I am here because I am a very angry person, like so many others who spew their venom across the web. I, however, don’t want to call people names or say things that aren’t true.
I’m hoping I can make all of that work.
My 26-year-old son killed himself in my living room on August 23rd. That is what is forming most of my ideas, at present. I am sick and angry and bubbling emotions everywhere. I found him on our living room floor. I am pretty sure that he was trying to get outside so that we would not always have that picture of him tucked up, permanently sleeping on the floor. Of course, he also could have been trying to get upstairs to me because he had changed his mind. I will never know.
On his desk, in the corner, his computer was on. On the screen was the website of his insurance company. He couldn’t find the help he needed. Tucked under the edge of his mouse was a single Klonopin pill he had missed. I guess he took enough.
What do you do when you find your child dead on the floor? He was a man, but he was my child. It doesn’t make sense when you look at it. Your brain makes up a story. I thought he was sleeping and I had just gone out to get him breakfast. He loved iced coffee. I raised my voice, but he didn’t move. I put his food on the stairs and poked him. He didn’t move. I pushed his side. His whole body shifted, statue-like, to the side. I panicked. His younger brother was upstairs, so I screamed for him repeatedly, because, in my damaged mind, he would be able to wake him. He couldn’t.
We both started yelling at this point. His brother ran to get a phone. I told him not to run. He didn’t need to. My son was stone cold. His eyes were frozen over, open beneath his glasses. We put 911 on speaker. The call-taker insisted that we start chest compressions. I shouted that there was no point, he was hard as rock, he was dead. I’m over half a century old. I know what dead looks like. He was yelling at us, thinking we were panicking. We were, but not in an irrational way, if that can be the case. Our family member was dead on the floor.
He told us to get a pillow and turn him over and start chest compressions. We had to flip his body since he would not bend, and his face was flat where it had been pressed to the floor. He was dead. I tried to explain to the call-taker just how dead, dead was. He said that I couldn’t know.
No, I knew.
So I tried to do chest compressions on my unbreakable, unbendable son. Perhaps magic would work and the words of the automaton would make him soft again. No. It didn’t. I got tired of pressing on stone, so I asked his younger brother (22) to take over. He tried. He pushed a few times and said that he couldn’t do it and I started again, as he vomited. I kept repeating to him that his brother was dead, long gone, no longer living in there. He had been dead a while. His magic wouldn’t work either.
We live in a small town, on a dairy farm. We have one full-time police officer and a few part-timers who split their time in the surrounding towns. Fire and EMT are volunteers. Yes, volunteers. They came very quickly, under the circumstances. They care. They try. They couldn’t do any better. 10 minutes or so. The fire station is on the next street. Some of them must live nearby. We left the house to make room. I told them as they went in that he was cold-gone, but they were tearing packages open and opening gear as they went in.
The police officer crouched in front of us. I had gone to the car, right next to the room in which my son lat dead. EMT’s came right back out, tossing things on the porch as they left. The police officer was the father of a friend of this surviving son, so he asked how he was doing, “Really? You’re going to ask that now?” Yes, he is. It is a glimpse at normal. Something he can make sense of.
They were all very kind. They took time asking questions. They gave us breaks in between. I had called a friend since my sons’ other parent was away. I talked to his parent and said that there was no rush, but they needed to come home now. There were questions. I deflected. How do I tell the other parent that their son is gone? They must have known and the hour drive back must have been agony.
This goes on and on and on. It has no ending. There are more stories within the story. When the Victim’s, Inc. volunteer came, she called my surviving son by his dead brother’s name. I looked at her and said, “No. That’s the dead one.” Can you manage to get that one little point right? There is so much. I am angry.