On the eve of the third anniversary of my husband’s death by suicide, I have come to believe deeply in his privacy.
He was accused of a terrible thing, sexual abuse, and his decision to bring an abrupt end to the torture of a seemingly endless investigation left many unanswered questions. But as time goes by without him, the accusations and humiliating media attention have faded away and the questions are less important too.
I believe in remembering the amazing father that he was and that our children will always think of him with love and respect. It doesn’t matter any more that he was accused of committing a horrible crime or whether any of it was true or not. I believe what matters is what he accomplished while he was alive, the hundreds of lives he improved as a city paramedic and emergency medicine physician assistant, and the intelligence and love that he fathered our two children with. Our children are growing older and in these three years they choose to remember their dad in many ways and in any way they please.
The many painful questions that caused us to cry, “why” in the first few days of our lives without him have faded into less urgent concerns. We have learned that humans are very complicated and even at the time of his death he revealed to us aspects of his personality that we had never encountered. His decision to stand in front of a train was brought about by a desire to let his family live in peace.
The six weeks between his arrest and his choice to end his life are a small paragraph in the chapters of his life with me. I choose to linger over memories of my marriage with him and encourage my children to let go of their anger and remember the father that only they knew. The questions, the fear and humiliation, the media hovering don’t matter any more. He chose to release us from their grip by ending his life and I believe in his privacy.
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