Ocean Dad (Part1)

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I was gonna wait till tomorrow to write about my friend but I want to write things down while they are still fresh like a cut you just got and it's gushing blood but stops bleeding after half an hour.

My friend's dad committed suicide two years ago with mixture of drugs and alcohol. Last time I saw her was five or six months ago and I remember her telling me that she still sometimes think he's around and will e-mail her any minute. Clearly, there were unresolved issues she hasn't faced yet. We went to a coffee shop that had those butane gas heaters outside with neatly folded blankets outside. We ordered desserts and she got a Ruby Orange Soda, which basically was a blood orange flavored soda while I ordered a single shot espresso.

We sat outside and started unraveling our lives as if it was a scroll of sad stories. She started off saying that her dad's mom, her grandma, recently tried committing suicide the same way her dad did and is currently hospitalized for two months. She is an 80 year old lady who has dementia and doesn't know how to overcome the death of her youngest kid out of three. My friend doesn't know how to deal with her attempt because she's still trying to process the death of her dad.

Then, she started talking about her lover, Forrest. I'm including his name because I've never met him and probably never will and his name has a significance later on, you'll see. They started as high school lovers and he grew up quite privileged with the textbook kind of family. Two happily married couple who have kids that grew up alright with enough financial stability to be able to send all of them to college, that kind of perfect. He doesn't know too much what my friend feels a lot of the times because he simply cannot relate. He does not understand why she has commitment issues, does drugs on and off and seems to find herself in a dark pit of sadness a lot of the times. As she's telling me about him, their relationship reminded me of the movie Forrest Gump. It sounded just like Forrest trying to understand Jenny and just simply couldn't because they came from two different worlds.

Anyways, she told me that he'll probably be in her life till she dies and gets frustrated because they don't understand each other a lot of the times but still ends up meeting halfway on a long highway. She tried dating other people and something on the puzzle never quite fit and she doesn't have the energy to devote on a relationship at the moment. After complaining about Forrest, we got back to the topic of her dad.

She said that there is so much guilt with her dad's death. He e-mailed her a week or so ago before he passed away, saying how much he needed her to stay in the U.S. and that he felt lonely without his daughter. Whenever she talked about her guilt to her friends, family or professionals, they have always told her that she shouldn't feel guilty. I told her that she's not alone because I also had a similar experience. It's amazingly sad how much of her pain I felt and was able to relate to.

Then, I started talking about a friend of mine who took his own life couple days before Christmas. He messaged me out of the blue, 10 days before, asking about how I've been doing and that he was in a place where loneliness was his only friend. Only if I knew he considered to go for a permanent solution to his temporary problem. Only if I knew, maybe Christmas for his family would still be jolly.

Anyways, she thanked me for sharing my story and that my story got some weight off of her shoulders. I asked about her interpretation of his death. She said that he always had clinic depression as long as she can remember and the divorce between him and my friend's mother took a big chunk away from his heart. Her dad grew up in a wealthy family and his mom raised him to rely on her for a lot of things. So when he became an adult and got married, the real life issues started to arise that his mom couldn't help him with. He started falling into the world of drugs and started to distance himself from his wife and his kid. He became a ghost who didn't belong anywhere but hovering around to find meaning in things. That's when his wife divorced him and she was sick of him and the marriage. She started to despise him as a father and a man. The thing string that kept him grounded was his kid and wife and she cut that string without an hesitation. My friend, being so young at the time, couldn't grasp what was going on and the emotional turmoil of why she is here and why she is the way she is started to spin.

Her dad kept in contact with her through e-mails and voice messages and they were really personal. He talked about his dates, his depression, and his ugly side of life and I was surprised that he included such personal and explicit things in his letters to his daughter. Perhaps, his daughter was the only form of putting sense into his life by telling and explaining.

When my friend decided to leave San Francisco to get away from all the troubles and heartaches, that's when her dad's sadness deepened. He e-mailed her countless times asking for her to stay. But my friend felt like she was going insane with the people around her, her dad included. She got on the plane and wished that things will get better.

Little did she know, running away from problems makes things more miserable in the end. And that's exactly what happened. She got a phone call from her mom letting her know that her dad died of drug overdose with alcohol in his system. She couldn't attend to his funeral and she just cried for days, weeks and months. To this day, she still isn't confident to go visit his grave and really acknowledge that he is gone.