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This Year Remembering My Father Died From Falling Off The Roof Helped Me.

And this year my mother’s falling prior to her death helped me connect my fear of falling not solely with breaking my arm three years ago, but with my mother falling.

By Denise E LindquistPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
This Year Remembering My Father Died From Falling Off The Roof Helped Me.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I never thought that when my father fell and broke his neck in 1964 and when my mother broke her neck when she fell in 2009, I could be so impacted. Another part of me says, well of course! That only makes sense.

Last year, I hollered at my husband and called him an a$$hole. He had gotten down from the roof without me holding the ladder. He knew how upset I have been about him still getting on the roof at his age.

Hubby is 73 this year and because I figured out why I was so upset last year, it didn’t bother me like last year. He is in better shape than most men I know. He lifts heavy weights and works out every day for as many as two hours.

When I figured out why I am so very careful about falling, I realized it isn’t just about my breaking my arm three years ago. It is also about my mother dying in 2009 which started with falling and a broken neck. Then add my father’s fall.

Officially my mother died from diabetes complications but landed in the nursing home due to a broken neck. Officially my father fell at work from a second story. He was a welder. He died from the fall.

It wasn’t the first time he fell and we had other relatives that had similar jobs and similar falls. None of that makes it easier or is the reason I am affected. Maybe though it is the combination of things that I will remember from time to time.

Just recognizing that all of this was related, helped me to let go. I was able to walk several blocks outside today by myself. Prior to this, I was not walking alone or without someone walking with me. Even someone holding onto me felt safest.

My youngest brother died two years ago from Covid. In my Facebook memories, I am reminded of the phone calls and messages sent to my family two years ago. My oldest brother called today and talked to me about the importance of talking about our deceased loved ones.

He shared he was watching a movie that brought that reality home to him. It was about a young man that committed suicide and his family after.

Orlando von Einsiedel has always been comfortable in dangerous situations. His Oscar-winning documentary “The White Helmets” took him into the heart of the Syrian Civil War, while his widely acclaimed “Virunga” forced him to dodge bullets in eastern Congo as he watched a small team of park rangers protect the last surviving mountain gorillas from poachers and armed militias. In that light, it’s rather jarring to see the British filmmaker so frightened in the opening moments of “Evelyn,” which is essentially a documentary about a stroll he took around the British countryside with his siblings and their parents. A few minutes later, as Orlando stares into the camera and explains the situation, it’s all too easy to appreciate the reason for his terror.

13 years ago, Orlando’s brother Evelyn committed suicide. He was barely 20 years old. His death wasn’t entirely unexpected — Evelyn was schizophrenic, and spent the last stretch of his life in the grip of his condition — but the incident still tore Orlando’s family apart. His parents’ marriage didn’t survive the shock, and his siblings followed his retreat into silence. That silence inevitably deepened over time, a hole in the heart that was compounded by the twin stigmas of suicide and mental illness. After a while, Evelyn’s loss became the unspoken truth hiding in the seams of every conversation, like a terrible secret that each of his loved ones carried with them in the linings of their coats.

I started thinking about all that I know about suicide and its far-reaching impacts. Do I know enough about the mental illness that has people in “the grip of his condition”. No. Does anyone?

My favorite thing to tell others is how it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Then there is the idea that when someone kills themselves it leaves an option for younger family members to do the same.

As a trauma, grief, and loss counselor, it often doesn’t mean anything when it comes to my own healing. I do many of the things I ask of others. I just do not fully accept my need for doing all the grief work or watching for things like anniversaries.

My brother and I talked about our baby brother and I believe we both felt better!

It is almost like, I know it all so I shouldn’t have to do the work. One of the first things I learned was that if I am going to work with others on trauma, grief, and loss, it is important that I do my own work!

Next thing is that I think after doing this work for most of my life, I should be done with it. We are never done. It gets less. Then we have more loss, more grief, and can even have more trauma.

Aging is another thing. As our loved ones age, we lose friends and family and soon we are the old ones in the family and friend group. That is where my brother and I have gotten in life. It is not a bad place to be when you think of the alternative.


Published first by Mindful Mental Health in Medium


About the Creator

Denise E Lindquist

I am married and we have 7 children, 25 grands and 9 greatgrandchildren. I work part-time as a culture consultant. I started writing A Poem a Day in February 5 years ago. I've written 4 - 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo. Now Vocal and Medium.

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Comments (3)

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  • Jade M.2 months ago

    I'm sorry for your losses.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Beartfelt!!Heartfelt!!! Sending hugs!!!💖💖💕

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