Guilt. Anger. Sadness. Resentment. Pain.
These are some of the emotions felt by those left behind after someone takes their own life.
It’s been 4 years and it doesn’t just go away. It lingers. You want it to go away, you want it lifted off of you, but it remains. Like a dirty blanket, it covers you and everyone else left behind.
The guilt. This is the worst of all emotions. You lay awake at night wondering if there was something that you could have done to prevent this. And if you did all these things, would they still be here so you could give them hugs and tell them how much you love them and how much value they bring to this earth. Or would it be a temporary band aid put on a wound so large and infested that any attempt you make to heal them will be futile, only prolonging their suffering and yours, because it is inevitable. And you selfishly convince yourself that this is the case, because you just can’t live with yourself otherwise.
The aftermath. In the weeks and months that follow the initial shock you find yourself walking around in a daze, you become just a shell of a person and you cling to the family that remains, and you hold on so tight as if, they too, will leave you behind. And when it’s time to get back to your real life and take care of your own family it becomes almost impossible because you haven’t quite taken care of yourself yet. And there are days that you cannot get out of bed because you are in such a deep depression, consumed by your grief. And you have to call your doctor to up your dosage of Prozac and make appointments to various shrinks to deal with the tornado of emotions going on inside of you because you can’t control it and it scares you. And your husband is losing his patience because you can’t bring yourself to go to work and face people, but there are bills to pay and kids to feed.
And when you finally gather the courage to go back to work, you just want to hide in a corner because you want to avoid the looks of pity, the half hearted condolences and most of all the horribly insensitive questions that people ask. Truth is, some people don’t care to know any of the details except…..how did they do it? And you look them straight in the eye and you tell them and you watch their face with satisfaction as the shock washes over them leaving them speechless. And then there comes a comment that I will never forget, a comment that rips through my soul cutting it like a knife and sending me right back to square one. He had the nerve to look at me and say “so, what did you do to piss her off so much that she did that to herself?” And I stood there completely speechless and dumbfounded as to wonder what type of human being would want to hurt someone with such cutting words besides the devil himself. And then there are the people whom you considered your friends, people you were there for during their trials and yet they were no where to be found. Perhaps, avoiding me would make things easier on them.
Years ahead. Things get easier but you find yourself thinking about them everyday. All you have left are faded pictures and memories that start to fade and blur as time passes but you try to hang on to every single moment that you can….because….that is all that is left. And the worst moments come when you have something happen in your life worth sharing and you forget your self and start to pick up the phone to call them until you remember that they are no longer there to pick up the line. So, you slowly put the phone down, close your eyes and breathe because there is nothing that will bring them back. Nothing.
And you can’t help but wonder if they some how know what they have missed. That they can see the new additions to the family, children they will never get a chance to hold. I wonder if they know that one of them carries their name and when we call her by it, it stings just a little.
I wonder if I will ever see her again. I wonder if I will ever wrap myself in her arms again and stay there for a while.
I wonder if I will ever be able to call her Mommy again.