Zeb Zaman is a friend that I met on Goodreads. We’ve never met face-to-face but, through our emails, we’ve met soul-to-soul.
Zeb is from New Zealand. Her father and my father fought in World War II. My father died in 1969, Zeb’s father died three months ago. Both men, were changed forever by their war experience.
We have created a new term since Zeb’s father, and mine, went to war. That term is post traumatic stress disorder. With or without a name, PTSD has been with us since the beginning of time.
PTSD is the reason Zeb first contacted me – she read of my experience. Below is the full text of an email Zeb sent through Goodreads. It needs no further introduction:
Dear Bert and Christina,
I have told you in earlier mails about my father, a WWII veteran …
He died a month ago.
And I don’t tell this to very many people, in fact , I’ve put it like that only to my husband and my dear brother:
One could say he is a very late victim of WWII.
I did not know, he had been suffering in the last few month from bad nightmares, relating to the war. As one friend put it:
not only the body gets frail at high age, but the carefully kept defenses …
My father took his own life in the night from 23rd to 24th of March, aged 92.
He had another nighmarish episode, where nightmare and reality were no longer distinguishable.
He had an appointment the following Monday to see a psychologist to get help.
His health otherwise was just getting better again, after removal of gallstones. With all his plans and daytime optimism, … it was a shock to us. Most of all to my brother who found him.
Sorry to tell you this , as a post stress sufferer.
But that is exactly why i tell you.
My father never had help, in the sense of dealing with his serious traumas.
They killed him 67 years after the war ended.
Feel free to share this, I hope you understand why I tell it to you.
Love from Zeb
What can I add that Zeb didn’t say? No much. Except this note –
If we send men and women to war, we must be willing to welcome them home – totally and unconditionally.