A Father’s Lament

October 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm 2 comments

My heart’s breaking right now. As I sit here I keep going over and over events wondering if I could have done something, anything to help my son. You see I just lost my oldest son to untreated Bi-polar disorder. For a year many in the family including my wife (his stepmother) and I have tried in vain to get him to get into counseling and on medication. Each time he would listen then brush us off or just say he didn’t need it.

Then the spiral downward started. He fought with his wife. He eventually fought with me and in the end had stopped talking to me. When I did see him he wouldn’t acknowledge my existence. Two weeks before he took his life he made an attempt. His wife found him in time and off to the ER he went. The whole family rallied around him and begged the Doctors to admit him into an inpatient psyche ward. Their only answer was “we’ll have to see what his insurance will pay for.” Well, so much for our healthcare system. So a few days later he released himself, got his youngest brother to take him home, and we settled for outpatient care. He went to one session and started on Zoloft. He was prescribed another med but didn’t fill it because he had no insurance to cover it and it was very expensive. Things got a little better for a few days.

His wife had told him in the hospital that if he didn’t get inpatient care that she would leave the home. She was scared just as we all were. We hoped that her actions would wake him up. She followed through but kept in contact. We all hoped that they would talk and he’d come to his senses. Then the Sunday before his death he returned to work. He came home to find his wife had been there to get some things. That was the trigger. He went over the edge. We don’t know much about Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday night his youngest brother went over to check on him because none of the family had heard from him. He found him dead lying on his bed. He’d been there alone for 12-18 hours.

This is a tragedy that no parent, spouse, brother, sister or friend should have to go through. No parent should outlive his or her child. Ever. Yet I’m still here and dealing with the deep sadness that I now feel. Next Saturday the family and friends of my son will gather and celebrate his life. Not the horrible nightmare of what Bi-Polar disorder is but of the great times we all remember about Scott. Hopefully we’ll reminisce about what a good fisherman he was. How he loved his children, and how fun he could be when in his right mind.

My heart goes out deeply to anyone who has or is related to someone who has this disease. If you have it I implore you, please get treated. If not for yourself, do it for your family. If you are a relative or friend do all you can to get them to accept treatment. I know, especially if they are an adult, that there is not much you can do if they refuse, but try your best anyway. I wish had had some special power over my son to get him to help himself. On some level I know I failed him.

I will miss him very much. His family will as well. He has impacted his friends and so many people he didn’t even know. Friends of friends and friends of relatives have all been affected by this deed. Yet I can’t be angry. He was in a deep pain that I can’t even imagine. All he wanted was the pain to go away. He’s at peace now. Love you son.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bonnie Welch  |  October 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I didn’t know Scott well but know his son Johnathan and Jennifer.
    I wish there were some magic words that would help ease the pain and grief you all feel. I have several members in my family with bipolar and I agree it is so misunderstood by many. May you find some solace knowing he is pain free now. Hopefully you will all find some comfort knowing others share your pain and grief.

  • 2. Michael Irvin Big Idea Guy  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Bonnie, I have been so surprised by the number of people such as yourself that have stepped forward and related their experiences with bi-polar disorder. Seems like almost everyone knows of someone or has first hand experience (like yourself) with the disease. Thanks for your kind words.


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