I am filling in for Amanda today. The current heat wave has knocked out her power! Amanda stay cool (get it?!) and I will try to stay warm!
Recently I have had a lot of suicide widows reach out to me on Widow’s Voice and facebook. “I have no one to talk to, I have no one that gets it. I can’t talk about the suicide to my friends or family. They change the subject.”
I get it.
The thing about suicide is.. it’s complicated. Very complicated. Which leads to very complicated grief.
We are often hushed, because suicide is a “sin” therefore we shouldn’t talk about it. Suicide makes people uncomfortable. Because in the real world, it doesn’t happen (insert sarcasm here).
Let me get this straight.. I’m not supposed to talk about my husband’s death? I’m supposed to lie about how my husband died? To make other people comfortable?
You got to be kidding me.
Seriously people, stop putting that kind of burden and grief on us! We have enough grief to deal with we don’t need to try to make you happy and as comfortable as possible.
Sunday I woke up to such a sweet email. Here it is –
My name is *Name removed for privacy reasons *, I'm a 33-year-old widow from Brisbane Australia. I lost my husband to suicide in July last year, only six weeks after we were married. It's been a very difficult six months, however something that has really helped me is the daily Widow's Voice blog. I have really missed your postings since you moved on and was wondering if you had a personal blog that I could follow or wrote anywhere else (I hope I've got the right Melinda!!)? I hope 2014 is a good year for you, bringing you much peace and happiness : ) Warm regards, *Name removed for privacy reasons *
When I read the email, I leaned back in my bed with tears in my eyes. Tears because I remember being “there”.. Two years ago.. When I was a year and a half into this.
Tears because I thought when I retired from widow’s voice, that would be the end of my story. Somehow my past would end along with my suicide widow blog. Somehow if I didn’t write about it anymore, it didn’t exist.. Right?
I thought that would be the end of me reaching out to pull a suicide widow out of the hell and isolation they are living in.
It never occurred to me that a month after I “retired” I would still be reaching out.. Again.
It warms my heart to know that my gut wrenching, soul scrapping, story and writings actually helped someone.
There is the other side of this.. people that find my blog through searching for ways to end their life. On this blog that I wrote, there is a comment that stopped me in my tracks.
May 16, 2013 at 10:38 PM
At least for another day, you just saved my life. Im a 24 year old homeless veteran with post traumatic stress disorder. The nightmares and flashbacks from Afghanistan are unbearable. Im so far beyond lost and I feel so alone. I need help but the Army just threw me away. I just dont know what to do anymore. Rock bottom was a few miles up from here
When I started writing my story, I did it to get it out of my soul. I did it to help myself. It never occurred to me that I would be reaching out not only to the widowed, but to people that want to end their life.
Reading the stories, hearing the stories, is hard. Seeing that someone is suicidal is hard. But knowing I “get it” brings me peace.
Just when I thought my “And then” was starting, I do a double take and wonder if helping suicide widows (or those that are suicidal) is a huge part of my “and then.”
Hold on friends. This is a long and bumpy ride. But I promise one day, bit by bit, hope seeps into your heart.
It will catch you off guard and it first you won’t know what has happened. What changed? Hope entered your life.
Be well my friends, until next time!