Kulpmont Man Blows Himself Up at Wife's Grave
He kept repeating over and over, "I want to die, I want to die."
Dealing with the death of a spouse is impossibly difficult to imagine, and yet many of us will have to deal with this sad event at some point in our lives. Some people are better at handling grief than others. Unfortunately, Peter Bobyk wasn't one of them.
The following gut-wrenching tale of sorrow appeared in the Shamokin News-Dispatch on November 12, 1935.
Kulpmont Widower Probably Fatally Injured By Blast
Despondent, Peter Bobyk, 58, Tries to End His Life With Dynamite on His Wife's Grave
Grieving over the death of his wife whom he buried three days ago, Peter Bobyk, 58, of Kulpmont, attempted suicide at the woman's grave in St. Casimir's cemetery, Marion Heights, yesterday morning by exploding a half stick of dynamite beneath the belt of his trousers.
The front of his body, horribly mangled, Bobyk was taken to the Shamokin hospital where attaches said his chances of recovering were "one in a million". His arms and legs were badly lacerated and he suffered contusions of the face. Moaning from agonizing pains, Bobyk told a representative of the Shamokin News-Dispatch that he wanted to die.
"But it wasn't enough to kill me," he sobbed. "I didn't use enough.
"Wy wife is gone and I'm alone. I have nothing more to live for," he managed to gasp between swollen and parched lips. Because of his critical condition and the disrupted organs of his stomach, it would be fatal to give him a drink of water, hospital attaches said.
Bobyk made the attempt on his life about 9:30 yesterday morning, but he was not found until an hour and a half later when Joseph Heffelfinger, of Hickory Ridge, came across his prone form.
Heffelfinger was hunting rabbits and discovered Bobyk's body while walking through the cemetery. The victim was lying face down across the freshly-dug grave of his wife and Heffelfinger believed him to be dead. He turned him over on his back and was horrified to see the front part of his body blown apart. Heffelfinger shouted to another person nearby to summon a physician, and Dr. A.J. Ancerawicz, of Kulpmont, county coroner, arrived a short time later. Realizing the man was critically wounded, Dr. Ancerawicz called the ambulance from the Shamokin hospital.
"Why don't they finish me?" he cried out.
Bobyk was conscious and while the ambulance was en route to the cemetery he told how he attempted to take his life because of grief over the death of his wife. She was buried three days ago. Bobyk was still conscious at the hospital yesterday afternoon when interviewed by a representative of the News-Dispatch. Suffering from intense pains that he described as torture, he kept repeating over and over, "I want to die, I want to die."
The thought to commit suicide entered his head a short time after the funeral, Bobyk revealed. He decided that a charge of dynamite would be the most effective. He arose at 6:00 yesterday, but then was not sure he would take his own life. About 9:00 he made up his mind to "end it all" he said, and he walked to St. Casimir's cemetery where he completely broke down over the grave of his wife. Then he pulled from his pocket a stick of dynamite, an exploder and several flashlight batteries. With wires he made ready for the explosion and, when finished, calmly touched it off.
"But it wasn't enough to kill me," he sobbed. "I didn't use enough. I was afraid that if I used a whole stick it would blow me to pieces. Now I must suffer."
"I thought the use of dynamite would be the easiest way out," he rambled on. "I wish I would have tied it to my head, then it would have been all over."
With moans and sobs racking his body, he begged for a drink of water. It would be fatal to give him a drink, a nurse explained. She relieved some of the torture by wiping his swollen and parched lips with a moist cloth. "Why don't they finish me?" he cried out at another time.
Hospital attaches are doing all they can to make Bobyk comfortable, but they declare he has no chance of remaining alive. They marvel that he remains conscious while his condition is so critical.
According to subequent newspaper reports, Peter Bobyk died thirty hours after the explosion. He was fully awake and in unimaginable agony to the very end.