My dad took his life today. I can't do this

My dad was an EE + embedded software programmer. He was brilliant, hardworking, and funny. Without his encouragement, I never would have gotten interested in development.

He was also a difficult person to live with. He and my mom divorced almost exactly a year ago. This morning, he drove down to a public pond he and my mom used to walk around. He texted her goodbye and shot himself.

I am flying back home first thing tomorrow morning. I took a week off work. I don’t want to come back. I don’t want to look at any more code - all I can see is my dad. I don’t ever want to do this to my boyfriend, my family, my friends. I don’t ever want to prioritize some fucking shitcan Angular dashboard that no one could give a flying fuck about over spending time with loved ones.

I’m sorry, this isn’t a productive post. I’m just hurting so deeply right now. I keep telling myself it was a heart attack, cancer, a stroke - anything to get me over that plane ride and to my family.

If anyone else has gone through something like this, and you feel like sharing, please share it with me. I know there has to be a light at the end of this tunnel, but from where I’m standing, it’s pitch black. Does it get better?


I am very sorry for your loss.

I lost my father to a heart attack when I was 5, and I can tell you that it does get better with time.

Reserve some time to mourn your fathers loss, it is a good idea to just completely unplug from work and other professional issues when things like these happen.

Believe that you are not alone and there are people here willing to help and listen, even though there is not much I can do other than reply to your post, believe me that even though there are dark times like these, things does get better.

Also I think that some professional help is always a good thing, I went through a psychologist and it really helped me go through some hard times.

After you accept what happened, things will get a lot better I promise, but acceptance takes some time, make sure to stay positive and to reach out to your loved ones when things get too difficult.

Remember, you are not alone.

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any info why he did so? is that work caused too much stress that he get enough ? I would not want to be in such state myself, I am also having often stresses at work, but trying to have fun after work.

I’m so sorry for your loss. And sorry I’m coming to this thread a little late, but I still felt it might be helpful if I reply.

I lost my father to suicide almost a year ago. It does get better, as I’m sure you’ve found out by now, but things will never be the same. A parent’s suicide changes you forever.

When my dad first died, I felt physically ill. I was physically ill in some ways - digestive issues and headaches and insomnia. I had night terrors where I felt like this terrifying darkness was coming for me. After a few weeks, that horrible period came to an end.

I moved into this period where life was like a fog. I felt disconnected from everything and everyone - even my husband. Even though I was never physically alone, I felt more alone than ever. I had no emotions about anything, nothing mattered anymore. The only thing I felt anything about was the notion that life has no purpose. I questioned/worried if those thoughts it would lead me to suicide too. I felt like I had lost myself. Things were very grey for me at that time - somehow I managed to work and keep my job and stay married, but I didn’t know if I would ever find myself again.

I was also irritable, sensitive and angry. If my husband even so much as touched a newspaper clipping about my dad, I freaked out. I was so afraid of losing anything tangible about my dad, cards, old presents, the funeral brochure - if there was even a fingerprint on them I would be furious.

All this to say, eventually I did start feeling more like myself. I started laughing again. I got my silly sense of humour back. I even planned my wedding (which I cared substantially less about without my dad there) and had an amazing time there - although I missed my dad immensely, I thought about what he would have wanted for me and I acted on that. I had a great time for my dad. A part of me senses that he is very happy for me too.

One thing that has been immensely helpful to me is conversations that I had with my dad when he expressed his wishes for me and for my life. He made it very clear to me that all he wanted for me was happiness. I’ve achieved a sense of peace that there is no way that my dad was thinking rationally when he took his life - the pain was just so intense in that moment that he felt he had no other option.

For me, that’s really important to remember. Suicide is not rational. It’s really difficult to come to terms with that, because we are wired to try to make sense of everything around us, particularly the loss of a loved one. But if you can wrap your head around the fact that your dad was not rational when he took his life, at least for me, I find that it helps a lot.

