By a friend (2007, Western Canada)

My very good friend Sam* was in a relationship for years, he was not married but lived common-law with his partner. They had four children, two that were not his but he raised them.

They separated and she kept the kids. She took him to court and she got child support for all four of them. He would have the kids visit him and would take them on outings and treats.

They wanted stuff like most kids do. He told them he was giving their mother money for them, they said really we don’t see it. She, on the other hand, was looking good: new clothes and jewelry and stuff, new boyfriend.

Sam was barely making ends meet, he was so depressed. He even started drinking after years of sobriety. I had coffee with him almost every day and he would tell me the injustice he was going through.

He told me and other friends he was going to go visit family and he’d be back in a week. Well the week was up and still no Sam. I asked his other friends if they had seen him cause that’s not like him – not hearing from him. One of his other friends went to his place and knocked on the door, no answer. So with that he called the cops. They went and found my friend Sam hanging in the closet: he had committed suicide.

I was so heartbroken with mixed emotions, one part of me was very angry and one part understood. Now those kids don’t have a father. I’m not sure if they where even told the truth.

It is so dishearting how the system works. He had nothing to live on. The courts took everything from him and he felt so hopeless. The system has to change for the sake of the fathers and their children.

*not his real name