Time by Brook Sanders

posted in: Uncategorized | 28

For the longest time, I hated the realization that time goes on. I felt time stopped when my boyfriend died by suicide, and in a lot of ways, it did. In so many other ways, it’s marched on, whether I wanted it to or not. So much is different now. Time is always viewed as the enemy, but time is the only thing that made this loss even slightly bearable for me. No, time does not make it better (as many, many, MANY people feel the need to point out). Time does, however, ease the pain and sting of the initial loss. With each passing day, it does get a little bit easier to make it through the day. Time is what made me want to swim instead of sink.

For the first half of the year or so, I had been mostly medicated. Suddenly, there I was completely dependent on medication to make it through the day. Let me reiterate that – I was on multiple mind-altering medications just TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY. No other reason – just to survive another 24-hour cycle. Wake up, stumble through the day, lay in bed for hours unable to sleep, and then finally sleep off and on for what only feels like seconds. My heart actually physically hurt. I can’t tell you how many days I stared at the wall aimlessly. I lost track of time. I forgot what I was doing mid-task. I couldn’t go more than 10 minutes without crying. Slowly and surely, these things got better for me, just like I know they will for you. Let time do its thing and trust it to do so.

What does all this mean? One year later. So many sleepless nights. 12 months. 365 days. Where should I be? What is the proper amount of grieving time? If this were a natural death or a break up would I be in the same place I am now? Is there a timeline? There are so many questions, with so few half answers. Only I can come up with my answers. In this first year, I became an advocate for suicide awareness and prevention. I have become his voice. The voice I wish with every fiber of my being he would have used to ask me for help, but he simply couldn’t. The voice he felt so desperately he did not have. I started this journey the day he died, and I have a purpose now. My purpose is to raise awareness, and take part in prevention and make sure his life meant something. He should not be forgotten. He was too special to just be forgotten. He was such a wonderful and loving man with so much potential, yet he felt he had no voice. I have become his voice and I’ll shout as long as I live for anyone and everyone to hear.

With that, this marks the end of the “first-year” chapter of my life. What does the next chapter bring? Who knows? Whatever it is, I know it will be a good chapter. I know that I can learn to keep his memory alive and keep my love for him while learning to love another. I have really high hopes for that. I am capable of moving forward without forgetting him. I will forever have an open wound that will never heal, but I can keep that wound doctored and live my life to the fullest. Friends, I am okay, and you will be too.

28 Responses

  1. Dianna Matzo
    | Reply

    I too struggled with the realization that “time goes on” after my sister left. I became very anxious to grasp onto any memory or nostalgia that made it feel like time slowed down, that somehow she was still here or at least not so far away. But of course time does move forward, with its inherent “erosion” of the sharp pain of loss, with new goals, new joys, new losses. Thank you for sharing this, Brook, and many blessings to you as you continue to use your pain to help others.

  2. Kelley
    | Reply

    Thank you for this article. It conveys my day to day struggle since losing my sister in November. I still can’t understand how to go on without her. I woke this morning realizing my day to day struggle to simply get through a new day is probably the same devastation my sister was facing each morning. I am sad and ashamed it took losing her for me to understand the enormous pain she was dealing with.

  3. Kathy Stolar
    | Reply

    Such truth in your words. My son Josh took his life nearly 3 years ago. Although I miss him terribly I am trying to find a way to speak out about bullying and depression.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. Bob
    | Reply

    Beautifully written Brook . I will walk this journey with you !

  5. Jim Y.
    | Reply

    Excellent perspective and important truths here.
    “Only I can come up with my answers”. A truth all must accept. A goal each of us must meet.
    Thank you for your reminder that ‘time is our friend’, even when we don’t understand the journey.

  6. Pam Jung
    | Reply

    Thank you so much, Brook. I lost my 42 yr old son just 7 weeks ago. You give me hope that this excruciating pain will at least ease. God Bless you.

  7. tina clift
    | Reply

    wow fantastic hun so proud of you and honoured to call you a friend x

  8. Iris Riewer
    | Reply

    I lost my companion to suicide December 31st, 2016. My life changed forever. I was also present when this happened, and it has been a tough road. Fifteen years is a long time to share with someone, yet it still happened. I am and will continue to fight for Suicide Awareness. I want to believe that there is still hope for those feeling hopeless and alone, and because of certain factors do not seek help.

  9. Barb Powell
    | Reply

    Beautifully said, Brook! I am so sorry for your suffering and pain. I am glad you have chosen to go on living and loving again. It is almost 4 years since I lost my only son and time has softened the pain. Big hugs to you!

  10. Mom
    | Reply

    Beautiful I am touched and honored to be your mom.

  11. Starla Malone
    | Reply

    Oh sweet girl. I love this. I always wonder if something is wrong with me. I miss our group and wish I was there. Beautiful.

