How a father marks the day his daughter took her own life

Shane Paulsen, of Devil’s Lake, N.D., has been dreading Dec. 2. It was the one-year anniversary of the day he woke up to a gunshot at 7 a.m. His daughter, Madissen, 11, had taken her own life. A few weeks later, her best friend, also 11, took hers, too.

“It’s never going to go away but I can make it better,” Paulsen tells Forum News.

So he held a clothing and food drive at a local pub and delivered three carloads of food to a food pantry.

“I didn’t want it to be the worst day of my life anymore, I wanted to give myself something to look forward to every year and give back to the community that was there for me,” Paulsen said.

The gesture comes at a good time. Two out of six children in the area are going hungry, according to a food shelf board member.

Paulsen is planning on doing the same thing next year.

“Turn Dec. 2 into a day I can look forward to and a day of hope, charity and strength,” he said.