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My father committed suicide, his death has been blamed on several things - suicide genes, my mother, mid life crisis, guilt, taxes, me and probably other things I didn't get to hear about.

My great-grandfather on my father's side committed suicide also - perhaps he passed his suicide genes on to my father. I hope they skip over the children that may be born to my sisters and I. Perhaps it was just some strange genetic skipping stone.

It could have been my mother. She drove him insane, she drove him to drinking, she drove him away, and she reeled him back. She played fetch with his heart. She turned his children against him. She made it impossible for him to carry on.

It was probably his age. He was 40 years old when he killed himself. The strippers wouldn't take him seriously, he drove a station wagon. He was too skinny and he had a big nose, he didn't have any sons and his life was going nowhere. It would have been too much for anybody.

Then again, guilt can really tear a man apart. When you scar your wife and daughters so deeply with your words and actions, and you have to watch them struggle with what you've done, how can you live with yourself?

It could have been simpler than that. Maybe the insurmountable sum of money that he owed to the government was behind it all. If he wasn't being cheated by the man, perhaps he wouldn't have pulled the trigger.

Of course it could always be my fault, which I was reminded of about a month before he did it. I ruined his life by being born. It destroyed his chances of being a success in this world. Somehow, this doesn't ring true.

What it comes down to is that suicide was his choice. It was a good choice. If he hadn't made that choice, one of my sisters and I would have made it for him.

He killed himself because he was a selfish asshole who pushed himself over the edge. He deserves my hate and continued disrespect because he was found with an additional 4 shotgun shells - one for my mother, one for me, one for my sister Michelle, and one for my sister Vanessa. He wrote a note blaming my mother. He left us a fifth of Jack Daniels, a Doors cassette, some porno magazines, debt, and those haunting 4 shells.

This is how I remember my father. A pathetic man who craved conflict, and was desperate for attention. A man who snuck into my bedroom when I was 8 years old and told me to be quiet as he lifted up my nightgown. A man who choked me with one hand and told my mother that he would kill me if she didn't call off her divorce talks. A man who humiliated my sister for having a problem pronouncing "s" at age 4. A man who picked up and threw a child headfirst into the breakwater. A man who prompted his children to hide knives under their mattresses. A man who lined up his young children, told them to touch their toes, and would kick them across the room, calling it "football practice."

A man who deserved to die.

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