It is my mother’s birthday today. I broke down and called her.
This could be some guilt happening due to my fathers actions. But in the end, I cried.
She had a massive stroke a few years ago. She doesn’t remember much about the present, but she does remember the past. She can cognitively think, but she has trouble talking. You can see behind her eyes she knows what she wants to say, but she can’t get the correct words out.
She sounded good on the phone. I told her “Mom? It’s Chris. Just calling to say happy birthday!” She giggled and promptly hung up.
So her and I spent the next 15 minutes trying to reconnect back. Finally it happened.
She was frustrated with her words but she tried to get out that she was very sorry about what my sister and I faced. She was very happy I called. She told me that she was having a nice day so far and then she wished me happy birthday. 🤣.
I knew what she was saying. She was just happy I called. I told her to call me whenever she wanted to and I would stay in touch with her.
I will. She did some fucked up things to me, and I think I can keep myself apart from that and just take a moment here and there to wish her well.
I did tell her I missed her. She said the same. But I wonder if I do? Do I? Probably not.
But saying the words made me tear up. Maybe on some sub level, I do.
Maybe losing one parent in such a way has me feeling a certain way about the other.
I’m doing a bit better from my last post. Man, I hit bottom that day. There’s no way out now but to go up, right? Who knows. I haven’t started the crawl up, but I’m at least sitting upright now.
I don’t really have anyone to talk to, because I know this is a lot. But I tested the friendship boundary a bit with my new friend person. She said, “I’m so intrigued. I know it was your father, and it feels awkward to ask, but how did he do it?”
Oh. My. God. THATS WHAT I NEED. Not the sensitive tip toeing, the awkward look aways, the clear uncomfortableness.
So I asked, feeling a bit awkward myself, what she was comfortable with.
She told me she was heavily into true crime, but also said she was a therapist. Before she had kids, that her profession was psychology and she was a family therapist.
She also said there was nothing I could say that would make her cringe.
::::Warning….Graphic suicide and blood talk about to happen::::::
So I told her. I was standing next to his car as we talked, that I can now absolutely drive and I am enjoying very much. I showed her marks on the car that happened the day he did it.
I spilled out the story I think I have pieced together of that day.
I feel in my bones that I have as much of his last minutes of his life as I will ever get.
It starts with life 360. I can see he went to the bank. I can see he went to see his parents at the cemetery.
Was he going to do it there? Maybe. Was what I think happened next an accident? Maybe.
I think he shot himself in the foot.
He has a carry permit and he often does carry. Even for town visits. Did he chamber a round to do it there and then shoot him self in the foot? Was the gun already chambered and he didn’t know? I will never know that part.
So he gets out at the cemetery to visit them and the shot happened.
I think in a pure panic and probably disbelief, he gets back into the car and heads home. Pulling into the driveway, he hits a retaining wall on the driver side, pulling into the garage under the house, he really bangs into the garage frame, messing up the passenger front end under the headlight.
He gets into the house and goes to his bedroom at the back of the house and kicks his shoes off all haphazardly.
This is incredibly unlike him. OCD has everything in his life in complete order.
What I saw when I entered his room that day to get away from the horror in the living room:
Blood. So much blood. Mainly entering and exiting back and forth from his carpeted bedroom into his bathroom. Very little blood in the bathroom, but it’s on the cabinet and wall and tub side.
But not on the floor.
On the carpet, I can see prints. My mind takes in that it’s a left footprint. Some of the spots on the carpet are absolutely soaked. There’s a lot happening to get that much soaked in. There’s one bloody flip flop neatly next to his slippers under a chair.
This makes no sense to me at all, that day, that first day standing there.
There’s a bloody sock tossed by the night stand, there’s a light trail of blood to the linen closet and back to the bathroom.
I call the coroner. “Did you see his back bedroom? What am I looking at?”
He says, “Yes. We saw that. It seems he had a sore on his foot that he was self treating.”
I accepted that, but as the days went on and the cleaning and piecing together happened, it really didn’t match a sore on his foot.
There was no signs of self treating anything. No bandages, no gauze, no medications… nothing.
There was also a light trail to the nightstand. Where he kept the gun he ended up using.
