My story starts on January 31, 2012. That day my mother took her life. It’s something I carry with me every single day, and I have the images that are engraved in my mind. I really can’t express the feelings I had after that, I was just so in shock and felt so guilty. We had a fight right before it happened and the last words we exchanged were not very nice. We never really had the greatest relationship. It is a struggle to deal with that alone. Knowing that I will never have that closure and realizing the permanence of suicide is unbearable. I stayed around my home for the rest of that year, but I knew I couldn’t do it any longer. There were memories everywhere. My dad was having a hard time and basically wanted to be by himself, and was not a good resource for me at the time. I had a one-year-old son also. I felt so alone. So January of the next year I moved with my son 9 hours away, where I had some family. I didn’t know what was going to happen with my life but I just knew that I had to get away. I had wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember and I started working on a few more prerequisites that I needed and got into a nursing program. It was hard, but that nursing program brought me back to life and gave me something to work for. The wonderful professors that I had were so encouraging, and were there for support when I needed someone. Two years later, I graduated nursing school with honors and won an award for “Outstanding Clinical Leadership.” I am proud to call myself a registered nurse.
When you lose someone to suicide, you need something that you can hold onto that will keep you going. I thank God every day for my son and my nursing career, which keep me going. It’s hard to reach out to people, because most don’t understand or know what to do for you. I still try though because I need people so badly. I have gone through the most darkest, horrible days of my life. I suffer from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. Certain times of the year, or going to familiar places are tough for me. I have never once felt angry at my mom. I feel sad – like a deep, empty sadness that stays with me. I ended up moving back home to be with my dad. We’re in the house that my mom died in and every day is a reminder of her and that day. But being here also brings back some good memories that we had. I have my really bad days, where I feel depressed and shut out the world and am stuck inside my head. Sometimes I sit in my parents’ closet and go through pictures and old things and just cry. Then I have my good days where I am able to focus on the good. This experience has softened me as a person. I am so different now than I was, and look at life so much differently than other people – it’s hard to even explain. It has made me more patient and kind with others, because I know what it is like to feel like you don’t want to be here anymore. As for my mother, she just couldn’t do it anymore. And I don’t want anyone to ever feel that way. I feel like I was put on this earth to be a nurse – to nurture and take care of others. To know that I can make a difference to others is what keeps me going.
I wanted to live on for my mother – the good memories and good parts of her that I carry with me. I try to forget the bad. She could not do it, so I am doing it for her. Go on for them, see the beauty in this world for them, and live your life in honor of them. There is hope. I have a ring that I wear every day that says “hope” because without it I would be lost. I choose to hold onto hope.