Skip to content

Randy’s Story

Friends. On Friday my story, and the story of my family, was altered in a devastating and crushing way. My brother-in-law Randy took his own life. To say that Dale and I are bereft is not enough. To say that we are hurt and confused is inadequate. At this moment in time our anguish knows no limits.

Dale and I were on our way to a Christmas party when Dale’s cell phone rang and he missed the call. It was Mary, Randy’s wife, and Dale handed the phone to me and asked me to call her back since he was driving. She was crying when she answered and said she needed us and then told me what had happened. And then I had to tell my beloved husband, the person I love most in the world, that his brother was dead. Following that I was also the one who told Jessica and Hannah and then Dale’s sister Lisa. To deliver that news, to say those words, and know that when I did I would be inflicting horrible pain on the people I love, broke me into a million pieces.

Since then I have been trying to understand how Randy got to this point. And I just can’t get there. A friend told me Saturday that it’s a gift that suicide is a struggle I don’t know and something I can’t understand. I know she’s right but my heart still wants to comprehend what caused Randy to lose all hope. He had been dealing with anxiety and some serious health issues due to tick borne illnesses for a while but I never once thought that he was depressed or that he might consider his struggles something he couldn’t overcome with time, health care, and the love and support of his wife, family and friends. To face the fact that he was overwhelmed with pain and didn’t share that with those closest to him is unbelievably grim.

Randy was a gifted writer, a talented artist, an accomplished musician, and an avid outdoorsman. He was wise and wonderful and taught me so much about hunting and fishing, birds and nature, simple living and finding joy in the smallest moments. I can hear his laugh and see him grinning when he told a funny story or scared my kids with stories of the woozle that lived in the walls of his house. He was the head of this family in so many ways and I know we’ve only just begun to comprehend the gigantic hole created by his death.

We spent the weekend together as a family, sharing stories and tears, being comforted by the presence of very close friends who brought food and flowers and consoled us as best they could. I talked with Mary yesterday about sharing Randy’s story and she was very clear that people need to know the truth about Randy’s death. We need to talk about mental health issues. We need to know the warning signs and watch for them. Believe me when I tell you that if this could happen in my family then it could happen in any family.

For those of you who have been inquiring, a memorial service will be planned for a later time.

Randy told me once that I was a good writer. It’s a compliment that meant so very much to me at the time and I’m grateful for that memory. I wish he could read these words and know how important, special, and loved he really was.

This Post Has 117 Comments

  1. Carole,

    My heart breaks for your family. Randy and Dale were so kind to my son Peter and his friends as they started their band. They both took the time to get to know them and spend time with them, along with words of encouragement. I will always treasure the memories of the 2 bands playing together, especially the night they played at EBHS. I hope your memories bring you comfort. We are sending you our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Your loss in Randy’s death is unfathomable. I am so sad for you, Dale, and your whole family. Love, Karen Chuilli Hamilton

  3. Carole, although I do not know you, I want to thank you for your transparency in writing about Randy and his suffering. I pray that you might be helped by writing and that another might be helped by reading. Iam sorry. Karen Chuilli Hamilton

  4. Carole, your post made everything around me stop turning. I cannot tell you how sorry I am for you and your family. As our community reels from suicide this season, I will keep you and yours in my heart, as well. Breaking the silence is imperative…taking mental health out of the closet, so to speak, is a job for all of us. (No need to respond to this comment. Thinking of you.)

  5. Oh Carole, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I’ve had several friends who’ve taken their own lives and there’s something more tragic, more difficult to comprehend about it. And no, I’m not wording this well but… Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you great big virtual hugs.

  6. Oh Carole, I am so sorry to hear about Randy. Words are somehow never enough, but know that you and Dale and your family are in my prayers.

  7. I am so sorry for your tragic loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Carole, I don’t know you but I do know many of your friends and family members. I have had chronic pain for a long time and have been on the verge of ending my life. When someone has led a vibrant, robust life such as Randy, sometimes the loss of physicality is just too much. He was a very special person and immensely talented. I hope that this is the legacy you can hold onto and cherish and not how he chose to leave. Let the love of your family and friends comfort you. I truly am sorry for your pain.

