Father’s Day must be rough on fathers who have lost children. What’s the old saying? — No parent should ever have to bury a child.
This guy I know tells me his sister-in-law, the wife of his brother who died recently, invited him down to her place for a barbecue celebration of Father’s Day, along with her sons, the eldest of whom has three daughters and several grandchildren, and her other son who has his own son.
It was a kind offer — his sister-in-law didn’t want him to be alone, but this guy I know declined the invitation. He said he wouldn’t be the best of company on Father’s Day, since his only son killed himself at the age of twenty-three.
Adding to the emotional burden, as fate would have it, Sunday June 21 is the year-and-a-half anniversary of the death of his wife. He has never gotten over her death and he never will. She was his last hope in life. She got him through the death of his son and stood by him through thirty years of their tumultuous marriage. He couldn’t imagine anyone else doing that. Without her by his side, he said he would likely be dead himself.
Now, with his wife gone, suicide becomes an option. It now runs in the family, you might say, he said sardonically. Better than getting sick and going through chemo or being hooked up to machines in a hospital, he added. Master of your own destiny and all that stuff.
He said he’s working his way up to it. It takes planning, he said, it’s not something you rush into. You can rush into it, but this guy I know is a methodical guy, he wants to leave instructions on how to dispose of his property, find a good home for his cat, pick the right day and the best means to do it, most likely a gun.
Okay, whatever you say, this guy I know.
On the other hand, I suggested, tiring of the tedious dirge (it’s not like I hadn’t heard it before), you could go to your sister-in-law’s place and amuse everybody with your sardonic jokes.
Hmmm, he said, thoughtfully.