The Rest of the Story

Chad’s body was discovered by a couple of hikers from California who were lost.  I will always be grateful to them and appreciate so much the price they paid so that I might one day seek peace in my life once more.  It was clear that Chad didn’t wish for anyone to find him as he had hidden his truck and managed to find a place so remote it would take the police two days to be able to recover his body.

Months later I would find a typed message on my home computer that simply said, “Death before Dishonor to my Family,” six words that spoke volumes. Always the spontaneous one, Chad was not much of a consequential thinker.  Knowing my son, it may not have occurred to him that spending the rest of our lives looking for him would have been a living hell; he just didn’t want anyone to have to find his body. At the same time, learning your son had killed himself gave hell a whole new meaning. Even now, I still have dreams of him driving up with that big ole grin on his face. I go wild with every emotion imaginable. Waking up is the hard part; and you realize your life is the nightmare.

Chad became a man the day he took care of things his way. He didn’t show us any signs of his intention. In retrospect, I still cannot fathom how he could have felt that things were that bad, unfixable, unbearable and hopeless; that he didn’t have anyone he felt he could reach out to. I did understand it a year and a half later, however, when I took a walk in his shoes. This experience would become one of my greatest gifts, an insight that would set me free.

My physical, spiritual and emotional recovery has provided me with so many insights.  I realize that everyone must find their own truth in their own way. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t all have to learn every insight the hard way like I did.  Because writing has become the salve that heals my wounds; I write and I share. For some reason, I feel passionate about sharing our story so that perhaps others may not have to feel so alone and isolated in their own story. 


From my Point of View

A View from the Edge is the story of the worst day of my life. For years I peered anxiously from that edge where my son had lived precariously most of his life. While I admired that he never drank from the cup of mediocrity, I now see that view a bit differently than before. I will continue to write, and share (in parts) concerning a few circumstances that I believe significantly contributed to that day, the day that Chad hung himself.

That day was like the Perfect Storm, and like a Perfect Storm, it took just the right elements all descending down upon him at once. Tragedy isn’t always some random event that as (bad) luck would have it, just happens one day. It’s as if the Cosmic Tumblers clicked into place and nothing could stop the momentum already in place, that would become Chad’s Destiny, and ours. Like waves that ripple across a still lake, devastation would reach out to touch all of us who loved him so much.

Today, these same waves continue to ripple through the lives of people all over the world who, for whatever reason, happen across my website. Maybe they are people who are “Sensitives” (ADD, ADHD, Bipolar, Dyslexic, Autistic etc.), unable to express themselves or to feel heard. They may have feelings of being all alone in their world and/or hopeless or apathetic about their lives. Perhaps they too became addicted or heard the voice of Demons. Or maybe they are a parent worried sick about their child. Maybe they can’t understand why their loved one hates the flat line feeling of the pharmaceutical prescribed drugs and they have no idea what their options may be. In some small or huge way, my hindsight awareness just may be able to change their view or the outcome of their own story.

There is still so much pain in the world and with these kids who are being born as “Sensitives” in increasing numbers. We are missing the mark in so many ways with archaic systems and beliefs. My hope is for a major Paradigm shift that I believe can happen, if only because of our great love for our children.

As John Lennon sang, “Imagine!”





3 thoughts on “A VIEW FROM THE EDGE-Epilogue”

  1. Thank-you for your dedication to a brighter, more sane future for our children and ourselves. We just don’t know the bigger picture but we can help ourselves and loved ones with knowledge.

  2. Sherm:
    Lost a fellow former football coach this past weekend. 15 suicides in LaPlata County last year, one of the highest rates in the nation. Two suicides so far this year. All ages and occupations. People are starting to look for answers here. I hope they find some.

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 4:08pm
    Jan Johnson
    Colorado is VERY high in Suicide and where I live is one of the highest in the nation. I haven’t updated the statistics recently but clearly we are missing something important here. Are we looking specifically at the backgrounds of these people? I’ve always thought that the rooms in AA are full of “Sensitives”….too sensitive to bear their environments without medicating. Thanks for your Comment

    Sensitives is a good choice of words. We are all vulnerable to periods of depression at times but the “sensitives” may be more severely affected. You may be on to spmething here but what can be done except medication or counseling after a crisis is identified?

    Jan Johnson
    Too many times the crisis is not identified. I will be writing about suicide one of these first days. I learned alot about depression and debilitating depression when I went through it. I have alot of ideas about this subject. What’s tricky is getting the “Sensitive” to cooperate, depression basically means, “I don’t give a shit anymore”. I have a relative going through this right now.

    Sherm: I’ve been through the “I don’t give a shit” thing many times too. Very briefly I’ve harbored some bad thoughts but they were transitory. What pulled me out was not that I was looking forward to something better but rather that I was pissed off at what wads getting me down and I geared up for a fight. I don’t think I am any stronger than the next guy but what makes one want to fight and another want to cave?

    Jan Johnson:
    Sherm, so many things affect the way each of us will respond, even the way YOU will respond at different times. Personally, I have a hereditary propensity to be low in Serotonin anyway…either I don’t make enough or use it all up…probably both….could be a gut thing too. Personally, I won’t use antidepressants because my understanding is that they damage receptors causing you to become dependent, many times for life. They are also finding research that indicates antidepressants may cause you to go from unipolar depression to bipolar depression…and that’s an even more slippery slope. If you want to sign to follow my blog and I’ll write my thoughts about suicide in more detail soon. In the meantime, you may also check out my website and read under depression at add-and-addiction.com. Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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