Good morning Travellers,
It’s a rainy one here. In fact, all week is clouds and rain.
I’m going a little free form today on a rather difficult topic. I’ve been struggling to go through this door, so we’ll see how this goes…
They say, “Time heals all wounds” I’m pretty sure they were just talking about the ones of flesh, blood, and bone. Those things will scab and scar, while our souls do not have the capacity to coagulate. When our deeper selves are wounded, we seem to bleed in such a way sometimes that all the gauze on Earth won’t make it stop.
We apply pressure. We force ourselves forward, we smile when inside we are dying. We deny.
Friends have said to me on more than one occasion during the past seven months since Dave’s suicide that “You are handling this so well.” I don’t know if I am or not. I don’t think humans are equipped to handle this sort of thing. We are not meant to handle this sort of thing.
I still have occasional uncontrollable spells of sobbing at the most inopportune moments. Like walking into a seamstress yesterday, or sitting at my desk at work. Or after watching Toy Story 4. Or standing at my kitchen sink. Or looking into Ramona’s aging eyes and realizing she will never see him again.
My former mom-in-law said she “Imagined my grieving process is complex because we shared good times and bad times together and time apart.” I have to say it’s so much more than that. It’s so much worse. I have the horrendous thought that lurks still inside that if I had been a better wife, he would still be alive. That I am being blamed somewhere. But then I remember he wasn’t a great husband always either. If I had tried harder to make him stay and go to therapy, he would still be here. But he adamantly refused.
Mostly I wish I hadn’t lied for him because I felt like I had to.
Dave was taking a job to be a guard in a jail. And despite our separation, his commanding officer still wanted to talk to me which was beyond uncomfortable. One of the questions he asked was, “Does Dave have any mental proclivities that might affect his ability to do this job?” And I lied, because I said “NO”.
Because I thought he and his family would feel like I was throwing interference. I abandoned myself in that moment. And I also abandoned him in truth. His depression, anxiety and drinking were out of control and he wasn’t going to survive that job, I knew. I knew who he was inside. And I wasn’t alone in that thought.
Dave had said that “God was making this path for him to leave and go to Colorado.” I think back on him saying that the day he left and wonder what the fuck, are you for real? And in my anger, because let’s be honest if someone you love kills themselves, you are going to find anger riding shotgun inside your mind. I wondered in his last moments, did he think that his suicide was part of God’s plan?
A friend of mine has always said that “Suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do.” That’s one that really requires some finesse, doesn’t it? I know he had suffered his whole life with persistent severe depression. And for those of us who do not suffer under such things, there is no amount of empathy in the world that really gives true understanding, is there?
Before I met him he had already attempted to take his life. There’s a weird phrase “Taking your life”. I can’t help but think, take it where? Like you folded up your soul like a fine pair of trousers and gentle placed it into a little suitcase and traveled elsewhere?
To be clear, in my opinion, suicide is murder. You are murdering yourself. It is too violent to be described with kinder words. I can’t count the number of thoughts I’ve had about what it means for him to have put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Imagine how the bullet blew out the back of his head. A head that I had touched so many times in gentleness. Shattered is the word. His head and my heart.
Were tears streaming down his face or was he relieved? Did he think we would be relieved? Didn’t he know that this match he was striking was gonna burn down my forest and his parents and his sister and his friends?
How much pain is required to do such a horrible thing when we all loved you so?
I’ve come to believe that suicide a sort of transmogrification. I think the person who ends their life changes those lives around theirs by essentially passing their pain into the people who cared about them.
And I think it’s giving up. He gave up. When he gave up on himself, he gave up on all of us.
Humans aren’t suppose to give up, it’s our fucking super power, don’t you all know that?
Obviously, again, I’m still working on that anger in between my life and random spells of sobbing.
They say “Just be happy.” Dave said his dad would comment to that effect quite often throughout his youth. Leave it to humans to take positivity and make it toxic. Our bodies are not lamps to be rubbed to summon an emotion like a genie. A human life encompasses all the emotions, but we do have to let them go. Emotions and thoughts are not our identity, yet so many of us are raised to believe that is so. Read that again. And unfortunately there are so many of us who live with mental health issues that are overwhelming and make it virtually impossible to arrive at that understanding.
They say, “One find one’s destiny on the path one takes to avoid it.” I will wonder my whole life why he did this, could it have been avoided or was this the way the story was always going to end. On a selfish note, I wonder, was I meant to love him and lose him? Was this my person and now I’m left to wander alone? Or was I meant to care for him, and I failed? Was he entrusted to me and I failed? Was he meant to care for me and he failed?
Are there those amongst us who will never have reprieve from their mental suffering?
I would do anything to prevent someone else from choosing this, if you are thinking of choosing this, please seek help. Please tell someone. Tell them now.
Because if no one has ever told you that your life is worth it, then let say it, “Your life is worth living, no matter how hard it may seem. You belong here with us. You matter. Your life has a reason. You are an “on purpose.” .On my word. I don’t believe life is ever wasted, maybe you are just lost, but what’s lost can always be found. Tell someone.
The last time I spoke to Dave was a few weeks prior to this event, and he told he had sat with a gun three times. I asked if he was taking his meds and he said yes, I asked if he was in therapy, of course he said no, but he did talk to the jail’s therapist from time to time.
It had been over a year since we talked, I had believed he was happy in Colorado and had found his better job, better house, better life and I assumed the girl he was convinced would be there. He told me that was what would happen. I told myself that’s what would happen.
But it didn’t. He didn’t find any of that from what I can tell…because they say, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” Which is completely true. You are either your greatest ally in this life or your worst enemy. It is you that will pick yourself up off the mat in the prize fight. It is you that will hold yourself in the shower crying. It is you that you need most of all in this life. Without you, you are lost.
I have no idea what went wrong because I had said he wasn’t to contact me after our divorce. So this call was the first. He told me twice on that call that he had always loved me and I told him that he had been an asshole, but I had forgiven him. And I apologized for my part in what had gone wrong. I apologized for any pain I had caused and he just said he had always loved me. We didn’t get divorced because we didn’t love each other, we failed because we didn’t know how to.
They say “This is mental health awareness month.” I say, well, we could call that a good start. I believe that mental health is the egg before the chicken. I believe until we drag our fears out into the light too many souls will die in the dark. And for some it will be a slow death of many days versus a gun in a living room. There is no shame in struggling.
Lemme say that again, there is no shame.
And I’m going to use this space time and time again to show you that’s true.