You’re not alone within your experience and feelings. And sometimes the best feeling in the world with loss, especially from suicide, is to know that you are not alone.
When your loved one has committed suicide, your entire world changes completely. The man I love and shared my life with, died through suicide. Days fly by quicker than you’ve ever known. They are consumed with nonstop thoughts and visions of your past memories together. It’s a matter of days on end of grief spasms, trying not to cry too hard, yet realizing you can’t stop. You keep remembering the way he held you, a million kisses and hugs, his holding your hand while walking or just watching a movie. Saying I love you and hearing him tell you, “I’d do anything for you.”
The first day not together after his death, you fight back tears every second and wonder how you can live without him. You’re numb and feel every emotion all at the same time. You struggle to walk to your car and drive away from home without him, only to pull over moments later to break down in tears. Your home is just a house now. Every day revolves around thinking about him. You try to stay busy, but the stress doesn’t go away. It’s a roller coaster ride and life won’t let you get off.
Being alone some days is more comforting than forcing yourself to be in a good mood to have coffee with a friend. Friends struggle to say the right things to help, but they feel helpless as well. It’s an invisible barrier that separates even family.
Doing laundry and realizing there are none of his clothes to do, and wishing there was. Trying to figure out something for dinner even if you don’t feel like eating. Sleeping on the couch because you can’t bear to sleep in your bed when he is not there and it’s just not the same without him next to you. Leaving his slippers and sneakers next to the front door because it comforts you, and because he left them there.
Feeling guilty for enjoying a sunny day, a good movie or just a ride in the car. Avoiding phone calls because you just can’t talk about it again and break down endlessly. “I’m fine” is never enough, but you can’t make them understand no matter how hard you try. Alienating yourself so you don’t have to fake a smile or conversation.
Wanting to just scream and yell until you have no voice left, and wiping away those endless tears. “Snapping out of it” will take a long time. The word “why” is the first word in everything you think about. No matter how hard you try, you’re always thinking the worst case scenario. Wanting to sleep the whole next year because it’s the only time you get a break from worrying. In reality, sleep is only a couple hours here and there.
Avoiding your favorite CDs or TV shows that you enjoyed together because you have no one’s hand to hold or arms to lay in. Wearing his clothes while he is gone and using a shirt with his cologne as a pillowcase to snuggle up to. Trying to pray double-time, but feeling like a hypocrite because right now you may be angry with God. Walking around with a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach. Truly feeling lost, scared and powerless every single day. You’re just going through the motions of getting up, getting ready and going through your day. When all is said and done, you’re proud of the woman you are yet you miss the man, your soulmate, whom you love now and forever.
A remedy for heartache is to lead as happy a life as possible. Genuine friends understand that I am doing my best to work through your grief and am trying to reinvest in life itself. If others don’t understand, I don’t worry about them. Surviving and rebuilding my life is what is truly important.
I’m beginning to think through some activities that can bring some degree of purpose and focus. Remember to start slowly and move carefully, with friends who are supportive and understanding. I’m so fortunate to have good friends who understand and are trying to be patient with me. We meet for lunch occasionally and have a girls’ night out for dinner. It helps that they support me and show their love in this way. And I’m hoping to take the first steps in going to the doggie park with my friend and her dog, and maybe take a walk on the beach. It will be difficult for me as walks on the beach, especially at sunset, was a favorite for my husband and me.
Each day I have to say to myself that I’ve decided to live. Recognizing that I’m living through a terrible tragedy, yet I still have to survive. It takes practice, lots of it, to take one moment, one day at a time.
I had no choice and no control over the suicide but I now have a choice to survive and live through it. It is by far the hardest task that anyone will ever have to perform but I will survive.