, who lived downstairs in the condo complex that we lived in at the time. We spent the entire afternoon together and surprisingly my mom didn't even call me up for dinner, so I stayed with them and we had a barbecue. I remember sitting on the bench eating a grilled Portobello mushroom, relaxing with Land and his parents, and thinking how great life was. After dinner Land's mom went off somewhere, I wasn't sure where, but I just figured she went for a Pepsi run as usual.


I stayed and listened to music while Land worked on his guitar. Then I got the expected call to go back upstairs. So I said goodnight and went on my way. My mom sounded lost and very calm on the phone, not her usual happy self. Wondering what was happening I slowly opened the door to see my mom and Land's mom, Carol, sitting together on the blue and white couches. My mom asked me to sit down, so I sat between them while my mother began to explain how my dad had been in a car accident earlier that afternoon. "His car veered into the oncoming traffic and was hit from the side...he didn't survive." I remember at that moment Carol clenching my shoulder so much it hurt, but I was numb to the pain, we all were.


I didn't cry. None of us did. We were unable to comprehend how this could possibly be true. My dad had gone to work that morning seemingly fine.

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Later that evening my two sisters flew in from San Francisco and took a taxi to our condo. We spent the entire night and morning talking and being together.


It was at this time that I began to realize how fragile and vulnerable we are, that in just one second a person can go from being alive with family, friends, years of education, and goals, to being gone, wasted, never to come back. My dad would never return, never walk through that door and catch me. I would never jump into his arms again to greet him after his long day of work. My mother had always told me that bodies are strong things. If I got a cut or scrape I would take time to clean it, cover it and take care of it. "Your body is a strong thing; it will heal, it will be ok." Suddenly I realized that this was not always the case, there is not always hope, sometimes what happens is unchangeable.


One day it will be ok; but for now, I am left with an empty feeling in my heart. However I am forever blessed with the realization of how precious the people we love are, and now I know to cherish every moment, while it lasts.

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