Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Four years ago today, my life and that of my family was shattered by the suicide of my son-in-law, David.

This came at the end of spring break week, where my sister and I took the kids (including my grandson) to New York City for a week-long tour. We had a great time, seeing all the sights, all of which were new to my sister and her kids. We did the usual touristy things: visit the Statue of Liberty; go to the Empire State Building; visit Wall Street; go on a walking tour of the city that included Central Park; visit NBC Studios for a tour; shop the Hershey store; go to Toys 'R Us to ride the ferris wheel; and one of our most fun spots was a visit to the Wax Museum.

When we got back home, we learned the news. It had happened that day. I can't convey the shock and grief that came over me and my family, something that hung on for quite a long time in fact.

Without going into detail of those years, I couldn't help but think today, as I was out running in the cool morning air, of the runs I had gone on with David. David who was fleet of feet in a way I never was, even at my best, who had so much potential. David who had so much joie d'vivre. David who also fell to the depths of depression, farther than we ever knew.

I couldn't help but think too about all the years of depression I had gone through over this and other life events previously, and yet here I was, as sane and whole as someone could be under the circumstances. But yet, for some reason he lost something or got lost along the way. One of those things we will never know and never understand.

What made me different from David? What helped me cope and survive and never once think of ending it like he did? Many reasons, I'm sure, but I have to give credit to my belief and faith in God, and the gift I was given 20 years ago: the gift of running and later triathlon.

Because that's how I view my athletic self. And I do know it is what finally got me back on track.

So David, I'm sorry for the way things turned out for you. I wish I could have helped or done something. But I had to move on with my life, and so today, this run's for you.


Anonymous said...

Vickie...I have tears, and that doesn't happen very often with me.

You wrote this so eloquently. I can feel the "realness" of it. That day and the days after must have been so difficult.

For some reason, David must have lost hope along the way.

The way you handled this really hits home with me. Faith in God, running and triathlon saved me after my mom died...although my faith in God was shaken for a while. I like to do a long run on Mother's Day each year and think of her.

Thanks for sharing this :)

Shelley said...

This is so sad, I remember you telling me in the past Vickie. There are times when I often think the world would be better off without me, but it's the cheaters way out..the easy way..i'm going down the hard road of life and seeing it on someone else's terms in the end..:-)

Take care!!

bunnygirl said...

My family and I have been touched by suicide more than once and I know there are no easy answers.

Peace to you and yours. Keep believing!

Flo said...

This is sad. It's sad when someone you love is hurting so badly and there's nothing you can do.

Anne said...

Very moving post, Vickie. It's too bad David didn't seek professional help, or maybe he did and it didn't penetrate deep enough to prevent him from taking his life and leaving those who loved him in such a sad state. Time does heal, but only so much.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

It's nice that you ran for David.

It's so tragic. I can't begin to understand how a family deals with that. One of my colleagues had to deal with suicide in the family about 6mo ago. The pain. The grief. The guilt. The despair. I can barely comprehend what they all went through. That family also has strong faith in God. Without it, I'm not sure how they could get through such a difficult time.

Sorry your family had to experience it. Sorry for David. Sorry for all the 'what ifs'.

Stay strong.

jahowie said...

I'm very sorry that this happened to you and your family. I'm glad that you were able to find strength and continue on.

Lily on the Road said...

oh my dear, the strength you have. Thank you for sharing your most inner feelings.

Truly God gives us the strength we need and the direction to move forward.

Thank you so much for sharing and I am so glad you had the courage to run in David's memory.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Very nice tribute. I'm sorry for your loss and for the feelings that you should have done something. I'm glad you got to run for him and give him this tribute.