Left Behind: A Piece of R.E. Hargrave
I’ll be honest. When Meredith first invited me to write the guest piece for her monthly ‘A Piece of Me’ feature, I sat there stumped for a while, trying to think of what I could write up that might be interesting to her devoted Diverse Readers. Should I write about my writing? My home chef escapades? Perhaps my neglected sewing machines and cupboards full of quilting supplies would like a mention . . .
Then I noted the date Meredith said this article would post—January 15, 2016—and it hit me like a wrecking ball. My dad should be turning 71 on this day.
But he’s not.
In the years Woody spent with us, he was a son, a brother, a Navy veteran who served during Vietnam, a lady’s man, a husband, a graduate of Wofford College, and my father. He was also depressed, though never diagnosed, and in October of 1987 he put a gun to his head. I was twelve.
Almost thirty years later I still remember receiving his ‘suicide note’ in the mail like it was yesterday, and feeling my world cave in. He left me.
As an only child—of divorced parents, no less—I worshipped the ground my daddy walked on; losing him was devastating. To this day, I can’t fathom the idea of a gun being in my home, not even for security, for fear of who it could be responsible for taking from me next.
Depression is real, folks. It’s also genetic. Mental illness is not a made up thing for propaganda hype and pharmaceutical profit. Once a person honestly feels they are nothing more than a burden to themselves and those around them, it’s hard to see through the suffocating cloud to ask for help.
This is when we lose our loved ones.
This is when the living get left behind.
If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline https://www.afsp.org/
Smallwood Graham Carroll, III
January 15, 1945 to October 1987
About R.E. Hargrave
You can find her on her blog: http://www.rehargrave.com/
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On Twitter: https://twitter.com/REHargrave
*Thank you to all the readers in the USA, Australia, and Canada who put PINK: Hot n' Sexy For a Cure on the best seller's list. #Books4Boobies2015