Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wisconsin Dad

Hi Rick,
    My name is Paul Jankowski. I am the uncle of your pharmacist, Amy Hilton.  Thank you very much for taking the time to write to Amy.  She did forward your letter to me.  You are truly a special person to reach out to help a stranger in need.  I had gotten the feeling while reading "Tuesday Mornings with the Dads" that you all have become very good at helping others.

    I am very sorry for your loss of Marc.  You had said in your letter that you can now remember the fun times you had with him.  I am just beginning to be able to do that.  We lost our 26 year old daughter, Emily on June 20th of 2009.  Emily took her own life by overdosing on sleeping medication.  Emily struggled greatly with depression.  She also struggled with dealing with life's problems and problems she created on her own.  I had many, many instances of having to decide to help her or have her learn consequences on her own.  This resulted in feeling tremendous guilt after her death.  Constantly asking myself if I helped her too little or too much. Those first few months I couldn't sleep and had trouble eating.

    Luckily, I have a wonderful family.  My best friends, Jack and Mike were also there to listen anytime I wanted to talk.  It was very hard trying to help my wife, Joan and my daughters, Kayla and Mallory dealing with our loss and then try to get help for myself.  My wife and daughters talked me into seeing a grief counselor in December.  He had me read a few books on losing a child and suicide.  Then in January, Amy sent me "Tuesday Mornings with the Dads".  I got ten times more out of the book than the other books combined.  Reading the stories and observing the way all the dads opened their hearts in the book helped me understand many of the things that I had gone through or was currently experiencing.  I wasn't the only one with the guilt, the unbelievable sadness, the difficulty doing things that in the past that were easy to do, the hard times dealing with special dates, the feeling that a huge piece of me is gone and many other feelings. Knowing that all the dads got through it gave me hope.  THANK YOU and all the dads for writing the book.  It sure helped one dad from Wales,


Paul Jankowski (also an RPh)

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