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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a deeply moving piece, a series of three essays written by a liberal pacifist mother about her struggles to understand her son, a conservative Army soldier.<br><br><a href="http://www.stpetersburgtimes.com/2004/06/13/Floridian/My_son__my_soldier__m.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.stpetersburgtimes.com/200...ldier__m.shtml</a>
 

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I'm speechless. Please read the article, it's short, but moving.
 

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I'd have to add upsetting to the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tired, I edited to change my description so that no one would think it was a fluff piece. It *is* in Activism, in War, after all.<br><br>
I'm truly sorry if it blindsided you.<br><br>
This woman and her struggles and her son, their underlying love and respect, their juxtaposition, just really resonated with me.
 

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I do not consider myself conservative or liberal, but I do not like the military. I raised my sons to be pacificists...never any guns, army men, camouflage Pajamas, nor violent movies.<br><br>
DH always told them how dangerous and silly war is, especially since he had two tours of Vietnam.<br><br>
My Father told them the same, and he was a pacificist during WWII.<br><br>
My son is twenty months into his thirty-six month assignment with the military and I am praying every night he returns whole in body and soul to civilian life.<br><br>
He is now twenty-one and has all ready finished his first two years of college.
 

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Perhaps the endlessness and futility of war as a resolution got the best of him.<br><br>
Or, perhaps it was the betrayal of his country and his military...........
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm truly sorry if it blindsided you.</td>
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It didn't, not really. I'm glad you posted it, it was wonderful to read. I just wanted to give a further "heads up", if you will.<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Kay
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nursing Mother</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I like her points about not being able to change the true and passionate natures of what and how our children decide to believe. What causes they decide to act upon and be a part of. How they choose to live their lives...</div>
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Yes, I liked that too.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nursing Mother</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...But there is a block in my mind as to why this dear mama, would blame her ds's choices on his self-inflicted death. He was depressed, (probably for some serious reasons), but what if it was her other son that had comitted suicide? Would it have been because of his radical-left wing-feminist-anarchist ways? Many people get depressed and kill themselves. Perhaps Tim didn't feel comfortable in sharing his growing problems and he kept bottling up his emotions. Such a complicated story in some ways...</div>
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I wondered that, too. I am a left-wing feminist, a liberal, I am also the spouse of a Marine. I know that none of those things alone will drive a person to suicide. I know that all of them can contribute (sometimes ignorance is bliss) when a person is already pre-disposed to depression.<br><br>
I read that last essay as the words of a grieving mothering, grasping for reasons why her beautiful son would take his own life and finding comfort in deciding it was his politics that drove him to it. I don't agree with her conclusions, but I wouldn't tell her that. I would never take anything from a grieving mother that is bringing her comfort.
 

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I didn't get any conclusions from her essay............and I most certainly got no rejection of him by family in the prior essays!<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Tim was missing his family and thought his Iraqi team on the verge of self-sufficiency. But he also worried that it would become targets of the insurgents, and he was despondent and enraged at the Bush administration and the Bremer regime - "the corruption, the incompetence, the greed, the lies, the brute stupidity."</td>
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A lifetime of service. Betrayed.<br><br><br>
That's what I got from her last piece. A grown man, not a boy defying his family, a grown man who gave his life in service to end up in the quagmire that he describes above.<br><br>
Yes. Depression very often happens when you realize that what you thought your entire life turns out to be bullshit.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Els' 3 Ones</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I didn't get any conclusions from her essay...</div>
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Here's how her last essay starts (bolds mine),<br><br><i>"I have today canceled the subscription of my son Timothy Alan Eysselinck to <b>American Rifleman</b> and removed his name from the <b>National Rifle Association mailing lists, lobbying efforts, fund solicitations and so forth</b>..."</i><br><br>
and here's how it ends (bolds mine),<br><br><i>" ...We do know, however, from the Namibian police, that the last gun he held was a .45-caliber Norinco model 1911 (nicknamed "Government"), serial number 901233. <b>They pried it from his cold, dead hand</b>."</i><br><br>
How can you not draw a conclusion about who/what she is blaming, at least in large part, for her son's death?<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Els' 3 Ones</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...Depression very often happens when you realize that what you thought your entire life turns out to be bullshit.</div>
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His wife, his children, his mother, his father, his brother, his farm, his friends...all bullshit? The mines he removed and lives he saved, bullshit one and all?<br><br>
What he thought his entire life turned out to be bullshit? No. Not true. Not true at all. A lot of people under go profound political changes without ending their own lives. There was something else going on, something far more elusive and difficult to name. I think his mother found a scapegoat and, as I said, I would not deny her that but I don't agree with it.
 

