October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Nicky Ovitt

In memory of Wes Ovitt Dakota Tree Project

My dad, Wes, always said he would die before he was 50. In the end, he was a year late. In the cold and gloom of mid-February in New Mexico, he ended his suffering by taking his own life with a gun.

He had always been a slave to his moods, brought on by what in those days was known as manic depression. Today the condition is bipolar disorder and is more well-known and treated.

I can’t say I was surprised when I learned of his death. I was glad his pain was gone. But that’s when ours became more acute. His note said he wanted only to live life in Nirvana and that he was proud for doing “no harm” throughout his time here. What a self-contradiction.

He bought the gun at a pawn shop. I wonder if they had any idea what it was for. He hated hunting and killing. To this day I can’t watch someone aim a gun at their heads or mouth. His best friend found him and it affected the rest of his life.

To those left by a loved one who made this permanent choice, I see you. Guns have not improved the world.

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