Never Will I Have Closure — Reflecting on My Dad’s Recent Suicide

Today I find myself in a place of loss, heartbreak, worry, confusion, sadness and complete devastation. My faith is incredibly shaken and I don’t honestly know if I will ever feel whole again. Just before the end of 2016, my father took his own life. Although I’ve pieced together some of his final steps from that terrible day, I’ll never understand what made him do it. I’ll never have closure. I’ll never again hear his laugh, listen to him sing, I’ll never have another hug — he took all of that away and more.

This was my dad Frank. One of the rare times we actually snapped a picture of him smiling.

The hardest part of all of this is what is left now that he is gone. A broken home, finances in turmoil, and three women (my mother, my sister and me) who needed a man who thought the world would be better off without him. But, the reality is we needed him more than he could have ever understood. Oh how I wish I could go back and tell him over and over again how much he was needed and loved. What I would give to rewind to the moment he and I had what would be our last argument so that I could say, “despite this fight, I love you dad.” Unfortunately though, as we all know too well, once someone is gone there is no going back.

I am writing this post for a few reasons. First, and foremost, I want to tell the world that if you have someone in your life that you love — TELL THEM! Hold them close and let them know just how much they mean to you.

Secondly, if someone in your life is threatening to take their own life, seek help immediately. The number for the national suicide hotline is 1–800–273–8255. Don’t wait! It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re reading this and you have been considering taking your own life - for any reason — please don’t do it. You are loved and this world needs you. There are other options. Please don’t give up on yourself.

Finally, I’m writing this post to ask for help. It’s incredibly difficult for me to ask for help. I’ve struggled with it all of my life. But, when you are pushed against a wall, and have nothing left to give; suddenly you break and find you have no choice other than to ask others to help you. If you could, please say a prayer for my family that we may find peace and understanding in this time of grief. I have also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for my mom to help her save her house and pay her bills. Since my dad’s manner of death took life insurance out of the equation, my mom is struggling to figure out how to pay for the home they built together. If you can spare just $5, I’d appreciate it more than you know. Our page can be found at RememberingFrankRader.com.

I think this was my last photo with my dad. My wedding day in 2006. I’m devastated we weren’t closer and that we’ll never make up.

I appreciate every one in my life who has helped my family through this incredibly difficult time so far. Your messages, thoughts, prayers and donations have meant the world to me and my mom. I look forward to that day, once we get our affairs settled, I can start the important work of paying all of this kindness forward. Until that day comes though, I’m asking for help. I’ll do anything it takes to help my mother through these trying days we are dealing with now, and those moments that are ahead of us. I know that our road of healing will be a long one. I‘m trying to find the meaning in all of this, and praying for love, light and better days.