Stefanie Pelkey (SP) and Thomas ”TJ” Hart (TH)
SP: When he came back, he wasn’t the same person that left. His light was gone, that’s the only way I know how to say it. He just didn’t joke around anymore. He had a lot of anxiety. He’d shake his legs a lot while he was sitting there talking, like he’d tap his feet a lot. Also, he started sleeping with a gun. And he would sleep with it under his pillow. So he sought help, and probably about a month after, he took his life. He shot himself in our living room. Does that sound familiar to you?
TH: Oh yeah, it definitely does. I can tell you what was in your husband’s mind. ’Cause it was in mine. I can tell you what it’s like to pull that trigger. For me, the round didn’t go off. I don’t know why. There’s no feeling. It’s a numbness. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong. I thought I was doing my family the right thing. And it’s so easy to justify and say, ”Maybe the right thing for me is to just disappear.”
SP: Well, I hope that I came into your life to show you that that’s not the answer. I wouldn’t have wanted to sit here and share this with anybody else because I know you understand.
TH: Stefanie you are my little sister now. You remind me every day of what I can do to my family, with one slip. Never once did I think about the aftermath, the sadness, the things that I would miss. And, you’ve reminded me of that.