Sunday, March 29, 2015

The tragedy of my son David


I do not believe that I ever wrote here in my blog about why David killed himself.

David put his life's energy into caring for his foster children. It was a great challenge and burdon for David to be a single parent and keep a full time job at Bay Area Rapid Transit [BART] where he was a senior engineer in the Research & Development Department.

In 2009 David began blogging about his foster parent life. I have kept his blog alive by a link on my blog to David's story. And I am so very happy with myself for continuing to pay David's internet provider so that the story is still here on the internet for all who care to read.

David killed himself during the late afternoon on Monday, September 20, 2010. He drove his car into the Sierra Nevada range where just passed the town of Arnold, California, is located Calaveras Big Trees State Park. He arrived in the park shortly before sunset. Pulled off the road and parked his car under a tree where the car was hidden from view from the park road. Then he sat himself down in a nearby clearing, his back against a tree, and watched his final sunset. After the last of the Sun disappeared, he used my 22 caliber Smith & Wesson target pistol to end his life.

The day before was Sunday. David and his Mom walked from his home that morning to the Greek Festival. Attending the festival was something that they had done together for several years. While they were enjoying the Greek Festival, Concord police arrived at David's home. They had a search warrant. When there was no response to the police knocking at David's front door, a battering ram was used to smash the door open.

On the Thursday before the police smashed open David's front door, the mother of two of David's foster children had talked to a caseworker in Child Protective Services. After that talk, the caseworker notified authorities. A judge issued the search warrant.

The police went through the home tearing everything apart. In David's bedroom the bed was piled three feet high with all the stuff from closets and dressers. All of the rooms were the same. Piles of things pulled from where they were stored and thrown about.

One of David's neighbors walked down to the Greek Festival to look for David. "You had better get up to your house", he told David. "The police busted down your front door and are inside."

At that point in time, David had been a foster parent for fifteen years to over 30 children. During that period, David was investigated every couple of years for child abuse. Nothing ever came from those investigations. But that is how things go in our society for male foster parents. People think of males who take care of children as child abusers.

These investigations were very tough on David. His best friend told David that he was crazy for keeping on being a foster parent. "You know that you are going to be investigated forever. Why do you do it? You must be crazy!"

The year of 2010 was not good for David. One of his foster kids was into drugs. At work a project that David had worked very hard on for several years was scrapped by BART, his employer. David's woman friend began seeing another guy. And now David was charged with child abuse and his home torn apart by police.

David was a very strong person. He was the first person from his high school graduating class who began his own business. I myself observed David over the years taking care of his foster kids. He was a wonderful parent. But as strong a person as David was, the year of 2010 wore him down. Crushed him.

In David's suicide note he wrote, "I've been wondering for awhile how the end game would play out." Oh God.....I can only imagine the pain of those days for him.

The last thing he wrote in his suicide note was, "P.S. 2010 really sucked !"

.

14 comments:

  1. Bless your heart, George. It must have taken great courage to share the story of David's passing. What a tragedy for a caring young man to be so grievously diminished. May he rest in peace and may you continue to share his love and kindness with the world. Thank you, George; take good care of your Self.

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    1. Thank you, Susan!

      I'll share with you something very terrible. For awhile after David died, I pictured myself taking revenge for David. I thought about murdering the woman who told the caseworker that story. I thought about killing that caseworker and the judge who signed the search warrant. And the two police who crashed down David's front door.

      But time passed by. And my hatred of these people cooled down. There came a time when hours would go by without me thinking of David. Then days would go by. Then a whole week.

      Right now I seem to be closer to David then ever before. I love and miss him so very much.

      George

      .

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  2. David's blood is on that unfit mothers hands. David really opened himself up to a lot of wrongful accusations dealing with those types of people, he must have wanted to make a change in the world but unfortunately the world beat him down.

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  3. I'm so sorry George for the terrible events of 2010. I think it is natural to feel angry and playing in your mind wanting to hurt someone. Remember Sally Field, in the movie Steel Magnolia, was so angry she wanted to hit someone real hard...so her friend shoved Weezy in from of her to hit which brought laughter to her and her friends. I'm glad you have calm down and can remember David without feeling bitter. That accusing mother will never have another David to care for her drug addict son the way David cared for her son. David had great courage to foster children for many years.

