Saturday, December 24, 2016


Since this was an open/shut case of suicide, I did most of the work investigating, and sent the report to the JeffCo Sheriffs Office detective assigned the case. I found out far more than a law enforcement entity would care about, since they only care about whether or not a crime is committed, and if so, who is guilty. I wanted to know more for the obvious reason that I was Scott's dad and wanted to know every detail I could get, no matter how hard or graphic.

Scott turned 21 Sept 3, 2015. In the half year that he was able to buy liquor at the liquor store, he threw tons of money into it. He also bought a little THC in the form of pixie stix and maybe some pot, since he had a lighter with him when he died. So he had immediately taken up some very unhealthy habits. He drank so much, his friends said they think he became an alcoholic.
THC has a reputation for chilling people out, but there's a minority of individuals that it causes psychotic responses. Pretty much anyone can consume so much, and get so high, they become paranoid, and the giggling is replaced by anxiety. But there's many who go quickly from giggling and chilled-out to full-blown paranoia. The drift into paranoia also doesn't necessarily happen suddenly, the way a drug "rush" feels like. Even after the "high" wears off, individuals that are negatively impacted will have long-term psychotic affects. We're not sure if Scott was one of these, but he was in a high-risk category, suffering from ADHD.

There weren't many opportunities to see Scott, and I didn't try to inject myself into his life, like an annoying pesky parent. I knew Scott liked camping, and was hoping to take him to Utah with me for a week, if that could be arranged. Problem was, starting a new career, you don't get much time off. The sad thing is, in blue-color work, you're lucky if you get a week off each year, after working an entire year. And Scott hadn't worked anywhere longer than 9 months. It hurt that my son was becoming a stranger to me. I wasn't sure how much to put myself forward. I didn't want to sandbag his social life, didn't want to throw guilt-trips at him the way my mother would do to me (a LOT of mothers do to their kids! It's called "mothering" for a reason.) Scott wanted to become independent, and I wanted to help him become independent, so I struggled to find that line between intrusive and welcome.
Of course, in the aftermath, it seems I wasn't hands-on enough. I should have taken a whole week off to spend with him after he became unemployed.
How could I do that, though? He refused to tell me he was unemployed - not until he had already lined-up another job. A job he didn't actually want, by-the-way.

I nagged him that he needed to be more socially active, meet girls. "Women are AWESOME!" I kept telling him. Whatever fun you're having, it can be tons more fun with the right women. Life can be practically a party, except that we have to work specified hours through nearly every week. But that's why when we're not at work, life needs to be a healthy party. Physically active, socially active, as much fun as you can cram into the time you're not at work. Go, go, go, life in the fast lane.

That wasn't Scott's style, and I didn't force him to do anything. When he got off work, all he wanted to do was sit around, tired. He drank, played online computer games, rarely got together with his friends. I didn't know how rarely he communicated with them, though.

There was so much I didn't know. He was an adult, so I guess this was normal. It's also normal to second-guess and find fault, which feeds guilt. So much I could have done different. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. No end to it. Self-hatred to the point that I felt like a criminal for not being the kind of father that would have kept him alive.

But today is today, and that was then. Some parts of my psyche can easily put it behind me and move on. Other parts hang on and will never let it go.

I haven't been running as much as I used to. Haven't felt the energy or zeal. So much I had to live for is now gone. Words of encouragement from well-meaning friends fall flat and sound like it's coming from naïve and immature people. They don't get it. It's not like I have my whole life ahead of myself.

I have just enough friends to keep me around, and I'll have a pension, if I can keep myself employed for another 2yrs. So the new dream is to retire at my first chance, live out of my car as I trek the empty BLM and National Park lands as I zigzag west and north. Eventually, I want to sell my car and move into a boat. I want a 40' trimaran with folding outriggers. Equip it with a sea kayak, solar power, sat-link, GPS, drinking water generator, mountain bike, etc. sail up the coast to Prince William Sound, then out across the scary open ocean to Hawaii - well over 2,000 miles. Explore Midway to Hawai'i, then south to Kiribati, Tahiti, maybe Easter Island, Nikumaroro Island where Amelia Earhart died, maybe American Samoa, New Zealand, Barrier Reef. Thailand, Vietnam, ...
My friends point out that I'd die. I point out we'll all die. And I'm too old to die young.

Except this plan has one big hitch - I have a girlfriend. I met her immediately after my son died, so the relationship almost never happened. I wasn't "there"; wasn't emotionally available. So I dated a helicopter paramedic with a wild streak in her. Her daughter had died, so we had that in common, but I guess it was too much in common. She'd already gotten past it and I was fresh to it. So it didn't work out. So back to my present girlfriend. Because I quit looking. This is may last girlfriend - I don't care to ever look for another. It either works out, and I stay in this world, or if it ends, I sell everything and hit the road.

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