Go Forward in Life and Be Happy (suicide of a dad)

by Patti Price

Patti and her brother, Richard

My name is Patti Price. I want to reach out to those that have ever had to deal with a suicide of a parent or loved one.

First, I will tell you a little bit about myself and my family. I’ve been privileged to live in the Hill country for the last seven years. I’ve also been privileged to have been married to the late Dennis Price for a little over 23 years. We were married in the Hill country. We were thankful to live also in San Antonio, TX for 14 years and Rockport, TX for 2 years.

I came to Texas from eastern Ohio 23 years ago. I never had been out of the state of Ohio until my husband asked me to be his wife.

My parents (Shirley and Paul) were both from Ohio. I have an older brother (Richard) in Ohio and a brother (Chad) in New York.

At present time, Dad has been gone (suicide) for 39 years. Mom has been gone (Lou Gehrig’s disease) 17 years. Both of my brothers are still living.

I’ve worked at the Kerrville State Hospital and have enjoyed serving those that have been entrusted to the great state of Texas. I enjoy doing things for others, even if it’s just a smile or kind word to encourage their hearts to make it through another day. I also enjoy crafts, biking (long distance) and music.

Okay, getting back to reaching out to those that have ever had to deal with a suicide of a parent or loved one.

As you might guess from what I’ve told you already, it was my father that committed suicide in February, 1972. My brother, Richard, and I found him that day. When you find someone like that, it’s still a very vivid picture to me. I can still remember what he was wearing, etc. It was a very cold, blizzardy day.

Now, I’ll get to the main theme of this article. How I’ve coped as a child and adult.

As a child, unfortunately, my mother and family didn’t want to talk much about it. Or seek any outside professional help. I think I coped with dad’s choice(s) through countless hours of indulging in music and artwork and even enjoying all this world, flesh, devil would have to offer a young heart that just wanted someone to listen. I would tell anyone that was willing to listen to the story. Then there was a time in my adult life when all of the anxiety I felt as a child resurfaced. It was like my brain was stuck on everything that happened when dad died in 1972. The anxiety was so bad I could not stay asleep, which caused severe depression. I hit rock bottom and cried out for professional help from my medical doctor who sent me to a good psychiatrist who put me on some good anti-depressants.

To this day, I am still on medicine for depression. It has been a godsend. As I have very little, if any,
anxiety and/or panic attacks. You might say, “Getting professional help” has given me my life back and made me a more productive individual.

Now, I’m also thankful that I have had the experience of dealing with my late husband, Dennis Price’s death eight months ago.

He would say, “Go forward in life and be happy and suck it up.” So that’s what I do. And I’m thankful he told me that as I’ve begun to develop healthy relationships with many people each day.
About the Author: Patti Price is employed at the Kerrville (TX) State Hospital. She enjoys music, crafts, and bike riding. Patti is the wife of the late Dennis Price. She helps her family and others understand and cope with their grief while sharing her personal journey.