Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Father's Suicide Note and Attempt

Dearest Bill,  Bill, I admonish you to be everything you have the potential of being.  There could be no greater aspiration for a son.  Help you mother, she will rely on you greatly.  You will continue schooling, of course.  Help Weldon in doing the same, and Charles too.  I am sorry for the shame I have brought the family.  Please forgive me.  Love, Dad.
When I was a Freshman at Utah State, my father took a job at Brigham Young University.  He had his own apartment there.  However, it was discovered that he had stolen books from the Special Collections at the library he had worked at previous to this, Utah State University.  There was an intense investigation, and police were at our house going through my father's personal collection of books.  Apparently they found a book that matched those they were looking for.
My father, when all this came out, was very distraught.  It is stressful to be the subject of a police investigation.  He decided to take his own life.  He wrote every one a suicide note.  The one he directed to me is above.  He planned on walking in the mountains behind BYU and throwing himself off a cliff.  In the end he couldn't do it.  However, he did cut his wrists very badly, causing some permanent nerve damage.  Weldon, who was just home off his mission, went down to Provo to see if he could intervene with Dad.  Apparently he found him all bloody walking back down the hill.
During this time I was attending college, and sitting by a couple nice looking girls in class, trying to get to know them.  There was a story in the Utah Statesman about my father, and his seeking to be reemployed at Utah State.  (He was fired at BYU because you cannot commit a crime and work there.  He probably would have gotten the job too, except for the Statesman reporter you broke the story and caused some embarrassment for the library.)  Anyway these girls were talking about Dad and how foolish he was thinking he could get a job after stealing books.  I didn't tell them he was my father, but I never tried to be their friend after that either. 

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