A 32-year-old man in Houston, Texas has shot himself to death in a hospital room hours after his wife gave birth in that same room. With their baby just 3.5 hours old, witnesses say they heard arguing and then the man was gone. What could have possibly happened to cause him to be so despondent just hours after one of the most moving events most of us will ever experience?
Details are sparse at this point. Even his name isn't being released, possibly because this has to be unimaginably difficult for his family. Still, witnesses say they heard arguing coming from the hospital room shortly before the gun shot and some family members and friends say he had been "distraught" for weeks leading up to the suicide.
The baby wasn't in the room at the time of the suicide. It was just the husband and the wife.
After this weekend's horrific events with the father who killed himself after shooting his 9-year-old son, it's obvious that depression in fathers (and fathers-to-be) isn't to be taken lightly.
For many men, a new baby is a terrifying prospect. It means a lot of responsibility. After all, a new life is completely dependent on them. It's scary for women, too, but we have nine months to get used to it as we bond with the baby inside us. Could this have played into his decision to end it? We may never know.
But I keep thinking of his poor wife. Here she is, probably still in pain from everything her body has just gone through. She is likely exhausted, elated, overwhelmed, and emotional. It's some of the happiest and most overwhelming moments of her life. And then this. He took that joy away from her. In many ways, that just seems so cruel.
The hospital room that should have been a place where the new family bonded and fell in love became the place where he died and left her alone with her new baby and her grief. It makes me wonder if he meant to hurt himself or her more. How do you ever come back from something like that?
For now, I am sure, she has her baby to focus on. In the coming weeks, maybe there will be more information on why he would have done this.
My heart goes out to her and their baby.
Do you think this was planned out?
Image via aaron_anderer/Flickr