Theres a flip flop in the bedroom that was saturated in blood. But the flip flop in the living room was basically floating in a puddle of blood that did not connect with the um… main puddle of blood that ended his life. He still was bleeding from the foot. Heavy. It was a lot.
This does not look like a sore. This looks like a panicked injury.
I think he shot himself in the foot and tried to get control of the injury. The jeans he wore that day are in the hamper. On the right leg by the thigh, is a puddle of blood. Like he pulled the left foot up to examine.
There’s a soaked through handkerchief also in there.
In my anger that first day I was not putting what￼ I was looking at in place. I threw the shoes away. I did not look at them. If I had? I think I would’ve seen a bullet hole in the left one.
I don’t know what went through his mind at that point. I’m sad he didn’t call 911. Or a neighbor. Or me.
Never in a million years would he hit the wall, the garage, the car. Damaging his car or Escalade would never sit well with him. This tells me it happened out and about before he got home. I did not see if there was any blood on the floor mats. Again, in a weird and angry reaction those first days in Kentucky, I tossed the floor mats. They were of his favorite football team and I didn’t want to look at them.
Shooting himself in the damn foot would embarrass him beyond comprehension.
The light trail of blood to the linen closet/cleaner, and the complete lack of blood in the bathroom tells me he may have tried to clean it up. That may have been the bloody handkerchief. There may also be a towel somewhere I didn’t see.
I think from that point, he went to the nightstand and switched magazines. Or did something in there that I will never understand, and then went into the living room.
On the side table next to the couch, there were bullets scattered. It felt unorganized and panicked. Nothing like him at all.
He then sat right there on the floor and made a decision that he would not be able to take back or second guess.
The flip flop he had on that foot? Was it the right one? The left one? I will never know now because I rage yelled at that too as I pulled it out of the puddle and threw it away. Either way, I think he used the flip flops to protect the floors as he went around his room and the house.
On the coffee table was a neat pile of bills. Credit card debt that is in the tens of thousands.
Was that left for me? Or was he just organizing the bills he needed to pay.
The note that was left? I no longer think it was a suicide note. I feel bad now for yelling.
Instead, I found the letter on his computer typed up in 2019. It does start out with, “I’m sorry this will be an inconvenience to you…”
He then lists all I need to do and the passwords to everything. So no matter how or when he passed, he felt it would be an inconvenience.
I’m actually thankful for that note now. It’s helped a lot.
So in a morbid nutshell, I think he was out and shot himself in the foot. I think he rushed home, felt like it was beyond him, and he chose another way out. I think his bills overwhelmed him, the isolation of covid and just his state of mind.
This is not the first time he has attempted suicide. This is just the first time he succeeded.
The sore on his foot? I don’t think so. I ridiculously looked at what the body looks like at 7 days just laying there.
The coroner could clearly see what took his life, maybe that foot just didn’t play a big role to him as it did me. They didn’t see the clothes in the hamper. They didn’t know him. Something happened that day.
They didn’t look at shoes and and know he liked to conceal and carry. They didn’t know this man was the definition of OCD. They didn’t even know when it happened, but I did because of that app.
I don’t know if he planned it that day and things went wrong? Or more than likely, he had an accident that he could not see a way out of. Maybe the accident gave him, in his mind, a solid reason to just go ahead and check out of this life at this time.
In the end, he still chose a way out that maybe on some level I can understand, in a way.
In the end, I had to clean up a big mess and there is about a year of still cleaning up after him ahead of me. In the end, he took himself away from me for the last time.
My friend that day asked me, “Why do you feel it’s important to piece together the events that may have happened before?”
It didn’t take but a second to answer.
“I need a possible reason.”
She said, “Does this reason sit well with you?”
I took a big deep breath and paused. Does it?
It really does. To see that much blood in his bedroom was absolutely strange and very odd. It didn’t match the living room. It just didn’t add up. Maybe I just needed a bit to make sense.
Now. When I go back home… holy crap, I wrote home… I may feel a little different.
Sorry, this was long. It needed to written out of my head, as I hope and pray it will release some of the images that I keep flashing back to. I keep replaying it over and over.
I said something to my husband. I told him I think he may have shot himself in the foot that day.
He nodded. He’s the one that pulled the carpet up in his room. There was very heavy bleeding that soaked through the carpet, the foam and down into the plywood. It was heavy.
So he nodded. “I thought the same.”