I’ve been meaning to write this blog.. but I have been processing it.
A couple of weeks ago, I went on a date (gasps).
During the course of dinner, the topic of how my husband died came up.
My date started talking about how selfish suicide is and how I live in the past by “celebrating” my husband’s death every year.
I sat there.. sipping my wine and listened to his opinions.
And just thought to myself..this.dude.doesn’t.have.the.first.clue.what.in.the.hell.he.is.talking.about.
Does not get it at all.
Surprisingly I was able to put his words behind me and enjoy the date.
The next morning as I was slowly waking up.. I started thinking about the night before and conversation we had about my husband’s suicide and how I live in the past.
It dawned on me I have turned some type of corner in my grief.
If someone, let alone a date, would have told me a year ago that suicide was selfish, I would have came unglued. Possibly told the guy to shove it. He might not have walked away from our date without a fork sticking out of his forehead. I could see myself handing him a “You are not alone card” and tell him to call me when he is suddenly thrown into widowhood. And most likely would have got my stuff and left him sitting in the restaurant alone.
But I didn’t. I wasn’t angry with him. I actually took his words with a grain of salt, took his opinions with me and have been processing it for a while now.
I guess with the three year anniversary behind me, I turned some kind of grief corner.
A corner where I understand people don’t get it. But also understand that they have the right to their opinion. Even when their opinion doesn’t mean anything to me.
A corner where I no longer care to try to help someone understand.
A corner where I realized I don’t owe it to this person to explain myself or my husband’s death.
I understand that he hasn’t taken care of a very ill spouse. I understand he hasn’t watched his spouse die piece by piece for an extended period of time. And he doesn’t understand the guilt I carry for asking my husband to keep fighting for so long when all he wanted to do was give up.
He doesn’t understand the sigh of relief I let out when I learned my husband was gone. When I learned he was no longer suffering. When I learned I no longer had to be a caregiver, that for the first time in three years I could take care of myself.. and only myself.
And he has never found himself in such a dark and painful place that suicide seems like the only option.
Janine wrote about her recent experiences with people saying suicide is selfish (read it here).
I couldn’t agree more. Amazing writing Janine!
I have been on the edge. Where suicide was the only answer. More times than I care to admit to. For the first three years I was angry every morning.. because I woke up, yet again. Yet again I was still alive. That the heart break didn’t kill me in my sleep.
At what point does it become selfish to ask your very mentally ill husband to keep fighting? At what point does it become selfish to keep him alive?
People don't understand that for the first time in six years, I can be selfish. If suicide is selfish and I am selfish, than where exactly does all this fit?
I am happy to report that something inside of me has changed. I am happy to realize something “clicked” inside of me. I am happy to say that I can actually see my progress.
A year ago I couldn't see any progress in myself. I saw progress as getting up in the morning and going to work. I didn't see the little things that have "clicked".
And I am happy to say my date walked away alive with all limbs still intact.