Friday, August 31, 2007

Powder burns

He was 54 years old, had been someway involved as a peace officer, a cop, for the majority of his life; at least his working life. He had 4 children, 2 were step-children and 2 were from his first marriage, a mother, father, a total of 5 brothers and sisters and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He had many friends in the community despite the fact that he was known as being the toughest guy around. He was the chief of police after all and he had to portray himself as the guy that ruled with an iron fist even though his family knew better. According to them he was just "a big ole teddy bear" that looked like a monster but had a heart the size of "Texas".

He was planning on retiring this year when he turned 55 and his family was thrilled that he would finally be out of the police force; they knew he found it hard to cope. They had heard him say the same words they heard the other night on numerous occasions and felt he needed to be free from the responsibility of running the local force. His superiors knew that he had suicidal tendencies but the medication he was on seemed to be working just fine. From what I can gather however, his upcoming retirement was almost a forced issue.

His home was flanked by a home his brother lived in and on the other side were his aging parents. His brother and he were pretty close and did a lot together; they spoke to one another and visited their parents daily. About 2 weeks ago, without any ones knowledge, he stopped taking his meds and they said they could actually see the change in him as the days went by. They tried to get him to go to see his physician but he just outright refused. It was at that point that they realized he wasn't taking his pills. They didn't know what to do. He stopped going into work. The family themselves called his doctor to let him know the situation and were told that they needed to get him into his office and to keep a close eye on him until they did.

Well, the other evening he left his parents home after telling them and his brother that he was going to the station to get some things signed that needed his attention. His brother wanted to go with him but he told him not to, he was fine tonight. He did go to the station, he had signed papers, made a phone call and walked out, got into his car and shot himself in the right temple. The phone call it was later discovered was to his own home where he left a message saying he was sorry but could take no more; the gunshot can be heard on the answering machine.
This family is a group of people who in their minds feel overwhelmingly guilty for "letting this happen". I did the best I could but I don't know how to help them any further with only words or gestures or kindness. They knew he was ill, they admit it, they knew the situation, they expected this someday, they knew it was completely out of their control...yet they still blame themselves. There's probably more to this than I'll ever know, but I have to assume he was tortured by something terrible. Tortured to the point of death. I know my limitations and this one is beyond my scope. I have to try to find professionals to help them because right now they're crippled by this and I myself don't know how to give them the help I think they need.

1 comment:

paisley said...

well... i am a person who believes that we have the right to commit suicide... i cannot specify under what circumstances it is ok and when it is not... as that is not up to me,, it is up to the person involved... i feel sorry as i always do for the family...death is always hardest on the living... but i am relived for him that he is not longer being tormented... its over... he is at rest... and even if that is all death is.. it is better than being tormented day and night by your own brain.....

this is a link to a post called "on suicide" on my ....why paisley???? blog