The Pains of Suicide

bigstock-alcoholism-45132571-2

I have a unique perspective as a suicide widow, and it is a story I know I need to tell. I have been avoiding it for a while in my writing, but the fact that Jason chose to leave is a very real thing.

One of the things that are most difficult about that choice is that it leaves those left behind feeling like they were not good enough.

Your brain knows that isn’t true but your heart feels like perhaps you just didn’t measure up to some sort of standard that would have kept the person there. It makes you feel inadequate. I know that same feeling is in my children. You are left wondering what you did wrong and why you weren’t good enough. I find that I can combat that because I know who I am and I like myself. I know that may sound conceited but I think it is important to like yourself; to kind of be your best friend. I know how hard I work. I know how resilient I am. I know how I am able to choose happiness. I know that I am intelligent and capable. I know how much good I do. It’s not that I am prideful but I just know myself and like myself. I realized that I am a Daughter of God and He did bless me with many talents. I think liking yourself is important and it is vital to fighting this feeling of inadequacy that happens when the person you choose to marry and love takes their own life.

Another of my big problems is how unstable my kids feel their lives are.

My kids are sure that they are going to become orphans at any second and end up homeless. It’s real. It’s painful and it frightens them beyond belief. I cannot go anywhere without anxiety forming in my children’s hearts. That is why it is so difficult to take a night off because I know how much they worry and hurt while I am gone. I do go but I try not to make it all the time. I need breaks or I can’t be the mom they need. There is no real way to dispel this fear. They have realized the greatest childhood fear, that a parent can die and so you can no longer assure them that it won’t happen again. They know it can and so the only thing you can do as a parent is help them learn to live with it. I tell them all the time that I cannot promise that I will not die but I can promise that I will never leave them. This fear extends to where I am in the house and now I can no longer use the bathroom alone again. It’s like they are all 2 years old again. It’s exhausting and frustrating and totally normal for this situation. I just try to be patient and answer the same questions over and over and hope that eventually they will come to believe it and understand that I really have no intention of leaving. It is something that causes them nightmares and the only cure is time and that is only because they become accustomed to living with the fear.

One of the hardest parts of Jason’s suicide was that day he disappeared. That is one of the most unsettling feelings I’ve ever experienced. I was on edge the entire day and that experience will never leave my heart and while I don’t dwell on it, it causes some heart ache still. That day was so painful as we hoped for a good outcome but knew that in reality it was probably going to be terrible news.

Another great thing about suicide is that it can leave you feeling guilty.

The guilt comes because you feel free and unburdened from caring for a person that really required hours and hours of monitoring. I find that I am actually able to keep the house cleaner now than before. (It’s still a disaster but it’s better.) The reason is that I had to monitor Jason so much. I had to know where he was, if he had eaten, if he was going to get out of bed, if there was something I could do to lift his spirits like write a note, or encourage him to just participate. All of that takes a toll and there is a good amount of relief when the person is gone. That is not easy to cope with and can leave you feeling guilty but at the same time it lets you be who you always wanted to be and that brings immense satisfaction. It’s a crazy situation. I don’t know if anyone but a care giver could ever really understand it.

At this point we are doing well. I love that my kids are comfortable talking about their Dad’s suicide. I find that the more times I speak those words out loud that I feel better. I love that my kids are comfortable talking about their Dad’s suicide. I find that the more times I speak those words out loud that I feel better.I can be comfortable with the situation and honestly it throws people off when you are just matter of fact about it. They are not sure what to do with that information. I have just accepted it as a part of life. My husband committed suicide. He chose to leave us. He made that choice because of his depression and the pain that he was suffering. It was too much for him to bear and it had to be awful because humans want to live. It’s our natural instinct. I know that he just suffered too much but at the same time I am very unhappy with his selfish choice to leave us.

 

My entrance into grief came crashing into existence the day I found out my son’s heart was no longer beating and I would have to deliver his tiny body.  On October 21, 2014 I was plunged into another pool of grief when my husband, who had lived with depression for years, chose to take his own life. This leaves me at 38 to raise four amazing children ages 14, 11, 9 and 3 on my own.  We cope with anxiety and depression in various forms.  How do I go on? I know God loves me and that he has a plan for me. I know that while it is not okay today, it will be in the end.  I also believe firmly in living in today.  After all, today is the day I’m living so I might as well enjoy its glorious chaos.  

  Check out Melinda Mack’s blog at Doing

Add a comment