The Blame Game

For better understanding you may want to read About This Blog first.

When Rhonda called from the police station with the news about Aaron’s death I wasn’t surprised. A father’s intuition.

When I hung up the phone I gave it a few minutes to sink in.  I wanted to start making phone calls to the kids and break the news but first things first.

I went to the front door, opened it, stuck my head out and looked up toward the heavens. It was dark by this time and no one around to witness my outburst.

I screamed at God, then gave Jesus a what for. What I said is not printable and I wouldn’t want to repeat it even if it was.

I didn’t want to fall victim to His come back so I quickly ducked back inside for safety. Yeah, right, like running in the house would protect me anyway.

My outburst lasted no more than a fraction of a second. I was so ashamed of myself but I just felt I needed someone to be mad at and more importantly, blame.

I was mad at God for letting it happen, for not stopping Aaron and for just being so inconsiderate of how it was going to affect me and my family.

Hate is a strong word but it is the only one to describe my feelings toward God at this time.

But sanity prevailed. I needed to pick on someone my own size or better yet another human.

That little outburst at least got the anger part out of my system for the time being. It was replaced by a myriad of emotions from heartache, confusion, guilt and sadness.

Anger would have its chance to surface again but not now.

Somehow I made it through the next week, the funeral, family and friends and going back to work.

Anger was always close at hand, just simmering wanting to find a way to the surface. I felt more and more compelled to find someone I could hold responsible for this tragedy in my life to feed my anger.

It was time to play the blame game.

God got a free pass for obvious reasons, although there are still a few questions I’d like to ask Him but that will have to wait for another time.

I started with the prime suspect, me.

I would look in the bathroom mirror and stare.

“It’s all your fault” I said.

I needed to be more convincing.

“IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT”,I screamed my head so as not to draw attention.

One more time I thought just to get the point across.

“ITS ALL YOUR FAULT”  emphasizing each word as I said it.

With the finger firmly pointed in my direction it was time to tell me why it is my fault. Blame has to have a good reason.

  •   You’re a  lousy father. (yeah good one)
  •   God is punishing you for your secret sins (no argument there)
  •   If you weren’t so caught up in your own world you could have done something to stop it. (ouch, below the belt)

I beat the crap out of myself on a regular basis.

But I wasn’t going to take all the blame, no sir. I was going to share the misery around a bit.

My dear wife was on my radar.  She not only had to fight her own personal demons and battles but she also had no choice but to fight with me on mine.

If I was willing to take the blame because I was a bad father then she had to fess up to her part in the crime.

Over the course of  time, I would  bring up how I felt we as parents failed Aaron. We had to come clean and acknowledge what lousy parents we have been.

It would start off as a normal discussion about a seemingly innocuous topic. When she wasn’t seeing it I upped the volume until I was in a screaming match. Blame with anger, it never fails to get a rise.

It always ended in my dear sweet wife crying but God bless her, she never gave in. She knew she was a good mum to her kids and did the best she knew how. She thought if that wasn’t good enough then so be it but she wasn’t going to take the blame for Aaron’s death.

After many rounds in the ring I threw in the white towel of surrender. She was right, I was wrong.

I turned my attention to the one person who I could make the blame stick. Aaron himself.

I got so mad at him on so many occasions I thought my head was going to explode. After all he was the one who did it to himself.

I have his picture, a small three by five in a nice little frame sitting next to my computer. Over the years we have had many conversations. One way I might add as he never spoke back. Not yet anyway.

There were times I was so upset at him I would put his picture face down, like sending him to his room for being naughty. If I was really mad at him I put his photo in the bedside table drawer. I wouldn’t let him out until I forgave him.

I even remember telling him one day in the midst of one of my blame sessions.

“When I get to heaven young man I’m going to give your the biggest hug you could ever imagine, then I’m going to kick your ass”.

The good news is; I don’t get mad at God anymore. He forgave me. I don’t get mad at my dear wife anymore, I forgave myself. I don’t get mad at Aaron any more. I forgave him.

And I don’t get mad at myself anymore because I stopped playing the blame game. Not that I don’t want to from time to time, but now I know its not good for me.


9 responses

  1. Amazing. Wish I could forgive myself for things. Thank you for sharing.


  2. It’s not as easy Jami. You have to really work at it. But when you do, you really get set free. First step is believing that what ever it is that you feel the blame for, is not your fault.


  3. Again, amazing post and thanks for sharing. I was not sure if you were aware that tommorrow 11/22 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has events and resources at Also American Association of Sucidology has resources at

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again Sean. No I didn’t know about International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Thanks for the links, I will check them out. Have a good one….

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautifully shared. One of the things they told us at the Survivors Support Program training was about the need to blame…onself, others, God. Your description of your journey is so honest, it melts my heart. Your blog is going to make a good volunteer for this program, so thank you for that. Sending you lots of love and hugs. And btw…your wife sounds amazing! Usually, women would beat themselves to pulp about their parenting…I like a woman who knows herself and recognizes herself as a parent. Tell her I said I want to be like her in that aspect if I ever have kids.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Henri,

    Interesting that you mention the need to blame. I think your right, it comes with the territory but you feel guilty when you do. A double edged sword. Seeing it in that light make sense to me.

    My wife will be tickled pink (as she would say) that someone wants to be a mum like her when they have kids.

    Before I started this blog I made a promise to myself that no matter what, I was going to be “brutally” honest about my feelings and the journey I have been on with Aaron’s suicide. So far I have been able to achieve that. I also had to learn to write not for myself but for others who find themselves going through the same things. And that if only one person was helped through all this then it would be worth it. I know that is cliche but it is the best way I can describe how I feel about writing this blog. I am so happy that you are following me as I continue to share my experiences.

    “Sending you lots of love and hugs” right back at you.

    There is a site I found recently I think you might get some “volunteer” value from and a tool to pass on to other Survivors you come in contact with. It is especially good for those who have lost a loved one in recent times.

    Thanking you for your time

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have felt much the same over the course of these five years. I have examined and re-examined what could have gone wrong. I blamed God for not intervening first. I have kept to myself if I thought anyone else had blame in our family. I have most certainly blamed my son’s wife and best friend yet, I have never been mad at Brandon. I have had only sympathy for him at what could have driven him to such despair. I know in my heart that he was not himself at the time. I know we all have different ways of expressing our sorrow. Your words are universal.

    Every one of your emotions and placing blame is real and defines what I have been through and others I have read about whose child has died by suicide. Sharing your deep felt emotions let’s others know that it is a normal reaction to this kind of loss. Thank you for your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m different in one way sammy. I renounced any faith I had the day my son died. I only believe in another ‘side’ because in Jaies text to his best friend he said he hoped there is a heaven. Simply so he can watch over us. I want my son to be able to,do this too. He’s always been a protector. Family is everything.


    1. My heart goes out to you. It did take me time to get my faith back, I was pretty upset with God too. I see Aaron in Jaie in the area of family. Aaron loved his family. He had a tatoo of a picture of his three youngest sisters on his back. I believe there is a heaven and Jaie and Aaron are there. One book that has helped me so much is Embraced By The Light by Betty J Eadie maybe it could be helpful to you too in light of Jaie and heaven. I believe your son is in very good hands right now. I wish I could reach out and give you a hug.

      Liked by 1 person

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