It has been 4 and half months since my world was turned completely upside down.
It feels like I'm on a major roller coaster with no restraints. There are dips, turns, waves, corkscrews and awful pain as I hang on for dear life. Sometimes gripping with all the strength I can muster and other times, wishing I could just let go and have it all be over, but knowing I can't.
The worst part is know that I have to get on this roller coaster every day.
Just 5 and a half years ago, I spoke to the life of my life for the first time. I heard that voice and the comfort it brought and I knew I loved him. It was a crazy, Whirlwind courtship that ended with a beautiful wedding on the beach just 1 year and 15 days from our first phone call.
On our wedding day I was so filled with hope, love and excitement. I felt so full, so alive, I thought my heart would burst. It was an easy day to focus on all the "for better" that was to come.
We were barefoot on the beach, surrounded by family and friends,
uniting our lives, our families and our futures.
I looked into the eyes of my soul mate and promised. For Better or
for Worse. It was one of the best days of my life, second only to the birth of my daughter. He used to say it was THE happiest day of his.
As an older bride and not
my first time heading down the aisle, I was aware of exactly what the
"for worse" part meant as well. There would be trips to emergency rooms,
health scares, family deaths, job issues, money issues, miscommunication, drama, and
just regular life stuff. Are any of us really prepared for the absolute
worst of the worst?
Never in a million years would I have ever guessed that just 4 years later, I would be sitting here a Widow. A Suicide Loss Survivor. Grieving. In so much pain, there are times I cannot breathe and feeling so lost and alone. Some days literally looking around and asking the question out loud.. "Where did he go??"
I'm desperate not to lose the memories I have of the wonderful times we had. I'm desperate to keep the close and intimate connection we had that most people long for. I'm desperate to have him be remembered as the sweet, kind, loving and brave man he was, not some statistic or stigma. He was not weak, he was not a coward. He was brave, my protector, my safe place in the storm. His loss is the ultimate loss for me, that I have no idea how I will recover from.
Depression has a way of eating the soul. Taking away logic and rational thinking. I know he believed I would be better off without him because he was not getting better. I know he thought he was making the choice that was best for me. He was so very wrong. But, he just couldn't see it. I know it was the depression and the evil one manipulating his thinking. It breaks my heart to know how deep the depression was, how much he covered it to protect me and to finally find out how much pain he was in. What he thought was better was really the worse. So much worse.
I really hate hindsight.
So, I'm hoping this space can preserve those memories. That this space can help save someone else's life. That this space can touch someone else who lost a loved one to suicide, to help them know they are not alone and the pain they feel is normal. That those sweet memories will someday bring you so much joy, that talking about what happened is part of healing, that the guilt and self hatred that comes with being a survivor are really your worst enemies and that you can move past those things and realize it was beyond your control.
But, most of all, I am hoping that this space can honor a wonderful man named Thad, who loved me with all of his heart. Who came out of the grey haze of depression for a while and had a colorful life filled with love, laughter, friendship, family and joy, until the haze took him back over and took him away from all of us that loved him. I look forward to telling you all about him.
He will forever live in my heart and always be a part of me.