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But at the same time her point has some validity. The same man, at the same emotional low ebb but in a house not stocked with guns may have made a different choice. The delay required to find a method by which to kill himself may have been long enough for him to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe, maybe, maybe.... her son is gone by his own hand and all she has left is what if and maybe.
 

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I don't have the time to go into much detail, but one thing that struck me was that the mother and son were really not so very different. Her son was an idealist and in many ways wanted the same things as she did, he just had a very different idea of how to get there. It seems to me that he was an honorable man doing the best he could in life within his set of beliefs. I am so sorry for her loss, and so grateful that she shared it with us. These were moving essays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mahdokht, I got the same thing, for whatever his politics, I think he was an idealist just like his mother and his brother. He just went a different path. There was something in there from his brother that said something along the lines of how Tim thought that ideals combined with power/guns could really make a difference, and it became clear to him that it wasn't so. Not so hard to believe that depression could set in.<br><br>
Pug, I will trust this mother to know her son best. She got the vibe from him, all we have to go by are her few, however eloquent, words. I don't think it is so desperate a reach for understanding by her; she knew her son.<br><br>
I too see the link between his gun fascination and his death. How easy, easy, in a moment of despair, surrounded by such temptation it would be to just leave this world. Guns were his life, and they were his death. I don't see that as so farfetched.<br><br>
I knew these essays would strike a chord here ... with a Marine husband myself, I am terrified my son will choose the path of war, and I fight that every minute. Right now it's mostly "use your words, don't hurt your sister!" ... if only it would remain so simple.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smilemomma</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...Pug, I will trust this mother to know her son best. She got the vibe from him, all we have to go by are her few, however eloquent, words. I don't think it is so desperate a reach for understanding by her; she knew her son....</div>
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I don't think that's true with many adult children. My parents do not know me best. My spouse and closest friends do. And when parents and children have such vastly different world views, the gap of understanding only widens.<br><br>
In anycase, with a suicide, I've seen people grasp theories that had very little to do with the reality of the person who killed themselves in an effort to come up with <i>some</i> explination of <i>why</i>. This mother could never understand her son's life choices, so when he made one more choice she couldn't understand (who could?), she tied them all together. And maybe she's right, but I suspect there is much more to this story.<br><br>
Grief blinds us all. We see what we need to see and block out the rest. Which is normal and natural, but it's also why the people closest to someone who died are never the best people to do the accident report.
 

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wow, the pictures are what got to me... to think back to when he was a little boy, licking the beaters. no one knows what is in store. what a haunting thing to read & ponder.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">wow, the pictures are what got to me... to think back to when he was a little boy, licking the beaters. no one knows what is in store. what a haunting thing to read & ponder.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> Its really scary. No matter *what* you do.
 

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i am going to go hold my son now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wouldn't say she could never understand. As it was stated, they (the author and her friends) had "considered those viewpoints and rejected them" or something like that. I *understand*, I think, opposing viewpoints, I just do not personally hold them.<br><br>
Anyway, it's all dust, we will never hash out why here, that's for sure. It's all just so sad.<br><br>
The pictures really got me, too. I find myself staring at my boy, wondering what kind of man he will become and just adoring his innocence.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nursing Mother</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I am just now coming around to the point where I know there is no one I can blame for my son's death. Yeah the Dr's missed stuff, and perhaps could have saved his life...... and I needed some tangible evidence to explain why a healthy happy man/boy could just die like that. I wanted to blame alot of things and my grief did blind me for awhile...</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> My heart breaks for you, NM.<br><br>
After my BIL died, we were all so anxious to get the offical accident report (he died in the military and the official report took about a year to complete). After we read it, my SO cried harder than I'd seen him cry since the funeral. He said, "I foolishly thought this would somehow explain <i>why</i>, but it only explained <i>how</i>." The closure he thought he would find in report simply was not there.<br><br>
There is no satisfactory answer to why young people die. It's not right. It shouldn't happen. And even when we know "how", we never really know "why."
 
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