Parents Of Suicide
Writings Library

Mary Kennedy
April 17, 2000

My son Daniel Joseph Kennedy was born on June 19,1971. He weighed 8lbs 2oz was 19 inches long and was very healthy. He came 8 years after my 6th child was born and a year later his little sister was born. They were very close. Where ever Dan was Julie was right behind. One day they got into some paint and decided to paint each other, so I had to give them both haircuts. They looked so much alike people thought they were twins.

At 16 years old Dan got his license to drive. He then got his first car, first girlfriend. He was so happy in love. One night he had an accident and totaled his car. He was so depressed having no car to drive. I let him use my car some of the time. Everyday after school he would sit down and tell me how his day went. One particular day he said he thought his girl was going to break up with him. I talked to him and told him he was still young and would have many girlfriends before he found the right one.

Dan and his friends were starting a band. He played the guitar and sang beautifully. They practiced many times upstairs in his bedroom. Unfortunately after Dan took his life the boys put away their instruments. On May 3rd 1988 Dan came home from school as usual and asked me if he could use my car to visit his girl. I told him yes so he went to his room to call her and make sure he could go over.

I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, his Dad, older brother and little sister were watching TV. When he saw what they were watching he said he would be right down to watch it with them. Then all of a sudden we heard a loud bang. I ran upstairs and found Dan sitting on the floor with his gun on his lap. His arms were reaching up to me. He had a gunshot to the forehead. I screamed down to call 911. I don't know if he heard me but I told him I loved him.

When we arrived at the hospital it was filled with family and friends. It was devastating to see my baby boy lying there all wrapped up in bandages around his head. All hooked up to machines. Of course I was thinking they would make him all better and we would bring him home. Well after several hours the doctors came in the family room and told us he was gone.

They asked us if we would like to donate his organs and I thought Oh God why do they ask us this now. We told them we had to think about it and discussed it with his sisters and brothers. They all agreed that is what Dan would want.

So we went the next day to say our good-byes and sign the papers. Making the funeral arrangements we decided since Dan never liked dressing up he would wear his jeans tee shirt and leather coat. He looked like he was sleeping. There was no sign of the hole in his forehead. I was in a daze during the wake and funeral and don't remember much of it.

A few months after the funeral we heard that he had told his best friend he would shoot himself if his girl broke up with him. His best friend told him if he ever felt that way to call him and he would be there for him. He did call him but he wasn't home. His friend told no one. This is what did happen. His girl broke up with him that night he asked to use my car. He said "I love you", then shot himself.

I have had many dreams of him. One particular one was when he came to me in a car like I have never seen before and took me for a ride around heaven. I believe it was heaven because it was so beautiful. The colors were so vivid .I said Dad should be with us but he said he would come back and take him another time.

There were happenings in my home. For a week my TV would come on at the exact time he used to watch TV every morning. My family thought I was making it up when I told them. They didn't believe me until one morning my oldest daughter was visiting me when it happened. The TV came on but at a different channel. I smiled at her and said Dan that is the wrong channel. Well the TV started changing channels until the cartoon channel came on. My daughter got up looked in the living room seeing no-one there said "I don't believe it"

It's been 12 years since that day but he is forever on my mind. There are days I just want to be with him so I go down to his gravesite and talk to him. There is a new policy now we cannot put anything on the gravesite only on Memorial Day. So on his special days we let balloons go up and watch them til they are out of sight. Every year on May 3rd I put a piece in the local newspaper in his memory.

Written By :
Mary Kennedy
Dan's Mom