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This is mostly the truth.
It was 1958 and Barbara Jean was 27 years-old. In Seattle, just before midnight she had a fight with my grandfather after returning from a summer party. Her three daughters all less than 8 years-old, were in bed when she retreated into the closet and as my copy of her death certificate simply states, “shot self in head with .22 rifle.”  The girls heard nothing and for a while did not know their mother was dead, only that their world changed when they moved in with Barbara Jean’s brother. Their aunt and uncle said very little about the whereabouts of their father, except to say that he would be coming for them soon.


"What We Lost When We Lost Barbara Jean." — Rebecca K. O’Connor, The Rumpus
See more #longreads from The Rumpus

This is mostly the truth.

It was 1958 and Barbara Jean was 27 years-old. In Seattle, just before midnight she had a fight with my grandfather after returning from a summer party. Her three daughters all less than 8 years-old, were in bed when she retreated into the closet and as my copy of her death certificate simply states, “shot self in head with .22 rifle.”  The girls heard nothing and for a while did not know their mother was dead, only that their world changed when they moved in with Barbara Jean’s brother. Their aunt and uncle said very little about the whereabouts of their father, except to say that he would be coming for them soon.

"What We Lost When We Lost Barbara Jean." — Rebecca K. O’Connor, The Rumpus

See more #longreads from The Rumpus

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7 notes
  1. rummeltje reblogged this from longreads and added:
    I just found this amongst my liked posts and I can’t believe I never reblogged it. It is very good and you should read...
  2. longreads posted this