I don’t know statistics and to be honest I don’t really care. Statistics do not mean much if we do nothing with them. One person dying by their own hand is to many. One person feeling so helpless, hopeless, and alone that they will never come out of that deep dark black endless pit that it is better to end their time here on earth, is one to many.
I know when suicide is talked about most, it is after a celebrity commits suicide. It is talked about for a while. There is an outcry for more awareness. There are a million social media posts about how heartbroken everyone is and how something has to be done. And then it just falls away, again. That should not be the only time it is talked about or an outcry should happen. It should be each and every time someone takes their life.
I am not a stranger to suicide. When I was younger I attempted it many times but was never successful. My cousin and her husband were both successful. My son has tried so many times and each time comes closer and closer to succeeding. This past spring my other cousin was successful. And even though all of those are heartbreaking and affect me, the one that haunts me is a best friend who took her life last October. Yes, I really do mean it haunts me.
Back in October my life was (once again) changed forever. I do understand that life is an every moving and every changing thing. However, when someone you love decides they can not longer survive here on earth, what they see as options isn’t what the rest of us see.
Since October I have run many situations and circumstances through my mind. I heard about it through someone who barely knew her. She wanted to confirm before spreading a rumor. I was glad this person didn’t want to spread a rumor however the fact you want to spread it at all kills me. It was as if from the time I got the message Wednesday night to the time I walked up to her door Thursday was in slow motion.
Message on Facebook. Reply on Facebook. Message on Facebook. Reply on Facebook. Panic, call her cell phone, call her husbands cell phone, call their home phone, no answers. Panic, want to get the kids out of bed, throw them in the car and drive over. Talk self out of that because if it was the truth there would be no functioning. Get kids ready for school. Intentionally avoid driving by the house out of sheer panic and fear when taking kids to school. Go back home, pay bills, smell her perfume over and over and over. Decide to head to her house to prove what I heard was wrong. Pull into driveway and see husband work car is still there. Panic. Stop car. Get out of car. Get to porch, open door, look at husband, he shakes head yes and I loose it.
I stand on the porch pointing at him, repeating no over and over and over, going into a full blown panic attack and meltdown.
I have no idea how long her husband sat there trying to get me off the porch. It could have been 5 seconds it could have been 15 minutes. Once I was in the house, all I did was cry.
We talked, we hugged, and we looked for the positive. She is a believer, she was with Christ, she wasn’t in pain anymore and she was free.
It isn’t easy to look for the positive when someone chooses to leave this earth on their own accord. Still you have to find it because if all you do is focus on the negatives, as a survivor, you won’t make it.
Suicide became an option for her because of all she was going through. Even though there was an out and help for her, she could not see it. It has almost been a year since I last spoke to her. A year since I heard her voice. A year since I got a text from her. All because I knew she was lying about what was going on, approached her husband and all hell broke loose. She asked me to stay away and instead of following my gut, I respected what she was asking.
I drove by her house every day to take the kids to school. Every day I wanted to stop by and talk to her. Every day I wanted to tell her no matter what she did, we could get through it. Every day I wanted to just grab her, shake her and hug her and say, “It is okay, addiction can cause crazy things, you are self-medicating for a bigger problem, a mental health problem and I will walk this road with you. I have been exactly where you are, right this moment in time. I am proof you can get through it. I will hold your hand each step of the way. I will pick you up and help you when it is overwhelming. I will help you find the strength to say no to the external things and help you say yes to the medications you really need. I am here for you to help.” And yet, every day I respected what she asked me and never stopped.
Suicide hurts those left behind. It leaves them asking, “What if….” But it won’t bring them back.
And yet it is the only thing they see as an option in that moment. Suicide isn’t fair to those who are left behind and yet to the one suffering, they feel as if they are doing us a favor to leave.
How do you get those two clashing things to come together in your mind, in your life, in your soul? I do not know if you ever really can. All you can do is focus on the positive. Focus on how she helped me with school photos. How beautiful she was and how giving she was and how she is finally at peace.
It has taken me almost a full year to even find a way to write about this. It has taken me a year to process any of this, to wrap my head around any and all of it. To try and surrender my anger, hurt, heartache, emptiness, questions and confusion over to Christ about all of this.
I will never get over her being gone. I will always have tears that come and go for her when something triggers a memory. I will always miss seeing her watch her children grow up and seeing her beautiful smile. Her children meant the world to her.
She was a best friend who I tried to help and I wasn’t able to help. She was a best friend who I believed and thought the worst of her husband (I still need to find a way to say sorry to him over all of that). She was a best friend who I had coffee with every Thursday during the school year. She was a best friend whose home I haven’t seen since four days afterwards. She was a best friend whose family I haven’t spent time with since her memorial, on her and her husbands anniversary.
She was a beautiful soul and her spirit and beauty lives on in her children and her husband. I miss her and it is coming up on a year since she has been gone. It is coming up to a year when her suffering ended and she went home to Christ. It is coming up to a year and not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about, prayed for and cried out over all of it.
Dana Marie I love you and I miss you.
If you are in a deep dark place please go to the top of this post. On the talk to me image there are numbers you can call or text to get help.
If you have a friend who is in that deep dark place, reach out and talk to them. Don’t live with regret and the “what if’s……”