My Mental Health Journey 15: Remembering Dave
Tomorrow is the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month. My hopes is that, despite the end calendar time frame, we’d all continue bring awareness to this life changing and ever growing illness. My hope is that we’d continue to encourage, support, and check on one another.. Simply because we can.
On this last day of May, I wanted to write about the man who made suicide very real to me. I want to write about him because he was human… And he had some amazing qualities. I love him, and he deserves to be remembered.
Dave was born in January of 1978, birthday two days after our daughter’s. He was half black and white… But, to friends, he was teased about looking Hispanic. He was the second born, had an older brother, younger brother and sister.
I was born in 1985; therefore, I was several grades below him in school. There was enough years between us where I really didn’t see him much. His family didn’t have much. Dave was always working a second or third job for what he and his family needed. At a very young age, he began caring for someone else… And in the process, he stopped caring about himself. Taking care of others became his life, his identity… That’s where the mistake happened.
Fast forward a few fifteen years later, I had left my first husband for a woman I was madly in love with! It was the first time I pursued such feelings; and, I was crazy about her. Less then four months later, she pushed me out the door. She wasn’t good enough for me stuff was what she used for reasoning. Few years later, Deja vue. I’m married and have my daughter… She tells me she had cancer and six months to live.
When you’re trapped between a rock and a hard place, no decision seems right… Because someone gets hurt. I was content with my life, for the most part. I didn’t want her to pass away and have regrets. I chewed at this idea for three months!! I loved Dave… I was still in love with her.
Dave’s emotional state began to fall ill. He wasn’t eating much. He was having racist issues and false accusations issues at work. His liver was also beginning to fail. He was rough and jaundice. He started picking up on natural signs of me being in love with her, though, of course it wasn’t my intention to do so. Once, when I thought things between she and I weren’t going to work, he said he was about to take a handful of pills (Benadryl was really all we had that could cause major damage.)
July came, and she and I signed the lease for our apartment. Little did I know, Dave was making life thereafter arrangements. I question my character sometimes, if I should have done more… if I should have stayed… if I should have called one of his friends.
The cops showed up at my house, just within an hour of me putting all the pieces together. I was frozen almost, unable to do anything… almost paralyzed. Most people go into extreme hysteria in a situation like this… wailing and rushing to arms… collapsing or passing out… nope… I was as if just told he got a speeding ticket. My 18 month old needed me to keep my shit together. In the days to follow, Dave’s brother and friends blamed me. I was dubbed a “psycho murderer”… but everyone looks for someone to blame.
Despite his tragic passing, he was a great man. He worked hard! He loves old cars, Rolls Royce and those huge Station Wagons. He loved the Mountaineers, NCIS (Zivah Da(veed) (⬅️ pronunciation) was a main character. We named our daughter after her.), and beer. He was super giving, and the first to lend a helping hand. He loved his hometown, Bradford, PA.. And wanted to move back there. He wanted to be an Aviation pilot. He absolutely loved country music, spaghetti sauce made with green peppers, and fishing. He was so smart about nature and wildlife. There was so much I loved about him… And our Zivah added so much to our lives.
I get angry about his death because I hurt. He was a great guy. Provided what he could, worked so hard, never stopped trying to improve life for us.
I’ll always miss my friend.