My advice to you would be to try to remember your dad for what he was to you. Write down memories you have of the good times. Remember the lessons he taught you and apply them to your life. You can keep your father alive in a way through imitation. For example, my dad had this game he used to play with kids - I make a point of playing that game with my nieces and nephews. Because my dad is not around to play that game, I see it as my duty to do that for my dad. It sounds like your dad inspired your career path - initially, your feelings might be to reject that because it is painful. I would advise you to stick with it, though, especially if it’s something you are passionate about. If your dad prioritized work over spending time with friends and family and that was a bad thing, that might also be a lesson that he taught you - maybe you can still work in development but with the work-life balance that your father was unable to find. No one is perfect - my dad certainly wasn’t, and that’s okay to acknowledge too.

So, to cut a very long response short, does it get better? Yes. Time does heal, to a degree, but the loss will always be there. And in a way, it’s a good thing. I can’t imagine “getting over” my father’s death. I mourn him and I miss him because I love him. In death, I still love him. The only way I could stop missing my dad would be if I didn’t love him - and although his life ended and our physical relationship changed, my love for him will always remain the same.

Dear H,
I can’t imagine what you are going through right now and there are no words that I or anyone else can say to change that. I wanted to write you though and tell you a little about my story in the hope that it may help. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety as well and almost 10 years ago I attempted to end my life.
The disease that claimed your dad’s life is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans, and the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 10–24. It kills more young people than cancer, heart disease, AIDs, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. Like any other fatal disease, it doesn’t discriminate in its victims. It affects people from any and all walks of life.
I think most people find themselves asking why when someone they love has completed suicide. Why did they do it? Why didn’t I see it? That was what my parents wanted to know so badly when they found me in the hospital. I had gone through my and my roommates bathrooms and swallowed every pill I could find. If it weren’t for a friend’s intuition and emergency medical care, I would not have survived to answer those questions. I shudder to think of the pain that would have caused my parents and my sister. Especially my dad.
At that time anyone from the outside would have thought that my life was amazing. I had a loving family, tons of friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. I was very involved in extracurricular activities and got great grades at school. When anyone asked me how I was doing, my most common answer was “life is good”. Under the mask though, I was miserable. I was constantly anxious and had frequent anxiety attacks. Everything in my world had lost it’s interest and nothing in the future would ever hold any promise. It became incredibly difficult to do the most basic of tasks like brushing my teeth or taking a shower.
I tried to tell my dad about how I was feeling the night before my attempt. He’d had a bad day at work though and somehow the conversation took a downward turn. He got angry and finally asked, “what the hell do you have to be unhappy about? You don’t have to worry about paying for college, you’ve got tons of friends, you’ve got a great life.” It haunts me to think that those words were so close to being the last he ever said to me. He would have never forgiven himself and that question of why would have stayed with him for the rest of his life.
The truth is, it had nothing to do with him. We’d had arguments all the time in the past when I was healthy and they weren’t that big of a deal. There were only a small handful of times that I had mentioned how I was really feeling. There was no way for him to recognize that I was as sick as I was.
The answer to “why do we do it?” is very simple. It’s a disease. It’s not because of what our friends and family did or didn’t do. It’s not because the events that happened in our lives. It’s because we suffer from the tenth most fatal disease in the US. The areas in the brain responsible for things like sadness, angst, despair, and panic flood the brain with massive amounts of chemicals. The intensity of which drowns out all other thoughts or feelings. The part of your brain that tells you things can get better is silent. I couldn’t realize the effect it would have on the ones that I love. I couldn’t understand that this was a disease and I could get treatment. The only thing I knew in that moment was that I needed to end the pain, now. I love my family more than life itself and if I would have been able to think rationally, even for a second, about the pain I would cause them I would never have done it. I wasn’t though, because that part of brain had physically shut down.
I’m sorry I can’t do more to help you, but I hope you find some consolation however small in knowing that your dad died from a very serious disease and nothing else. Please feel free to contact me if there’s anything else I can do to help.
Sincerest regards,

I am really sorry for you loss.

I completely understand its a very tough issue you are dealing with.

All I can say is that keep marching forward!