Daughter tries to come to terms with father's suicide

March 7, 2014

By: Meredith Zielke

Photo courtesy of StoryCorps
Anne Emerson and Tom Gallagher

A few years ago Anne Emerson decided to visit her mom in Boston while on break from law school. One early morning during her stay they got a phone call. It was about her father … and the news wasn’t good. What happened next gave Anne a greater perspective on illness, abandonment, and the will to live. She shared her experience with partner Tom Gallagher at the Chicago StoryCorps booth.

ANNE: Everyone has something, that if they had to live without it, it wouldn’t be life anymore.

For her father, she said, it was losing his mental faculties after developing dementia. Anne already had abandonment issues with her dad from an early age.

ANNE: The only really big problem I have with his ‘method of exit’ if you will, is that… just when you think someone can’t find a new way to leave you… they do.

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.

To find out how Anne grapples with her loss, listen to the audio above.

Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.