  12. Kari kaliszewski
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am only 1 month and 11 since my fiance passed. I write about him every day that what helps me get through my day.

  13. Billie
    | Reply

    Beautifully said. Very proud of you❤️❤️

  14. Heather Fiorino
    | Reply

    It has been three years since my husbands suicide and I’m still not ok

  15. Jackie Evans
    | Reply

    Brooke, this is a wonderful tribute to Tommy and yourself. You’ve been able to put in words what so many of us effected by suicide feel. You’ve got a gift for writing and I hope you peruse it.

  16. Victoria
    | Reply

    Very well said your words are not only inspiring but are very accurate. My husband died by suicide last April. It’s been a struggle but you are absolutely right about making it through each day. One day at a time, right?

  17. Robin
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story Brook. May your love and gold light continue to console, strengthen and nurse the wounds of others suffering from the tradegy of suicide.

  18. Rebekah
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    Thank you for sharing your story. You put a name to my feelings. I lost my son by suicide in 2015.

  19. Kathy
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    Thanks for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss and the terrible painful first year of figuring out how to keep going. I felt just like you described those first months after my brother died (two years ago). I cried for hours everyday for the first six months, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t think clearly, couldn’t do math in my head and thought I might lose my mind. The sadness and wound will never go away but you are right, each day starts to get a little better.

  20. Mary-Jean Hunt
    | Reply

    ❤️ 3 years later I still think of my cousin everyday, but my heart does not ache as much. Blessings to you for a future filled with hope.

  21. Debbie wilkinson
    | Reply

    Brook,
    You wrote this so beautifully, you are a true inspiration. To all of us going through this awful pain. When I first started going through this 9 mo this ago, I begged God to take me because I was not fit to live, I lost all hope and desire for life, I just wanted to die, but like you said, Time will ease the pain. ” It has, I’m a very Happy person with a lot to live for, I will not let Greg’s death dictate my life. My life was given to me from God and only God will know when it is time for me to leave. I will always remember Greg and the love we shared, but in order for me to survive, I gave him a corner of my heart and that’s where our love will stay❤️ God Bless each and everyone of us going through this pain, please know and repeat, ” you were not the reason for his/her suicide. Read books, go to counseling. Find your coping skills. Give your grief time.
    Thank you and peace, love and light. Debbie Wilkinson

  22. Kimberly Ballard
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing ….I needed this today…..Love and light

  23. Alexandra
    | Reply

    Glad that time is making the sting less. It’s comforting to hear that from another person who is carrying the weight of loss from the suicide of a loved one. I can’t imagine anything can make this despair better… I lost my best friend 3 months ago…I do hope it gets easier to get through each day…I hope so…. I hope I will be ok….it’s very tempting to give up… Your words are helpful. Thank you for sharing this stream of thoughts and feelings. This is the hardest thing I have ever been confronted with. God bless you, and I’m very sorry for your loss.

  24. Lynne
    | Reply

    Beautifully written description of what being a survivor of suicide loss feels like. Glad you’ve received the gift of purpose. Thank you.

  25. Tracy Kruse
    | Reply

    Thankyou Brook for sharing your story with us. I lost my 20 year old son Mick to suicide in 2015. I can relate to the heart hurting. I was 49 when I lost my son and thought that I was going to die from a heart attack but I realised that my heart was actually breaking. The days are easier now for me. I am on low dose meds to help me with PTSD and anxiety as I have traumatic grief after discovering my son’s body. We will never get over our loss but we learn over time to live with our grief and when we continue to talk about our loved ones to others we raise awareness of how fragile life can be. Thankyou again for sharing with us.

  26. Maggie Bair
    | Reply

    Beautiful Brook. Thank you for writing this and putting it out there, just how hard this grieving is – but it can get easier to bear as we work towards healing, day by day. Blessings and peace to you on your journey.

  27. Sue
    | Reply

    Dear Brook,
    This is a lovely article. You have a wonderful positive outlook and I am very happy for you. I was married for 33 years and I had two beautiful daughters with the man I loved so much. I’ve had so many different experiences since that tragic day. It’s been three years and I’m still grieving however I am making new memories. Mark will always live in my heart. Time was and is my only friend because with each day I grow stronger. Still, the pain of his loss is something I am learning to live with . Although the pain isn’t as hard it still exists. This is a journey that I would wish on no one. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Anitha
    | Reply

    Its not easy to accept….I too battled for a long time to accept my son’s death. The hardest thing for me was all those rumors… It was like I did not know my own child anymore. People thrive on another’s grief…yet there own are guilty of all the deceased are blamed for. 7years have gone by….I have forgiven them but can never forget. To my son…I still Dnt know the truth….my head believes but deep in my heart tells me something else…only you and God above knows….I rest my case until the day of judgement…..I admire your courage Brook. Thank you for creating this page. Love and blessings.

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