  9. I met Randy and Mary while on a sea duck hunting trip to the cape to finish up my North American duck species slam. It was very cold and January 1st 2017, My friends and I were at Woods Seafood grabbing us something eat. Randy knew we had been hunting and automatically struck up a conversation. We talked for well over an hour sharing stories and our hobbies. My shotgun had broken that morning and I had 2 more days left, so I asked Randy if he knew anywhere I could take my gun for repair. He informed nothing was close and everything would be closed for the new year. Before we parted ways he told me he had a shotgun I could borrow , I could not begin to believe that a guy I had met for only an hour was going to lend me his gun. He was just that kind of guy, when I went to his cabin to pick the gun up he welcomed me like we had known each other our entire lives. I was in heaven seeing his rustic cabin, his drawings and decoys. It was an adrenaline rush and I felt like I had met a celebrity. I could not wait to share my story with friends and family and I have many times. We talked on the phone several times and I had hoped to one day to take a vacation with my family and visit with Randy and Mary once again. I’m very saddened for Randy and his family, he was a stand up guy and helped me out in a big way! Rest In Peace my friend.

  10. My heart is with you right now. Saying many prayers for your family. Lyme is just painful, in life and in death. And my heart goes out to all of you who loved Randy. May God find a way in his heart to end this whole mess. Please let me know if you’d like Randy remembered in the Lyme Memorial.

  11. Carole (and family) I’m so very sorry for your loss. No one can understand why someone who has chronic invisible illnesses would commit suicide except another person with a chronic invisible illness. I know it doesn’t help your pain, but this is fairly common. I just recently nursed my mother through a very ugly death due to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and complications. I can assure you that I will not go through that kind of death willingly. But worse than that, dealing every day with the millions of aches, pains, and losses we suffer cause us to lose all hope eventually. You can’t imagine what it feels like to go from being a vibrant, talented, active, independent person, to having your brain turn to mush to the point that you literally have to have someone else speak for you. You can’t imagine what it cost my mother the first time her adult daughter had to put a diaper on her because her body functions began shutting down. I am 58 years old. I used to be a bodybuilder. I had a great job. Now I can’t make it through the grocery store without passing out. I’m so sorry you and your family don’t understand what made your loved one do this, but I, and literally millions of others, do. We hurt for you, and with you.

  12. I am a retired medical personnel from OK. I was an RN for 22 years and a physiatrist assistant forgot 11 said u couldn’t understand why your loved one committed suicide. From working with Lyme disease on many occasions, it does cause inflammation and for lack of a better word short circuits the brain. I’ve seen many people who have total changes in their mood and cognitive abilities. Unfortunately. Tick born illnesses are after passed off as just a virus,chronic fatigue, depression, or even fibromyalgia. It is imperative that people check themselves for ticks and report any bites to the doctor so Lyme tigers and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever tests can be tested early in the disease. Rapid and prompt treatment with IV antibiotics can be administered daily for a period of 2-4 weeks daily. This can be done in a doctor’s office or as an outpatient in emergency room or even home health care. Early detection is a must to prevent long term debilitating symptoms. Be proactive for yourself and educate others. Suicide seems to happen a lot more when people suffer these long term effects and in people who have led very active lives as your families loved one did. May this note help u and you’re family to better understand why this tragedy happened. Love and prayers, in Jesus name Amen

  13. I’m so sorry, may he Rest In Peace and fly with Angels! Lyme is so painful. Sending love and comfort to everyone! ??

  14. God bless to all that’s been touched in this family by this ugly unforgivable disease I have lived with it for 21/2 years and it’s been a journey for everyone around me It’s not a easy road and a very lonely one to travel stay strong and understand it’s not a weakness it’s a illness

Comments are closed.

Back To Top