I lost my husband to suicide May 2008. At that time it felt like the end of the world in a sense. I had two daughters, one going into college, and one going into her senior year of high school. Watching their pain was harder than my own. I became withdrawn, very angry, weak, ashamed, guilty, hurt more than ever, and my gut had an unfamiliar ache as if holes were being eaten into it. I didn’t eat for weeks. It felt like the pain would never go away. It was too much. To me, suicide survivors are left to feel like it is the ultimate betrayal, ultimate rejection, and the ultimate pain you will ever receive because it is a choice that is made at the time they decide to take their life; The choice to leave this world and everyone in it. I have heard that that is not true. That they think of no one at the time, only the hurt they are trying to escape. It is still very hard to deal with.
I read many books on surviving suicide loss, and sure they help, but until you are ready to take on this war single-handedly, it just consumes you. After a few years, I turned to God. I gave him all of my worries and just decided that I would just have to trust in him to get me through this because there just wasn’t anyone else that would understand. I started trying not to overthink things and stopped trying to figure out why and to stop questioning what had happened. There would always be more questions, even if I had an answer.
I learned through all of this that God was my ticket out of this misery I was going through. I could let it continuously eat me up, or I could destroy it by accepting it for what it was. Sure it is horrible, but I believed that I could overcome it. At the time, it felt like we, as a family, were going through it alone. What I realized is that people go through it everyday. It affects so many lives. I started focusing on helping others cope. My hope was to offer hope to someone else. Eight years later, the pain is still there. But it does not control me any longer. I believe no matter how much something hurts- we have control of our minds. It just takes time to get there. I don’t believe it happens right away and is different for everyone.
I want people to know that this is indeed a horrible thing to experience. But I also want them to know that they do not have to let it consume them. One day at a time. Find the joy in things wherever you can. Find the fight in you to do some things you enjoy. Wake up every day knowing that there is something good out there and always something to be thankful for. Trust in God.