Dear people accusing me of murder,
I understand wanting answers for something that makes no sense. I understand wanting someone to blame. Anger is easier than despair. I understand. It’s easier to be mad at someone than to feel the deep sense of loss that comes with Andy’s death. It was a tragic night that should have never been.
Andy died of a self inflicted gun shot. Andy was not himself all night. To be honest, he hadn’t been himself for awhile. The intense grief of losing Symba was a burden he was unprepared to bear. We spent so much money trying to get answers to help him, we drained our banks and money was tight. My diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis was devastating to us and we were scared what it meant for the future of my health and our company. To say we were stressed, is an understatement. Andy told me he was barely sleeping and he was drinking way more than ever before. Andy was not a big drinker, but lately he’d been drinking quite often. He even got drunk on a weekday while playing video games with friends. He told me drinking made the pain easier. I wish I’d heard this more clearly. That night he was euphorically happy and not himself. He was scrubby and didn’t even shower or do his hair, VERY unlike him. Then, as if a light switch flipped, he was filled with a rage I’ve never seen. He snapped. He was no longer the loving compassionate partner I had always known. I looked into his eyes and it was as if he was gone. After a rage filled outburst, while under the influence of alcohol and a pain pill, he decided to end his life.
Andy and I had a deep connection of love and trust to a depth neither of us had ever known. I’ve heard the lies that have been spread and I just want you to know, Andy was not planning on leaving me. I know we had ups and downs and sometimes we fought, but we always stuck it out. We were planning our wedding the week he died. He had called a guitar player just that week to set up a meeting to hire him to play at our wedding. We had just spoke about a hand fasting ceremony and we were researching buying cloth to represent my family’s heritage. Andy and I were making plans for our future together. He wasn’t planning on leaving or ending his life.
What happened that night was tragic and does not represent the man that Andy was. I will not let one night define him. He was not making rational decisions that night. Andy was good, kind, compassionate, passionate, stubborn, and a myriad of wonderful and not so pleasant things. He wasn’t perfect, no one is. But he was the love of my life and our love was imperfectly perfect. I have many flaws but I love Andy with all my heart and I would never hurt him. I had nothing to do with his death.
I am so sorry you are grieving. I am so sorry your heart hurts! We are all in this together. I wish you could see that. I wish our grief could be something we could all share, something we could all sit in and walk through together, instead of it tearing us apart. I understand wanting to blame, find answers, and find justice for Andy. But your anger is misguided. There are no answers that make this okay or bring him back. The detectives ruled it a self inflicted gun shot, because that’s exactly what it was. I didn’t help him load the gun or urge him to do it, as you have suggested. I would never do anything of the sort to anyone, let alone Andy, my love. I was on the floor, very dazed and confused when he did it. I didn’t even realize what he was doing until I looked up and it was too late. I would have risked my life to save him if I had realized what he was doing, without a second thought!
I hope one day you come to terms with the truth. That you find healthy ways to express your grief. I hope you learn to live with your grief in losing Andy and you find some semblance of peace. I only wish the best for your future.
To my accusers, I forgive you. I know how much this hurts you. It’s unbearable at times. It hurts in ways I didn’t know it could. Andy always said his favorite thing about me was my capacity for caring, that I truly felt other’s feelings. I really do empathize with you and I hope one day you understand that I had nothing to do with Andy’s death and I would do anything to have him back. One day, I hope you see that Andy’s suicide was a tragic and senseless loss. I try to make sense of it, as I know you are as well, but it doesn’t make any sense. Andy had so much to live for and if he hadn’t been not sleeping, hadn’t been stressed, and hadn’t been under the influence, he never would have snapped and taken his life.
To his family, you all have Andy’s childhood, his early hears, his high school days, his college years and the years he was becoming the man I met 5 years ago. I spent almost every day with him for the last 4 years of his life. Even when we lived 2 hours apart, we spent EVERY weekend together. We all have our own special bond with him, our own private memories. We are bonded by our love for him. Bonded by our deep missing of him. Bonded by our desperate need to make sense of his loss. By the painful ache in our hearts of longing to have one more talk with him, one more car ride, one more joke from him, one more day.
I am so heartbroken this has torn us apart. That your anger in losing him has been misguided in my direction. I’m so sad to be abandoned by all of you. I pray you never know the depth of sorrow, betrayal, and pain I have felt in not only his loss, not only the tragic images that plague my every waking moment, but in the pain of your words and actions. I pray you never bear witness to something as awful as I’ve seen. I hope your hearts heal and you can live with the grief of losing Andy in the healthiest way and in a way that best brings you peace. Inaccurately accusing me and spreading false rumors about me, that is not the way, I assure you. Trying to turn the beautiful life we had into something ugly, that is not the way to your healing. It is not the right thing and it isn’t what Andy would want. He deserves better. I deserve better.
Andy spent the last five years loving me and building a life with me. He made me his business partner and was going to make me his wife. He took care of me in times of sickness and was fiercely loyal to me in the way we knew he was with everyone he loved deeply. I wish you could honor his memory by treating me with the kindness that he did, with the kindness I deserve.
I have tried to treat you with kindness but I apologize from the bottom of my heart if you feel I didn’t. Unfortunately, I had to take privacy and withdraw from anyone connected to those that accused me to protect myself. I am sorry if you misunderstood this for a lack of caring. In the wake of witnessing such tragic events, I was very withdrawn. I didn’t want to talk to people or leave the house. I could barely find the energy to shower. I hope you didn’t mistake my PTSD for a lack of caring for you. I couldn’t get off the couch let alone go to a funeral home. I couldn’t see his viewing because I watched him die in the most horrific way. I wanted to remember him alive and vibrant. I desperately wanted to connect with all of you and keep you close. But I also received hateful letters and text messages and I had to protect myself by disconnecting. I was scared. Detectives told me to be careful too, they were worried I might get hurt. I knew people were saying horrible things about me and I didn’t know who to trust. People were instantly contacting me to start divvying up our stuff. I couldn’t process that he was gone and people were already claiming belongings, many of which I purchased on my credit card and still owed money on (or that we had purchased together with money we earned from our business together). Things that carried memories of the life we had built together that was now torn from me. I was trying to prepare myself for a funeral for my best friend, my business partner, the love of my life all while knowing that people that wished me harm would be there. It was too much to process all at once and I went into a black hole. I’m sorry if my actions hurt you during this time. Truly. I want you to have the things that you gave him or the items that bring you memories of him like his X-box. (Of course, I can’t give away company gear or items that I still owe money on, though I am happy to give away the camera he used at weddings if that eases some pain.) That is why I gave his family access to the house to take whatever they wanted. I was told that I was his family and therefor everything that was his was mine, that no one would come for my business. It meant the world to me because Andy was my family and I considered his family my family, as I know mine was his. But if any of this was misunderstood at the time, you have my apology. I didn’t want to make anything harder on ANYONE! I just needed time to grieve alone. Time to process the trauma and my new reality.
I read a quote about grief that I think describes it quite perfectly…
“Grief is a process, an unending long and winding road. The landscape changes as we travel the distance, some parts of the path are barren and some more beautiful– But it’s the same road. And grief itself is the destination: at every moment of our grief, we are arriving.”-Bearing the Unbearable By Joanne Cacciatore
I hope we can learn to live with the ugly parts of this journey and learn to appreciate the beautiful parts as well. I wish you the best in life and I know Andy would tell me to be kind and patient with his family, he would tell us all to be kind to one another.
He is loved and deeply missed. I will keep him in every thought, every trip, every adventure, every sunset, every time a bird lands nearby, he is with me.
Your almost daughter, sister, cousin, and granddaughter in law.