He finally did it, just like he said that he would. He had talked about it for years. At times, it really upset me. Other times, I would just roll with it, and change the subject. It’s not easy to listen to your Dad talk about suicide, and why it was his most logical exit. But, it came up in many conversations. “There’s no future in this, Jeff.” At 88, he finally had enough and pulled the trigger. Just like that, a Living Legend was no more.
Some family members were shocked by my Dad’s suicide, but I wasn’t. He had been through so much. For many years, he took care of my Mom, as she suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease. I honestly don’t know how he did it for so long. During one stretch, he was on crutches and in excruciating pain. Yet, he still took care of her.
In his younger years, he used to say, “Strong like bull!” He was so strong, and larger than life to all of us. Bad ass? Yep. Tougher than the rest? Yes, without a doubt. He was a man’s man. He was a lineman who led by example, whether he was teaching young apprentices from a 200 foot tall tower, or restoring power to so many midwestern communities after the latest storm. His co-workers loved Bobby Baird as much as we do.
Not only was he “strong like bull,” he was also very bull headed. He did things his own way, and I’m proud to be his son. I like to do things my way too. The Baird blood flows a little different than most. When we set our minds to something, there’s no going back. We’re a determined bunch to say the least. If you know us, you know what I’m talking about.
My Dad was many things. Open-minded was not one of those things. There was no reason for me to try to explain Reiki to Dad. Instead, I shared my happiness with him, and simply demonstrated the Reiki precepts, whenever we were in touch. In spite of his best attempts, I refused to get angry or worry. He really tested me, and it took everything I had to not worry or get angry on the day I spent time with him. He taught me acceptance and tolerance at a whole new level, and for that, I am so grateful.
Right before he shot himself, he had a couple of falls in public that really scared him. He refused to go into a care facility, and lived on his own, right up until the very end. Believe it or not, he ended his life out of love for his family. He did not want to be a burden on anyone, especially his loving family. So, he left on his own terms, but in a lot of pain nonetheless.
Early on with Reiki, I had heard about sending the healing energy to situations. So, I sent Reiki to my Dad’s situation on a regular basis. In his later years, he was always in pain. I wasn’t sure whether my distance healing attempts were making an impact, due to what I thought was his closed mindedness and unwillingness to receive Reiki. Then, one day, he shocked me by saying, “Hey, before I let you go…Those prayers or whatever it is you’re sending me, keep ’em coming. I think they’re helping.” This simple statement made me so happy and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t believe it! I really was helping relieve some of his pain. Reiki delivered once again, just like it always does.
After my Dad passed away this last Spring, we came together as a family, got things in order, and sold the home he loved so much. My Dad gave me one last gift as he left us. The money that was made on the sale of his home is helping me take Sunrise Reiki Colorado to a much higher level. Thanks Dad. I can hear you say, “If it was easy, anybody would do it.” You are making it easier for me to do this whole thing my way, which is really Reiki’s way.
We didn’t say it much, but you know how much I love you. Rest in peace. God knows you deserve it. I know that our loving God does not look favorably on suicide, since He blessed us with the gift of life. But, it is my belief that in certain situations, He cuts us some slack. He knew how much my Dad had been through, and He knew how much pain he was in. He also knows that Dad did this out of love for his family, as he did not want to be a burden. One day, we’ll all sit down and talk about it. Until then, I will continue to share Reiki with those who are in pain.