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ADD Syndrome: After Daddy Dies

Updated: May 3, 2022

I remember it like it was yesterday. The knock on the door. My aunt Cricket, standing over the bed calling to wake my mother. My mother arose from the bed. As my aunt stood there holding back tears.... My mother asked her, "what's wrong?" My aunt managed to utter, "he's dead.... somebody killed him!" My mother pleaded with her, "don't say that... don't say that!"

She began to sob uncontrollably with the news that my father had been murdered. At time, I was only 5 years old . I heard the words, but I'm not sure if it made sense to me at the moment. Seeing the chaos surrounding those words, I began to cry. As the news spread throughout the house, my youngest Aunt Pam (with tears streaming down her face) came in the room and reached to pick me up from the bed. That was over 30 years ago. However, it still feels like yesterday.

"Somehow, it felt like a bad dream. I recall things calming down a little and my mother sitting and explaining to me that my father was gone, and he would never come back. I remember ingesting those words, but not understanding the finality of death."

I always thought that I would see him again. I vaguely recall an image on the news that night of my father's dead body being carted off on a stretcher. A white sheet covered his body, but I could see his shoes dangle and wiggle from the motion of the stretcher being wheeled away. I could remember those same shoes resting on the side of the bed. I asked my mother was he with God in heaven, and she said, "yes." As a child, I don't recall mourning the loss of my father. What I recall is becoming afraid of someone that I loved and that I was told who loved me. It began once funeral arrangements had been made and I went to view the body. It did not look like my dad. After viewing the body I began to sleep huddled very close to the wall with the cover over my head and face. Which lasted well into my teen years. Everything I knew about death was tied to evil spirits and ghosts. So I was afraid and I chose not to attend the funeral. I remember my sweet Grandma Ethel explaining to me that my father loved me and he wouldn't hurt me. She also reassured me that I did not have to attend, if I did not feel comfortable. All I could think of was walking through a cemetery and dead people laying all around. So I decided not to attend.

My grandmother and I always shared a special bond. I think it's because she could empathize more than anyone what I was experiencing and what was to come. Her father too had been murdered when she was just a girl. As time passed and I understood the situation more, I would always wonder, why me? Why was my father killed. I would have vivid dreams of my father being alive only to wake up to the reality of him

being gone. (I still have those types of dreams) It is a very depressing and hopeless feeling. It also made me very paranoid when my mother would leave the house. I was fearful something would happen to her. I hated when she would go out at night. The entire situation forced me to grow up too fast and have concerns a normal kid shouldn't have to think about.

Not having many memories of my father probably hurt the most. I can remember him picking me up from school one time. I remember riding in the back of his car, and him carrying me on his neck. That's about it. Although it hurts, I try to look at the “bright side” of things. I am the oldest of my father’s 4 children. So my siblings were not as fortunate to recall as much as I am. If anything at all.

One of the most difficult things to deal with is the pain in other people’s eyes when they look at you. My close family members always speak about me being my father's doppelgänger. But, it’s the looks I get when they are silent, that I can feel it the most. I would always catch my mom gazing at me. I can sense how much they miss him when they stare at me. It’s a feeling of not having my own identity. There are so many things that I’ve heard about my father. I can remember being young thinking... “one day, I’ll see my father again in heaven “... then I started to seek out some of his friends he ran the streets with to learn more about him. After hearing stories, I contemplated if someone that was involved in the activities as he was, would make it to heaven?

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