MY DAY: Good night sweet prince…


When I went to bed the evening of August 24th, 2012, I had no idea how, within a few hours, my world would be altered.  A curse from twenty-years before was to be repeated.

It is now 12:15 AM, August 24th, 2013.

A year has passed.

In 1987, I lost a beloved uncle to suicide.  I felt cheated that I was not allowed to experience more life with him, that he would not get to see the early stages of my career advance, and later, he would not get to meet my sons.

207202_1972957012060_869196_nThe following year, another Haas nephew, Justin, was born.  A few years before, my sister, Autumn Haas, had given birth to Michael.  With Justin’s birth I realized that while I was still a nephew, I was also an uncle.  I had been trained by two wonderful uncles, Ron Barmes and Garry Jolliff, and I knew that I was exceptionally well-trained for uncle-hood.

Michael was the artist, and Justin was the actor.  For what more could an artistic, theatre-driven uncle ask?

217590_1972945011760_4502699_nJustin, though seemingly happy go-lucky, secure and confident, was racked with depression as he entered his late teens.  When he turned 20, he215437_1972944291742_2290839_n begged me to help him.  I consulted a friend in Muncie who served as his counselor, and I was happy to see an improvement.  I was all too familiar with the horrors and hell of depression, and its debilitating imprisonment, and I was relieved to see the weight lifted from his small shoulders.

18651_1301241979604_501589_nBoth Michael and Justin were blessed with marvelous personalities that exude a clever wit, intelligence, happiness, and terribly kind hearts.  Despite this, and his talent as a thespian, Justin was an imprisoned soul with the depression.

It is never truly clear why some individuals feel the need to cut short their life’s journey. While they bury their emotional scars with their selfish, pain-driven choice, those of us remaining have the insurmountable, anguished task of carrying the hideous scars that result from their choice.

Twenty-five years separate the deaths of a beloved uncle and a dearly loved nephew.  I’ve missed time spent with my uncle, and oh, how I have deeply missed his laughter and joking.  I’ve missed the late-night telephone calls from my nephew, the little texts wishing me a good day or letting me know he was thinking about me, and his laughter – most often filled with piss and vinegar.

While the questions of “why?” shall be a scar that eventually fades with time, the scars of missing those much-loved souls will forever fester.

And so, just as I wrote to Justin one year ago, this particularly favorite line from William Shakespeare’s, HAMLET, I offer it up again, with more reassurance:

“Good night, Sweet Prince, and flights of angels continue to sing Thee to Thy rest.”

Know you are loved, Justin…  Unc


About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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2 Responses to MY DAY: Good night sweet prince…

  1. You are so awesome and to this Auntie you have become such a wise grown up man.. I love to read your daily writings for you are always talking trough you awesome heart.. When they say God will give us a new heart I guess I wonder how could He could give you a better heart.. for the one you have here on this earth is so beautiful… I love my sweet nephew.. ❤ 🙂

  2. Sally Dyer says:

    Darin I’m so sorry for your loss. I felt compelled to let you know
    that you are not alone. The pictures of your nephew are wonderful, but I’m sure at the same time painful to see sometimes. Today my youngest sister, Martha, would have turned 51 yrs. old. She committed suicide in 2008, when her children were 11 and almost 16 years old. My husband and I have taken on the difficult task of raising these two children who also suffer from severe depression and suicidal ideation. Both are currently in residential treatment programs and slowly discovering that they can beat back the beast that is depression. The comparision to your family continues, in that my oldest brother killed himself in 2002.
    Suicide is indeed a selfish act that leaves many unanswered questions for those who survive them. However, I know, especially for Martha, that her profound, lifelong suffering ended that cold February day in 2008. While I miss seeing her when she was in a good spell, I don’t miss seeing her suffer and struggle to make it thru most of the other times. And I must admit, I do get angry at times with her and my brother, when I see how deeply damaged her children are as a result of their choices to end their lives as they did. My 21 yr. old nephew until very recently seemed to think this was a family legacy that he was destined to continue. Very scary indeed!
    Take care and I hope you find some solace in happy memories of your uncle and nephew.

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