In David’s Story, Jill Sadowsky, broke the taboo and spoke out about mental illness in her family. It is a deeply moving account of the struggle of a family with a son suffering from a mental illness. She made a promise to him that she would fight the stigma of schizophrenia. More
In David’s Story, Jill Sadowsky, broke the taboo and spoke out about mental illness in her family. It is a deeply moving account of the struggle of a family with a son suffering from a mental illness. She made a promise to him that she would fight the stigma of schizophrenia.
Dreams of starting a police officer’s training program took shape in her mind as she dreamed of preventing violent encounters between people with a mental illness and the law.
In the midst of these events, she related how she and her husband continued to love their son and one another. She wrote how he was able to give her and their three children unconditional love.
When my son, David, thought that the driver of an oncoming car was flicking his headlamps at him, he threw a stone through the windshield of that car. By some miracle, the driver was not hurt. The police came to our house.
When my son heard voices advising him that an old woman on the bus was contacting ‘The Establishment’ that was working against him, he raised a hand to her. Fortunately, she only suffered from shock and a bruise on her forehead. The police came to our house.
But, when my son gave up hope when he realized that sparring with his demons would not allow him peace of mind again, he went to what I can only hope is a place of calm, peace and endless prayer. The police did not come to our house. They called.
We buried our son, David, three months before his 34th birthday. On that dull winter’s day, the earth that had been dug out stood in a mound ready to be thrown back. I spoke to him for the last time while in the cold still air, I heard a thousand birds sing their songs of life.
All the people who loved David could say farewell. There were those who had not coped with his schizophrenia but knew how to handle his death. Friends, neighbors and acquaintances stood, shoulders touching, their breath mingling in the icy air into one great sigh for our loss.
I worried about my husband, my aged mother and my children. So much as left unsaid. I ached to see David on his surfboard. I heard the thud of earth, a marker. He’s gone. He didn’t say goodbye. In a tumble of memories, I saw my son’s smile superimposed on the painful image of his anguished, tortured expression.
I love you, David.
1062 - 1996