Remembering an Angel:
Todd Michael O'Leary
by Kevin Caruso
Officer Todd O'Leary was a hero, a great police officer, and a handsome, intelligent, loving, caring, soft-spoken, and popular man.
He served honorably as a law enforcement officer, and not only earned the respect of his fellow officers, but also of his entire community. He was indeed a hero.
He was also a wonderful husband to his lovely wife, Gina, and a fantastic father to his three sons.
Todd had many hobbies, but his favorite was hunting. He would frequently travel to his hunting cabin and enjoy a few days in the great outdoors; and he always felt invigorated when he returned home.
And because he did not want Gina to worry while he was away, he would call her every day.
On November 11, 1999, Todd left on a hunting trip, and Gina waited for his phone call -- but she never received one. She became very concerned and nervously sat by the phone praying for a call from Todd.
On November 14th, Gina saw two vehicles drive up to the residence, and a police officer and some of her family members exited the vehicles -- Gina panicked; she knew there was bad news, so she ran to her bedroom to hide; she was horrified.
The officer found Gina and informed her that her husband was found dead in a hotel room with his deer rifle at his side and a hole in his chest.
Gina immediately went into a state of denial, insisted that he was wrong, and told him to leave.
All of the family members were in a deep state of shock and could not stop crying; but more people kept coming into the house -- Gina was overwhelmed.
Gina could not accept what happened and kept wondering why so many people were in her house. She was confused, so she called the police and asked them to remove the people from her house. She also kept asking the people why they were there. And still in state of shock and confusion, she told her brother, "We should go and get Todd [her husband], the police say he is hurt in a hotel."
The next day, Gina went with her family to the funeral home. Still shocked and confused,
she walked in, saw her husband lying down [dead], and thought, "What the heck is going on? Why is my husband lying there?"
She then returned home with her family and still could not comprehend why so many people were in her house.
It took Gina several weeks to finally realize what happened.
To this day, she still wonders why Todd died by suicide, but she has accepted the suicide.
Gina is a wonderful person who experienced what many suicide survivors experience: shock, denial, confusion, and an inability to think clearly.
Most suicide survivors are overwhelmed by losing a loved one, and most feel, to some degree, what Gina felt.
Gina is a hero, like Todd was. Gina has shown tremendous courage in sharing her story with others, and I know that many suicide survivors will connect with this story and feel better knowing that they are not alone in their feelings.
We love you Gina. What a wonderful person you are!
And Gina wanted to make sure that her husband Todd was remembered and honored. And he will be, Gina, on The Wall of Angels.
Todd passed away at the age of 32.
He was a hero.
And he is now an angel.
We miss you Todd.