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  4. I don't know if you remember me but we corresponded for a while after David died. I knew without your words what happen with David. I know because I saw it play out over and over again to so many foster parents who played down everything for the children in their care. I know also because it happened over and over to me. After 38 years of taking care of children from juvenile detention, drug rehab, or psychiatric hospitals, I decided to stop taking children because the system was so broken that I knew I could no longer survive while helping the children in such desperate need of help. I think often of David and credit you and David for saving my sanity as I moved on to a new chapter in my life. I love RVing and look forward to many new adventures. Sometimes looking back is painful...other times it is healing. Please know that your telling of your story and truth has helped me and I would guess others. I wish you peace. Karen

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  5. My deepest sympathy. A true terrible tragedy. One of many that occur every day in this crazy world. I wish you also peace, dear George.

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  6. Like Karen says, I think most of your friends knew intuitively what had happened with David. The world is a very unfair place.

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  7. Bless you George. I remember those days so very well, and the anguish you experienced. From things I have read and heard about, our system that involves fostering seems to veer from total disinterest to overzealous caseworkers. The system seems almost totally broken. I've known people who take in kids for one reason only....the monthly stipend. No regard for the welfare of the kids. And others, like David, who do it for the proper reasons, and the system seems not to be able to discriminate between the two.

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  8. I believe the feelings you had for wanting revenge are very natural. I held onto those kind of feeling when I went through a DUI long after I came to realize it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. Like you I was finally able to let them go.

    I am truly glad that your life has some happiness back in it. I hope for the best for you.

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  9. This coming September, 2015, will mark the fifth year since David passed away. Five years during which I was no longer able to just pick up my phone and talk with him.

    Yesterday I was on my bike and saw a man who looked from his back like David. As I passed him, I looked really hard at the man's face. You see, I really believed that it would be David. But of course, it wasn't.

    This happens a lot to me. Seeing David look alikes everywhere I go. I guess that I am a bit delusional.

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  10. George, I knew from way back then, what had happened to David. And, have always felt badly. But know this... I have prayed for you, because I knew in my heart how difficult this was for you to deal with. God loves you. And, so do I... and all your friends/relatives who follow you and your blogging. Prayer will continue. Blessings, Lynn

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  11. I have just retired after 35 years of practicing psychology. I have had my share of suicidal patients. Your initial feelings of retaliation and anger were normal, but it was David's decision to respond to the accusations the way that he did, whether they were true or not. When people are so despondent enough to consider suicide, they tend to only think of themselves and their pain, their shame, or their unhappiness. They are very internally focused, to the extent of not even being able to think of their own children and the impact upon them after a parent commits suicide. It is unfortunate that David thought he had no one to turn too, like a therapist. It is also unfortunate that the boy(s) may think they played a major role in his death. The police often mess these things up and it is tragic that the event went the way that it did. I can see that you are still processing this and I congratulate you on the courage to divulge the story to your readers. I only have one child, a son, and like you, I would be lost if I ever had to give him up. Thank you George for revealing to us the healing that is still taking place within you. Although your grieving continues, you have to hope that something good will become of this.

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    1. Hi Gene,
      I liked reading your comment and your insights.

      However, I take exception when you write: "but it was David's decision to respond to the accusations the way that he did".

      There are persons who are not guilty of anything, and yet get charged with a crime. A person like that may decide to face up to criminal accusations in a court. They get found guilty and are sent to prison for a crime they did not commit.

      Happens all the time! Once a person gives up their freedom in such a case, it may be too late to decide on suicide.

      George

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  12. I think you are seeing David look-a-likes every where, because he is sending you messages, that he loves you too and he is at peace where he is now. You see his face because he is often near you, watching and loving.

    Back in 2009 when my life was full of chaos, I found an old RV to buy and upon doing research, I found out you owned the identical model!

    You were very kind to me though we never met in person. Because of you I've been blogging about my RV mis-adventures. I was devastated when I read about your son years ago, I could see your hurt and outrage. I am so sorry for your loss.

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