Road to Recovery
Organized by: Janice D
On Dec 18/2015 my husband, Richard, suddenly and tragically died from a blunt force trauma to the head which was caused by our 20-year-old son Ari.
For the last couple years, Richard and I have been dealing with Ari's unstable mood and behavior which we knew were due to his mental illness affliction. Like so many others, Ari was resistant to getting help for his condition, despite two brief hospitalizations in 2015. In hindsight, his condition should have been given much more serious treatment by those physicians who attended to him. Like any loving and concerned parent, Richard and I continued giving Ari our unconditional love and support. Richard, especially, was patient and tolerant. I researched local resources to try to get help for Ari. As a couple, we utilized many of these resources, but our system can only do so much when the unwell person is over age 18 and refuses the services offered.
Then, on Dec 18, the unthinkable happened. At 11:30 a.m. I had phone conversations with both Richard and Ari. Only 30 minutes later, 911 received Ari’s phone call that his father was dead and a few short minutes later he was in police custody facing charges of first degree murder.
I am now faced not only with mourning the loss of Richard (after 29 years together), but also with trying to be strong and remain hopeful so that Ari will stop trying to end his life. Needless to say, he is tormented with the guilt of the events and actions that we know were caused by his illness. He is currently incarcerated in a psychiatric forensic facility where he is medicated and kept in restraints.
Though it is not ‘fair’ that Richard had to be the innocent victim in these tragic events, I know he would want to be there to continue giving Ari his unconditional love and support. Richard touched the lives of those who knew him. He was a devoted family man whose nature was always to do everything in his power to help others through difficult times. Family friend Annette G said of Richard, “The sparkle and the kindness in his eyes drew me in completely ... I will miss you Richard, your love for people, your philosophical insights, your faith, and your treasured friendship.”
Richard’s smile was warm, inviting, and genuine. His wit and sense of humor were infectious. He was a man of deep conviction who never lost his grip on the values that shaped his life. An excerpt from the eulogy at his funeral: “Richard was, as he would say, pointing to others, ‘a person worthy of honor’ .... he had a determined, irrepressible, indomitable spirit that empowered him”.
Thank you for reading my story. I am asking readers to find it in your hearts to make a generous donation to help support Ari’s road to recovery.