The Blame Game

The blaming myself for missing things, the blaming myself for not being a spouse he could go to and confide in, the blaming myself for not being sensitive enough, the blaming myself for being the reason he killed himself…. oh it started almost immediately. You can probably see in the first months letters how confused and unsure I was and 7 months in I fall back to this every so often.

The blame game stops your progress, it does not bring him back, it creates more pain and suffering. The guilt is inevitable in grief and loss and certainly even more so in suicide loss. It is part of the unfortunate journey that you have to take.

When you have no answers and it feels like the carpet was ripped from under the soles of your feet you have nothing to tell you not to blame yourself. When you are in such SHOCK and DISBELIEF all you do is BLAME yourself. Guilt piles on and weighs you down and will pull you into a dark place if you let it fester and take hold.

Continue to speak to positive people and surround yourself with love. Get therapy to help you with the images, words spoken, and words not spoken. Forgive yourself for not knowing something that this person hid so well from you.

People will tell you that depression and suicide is not your fault and they will be correct in saying so. I started to read books on both topics in the December timeframe to try to understand more about these areas. I was by no means an expert on the subject matter but I quickly read a lot to try to put myself in my husband’s shoes. A man with so many good things (job, car, home, fur kids, wife, love, a bright future, young, healthy) took his life one night while his wife was not in the home. He ended our relationship without a word, note, or goodbye. So blame and guilt took over for a good while. Every book I read said that suicide and depression is never about one thing, it is usually things building over time and not being handled, and it is often that the person who completes suicide did not even consider those around them and how it would make them feel. They simply feel the world would be better off without them in it.

This is a process that you will go through for the time it takes and no one can rush it. It is part of your new reality and another large wave that you will surf over and over.

Love, Loss, & Letters in the First Month

Writing started very soon after his passing. Mainly the writings were in the form of emails to him. I will copy and paste some of the excerpts here to show you where my mind was. I will tell you I was all over the place riding waves.

10-30-16

We cannot function without you here in this house. The dog bit the guy that came to fix our GAS leak! He is so upset trying to protect your home and me. He just doesn’t know what to do. I cannot handle it I am breaking apart. My heart is beating too fast. What else can God throw my way. He took you the love of my life and now this too. I love you I am not mad but I am so sad and so disappointed. I wish you were here.

10-31-16
Today was hard dealing with your finances. I never wanted to see any of this stuff I thought it would be for our kids, nieces, nephews, something.
I was never expecting I needed to be an “adult” so soon.
Your mom and dad are sad too. Your dad thinks someone came in and hurt you. I don’t get this at all. Do you know how much I love you how I would do anything for you?
How sad I truly am. How much I need and miss you. I cannot put into words how empty I am how hard it hurts my heart. It is a physical pain. A big huge void.
I miss you and want you to know the only thing I ever wanted was to grow old with you and I love you. So much. More than I can possibly share with anyone in words. I am so deeply pained and sad.
11-2-16
Everything we do reminds us of you. Tonight we had naan pizzas with both sets of parents. It is crazy to think how much bonding of our families is happening while we miss you severely. I only wish you could be there to see our dads hanging out and our moms working together in the great kitchen. I am fighting hard to make sense of something so senseless. It does not get any easier the pain in my heart hurts.
I hope I did not miss something you were trying to tell me. I valued every moment with you and no matter what you were going through I love you more than words.
I miss you, I hope you know and see the love we have for you. I am scared alone at nights. I need people to stay with me.
How is it where you are? I assume its heaven. Did you find our family?
11-5-16
Today your mom and dad went home. I really worry about how they will be. I was sure to walk them on the line and make sure they were ok. I have been setting aside your things to be sure they all have something they want. It is so hard.
Please know how much I miss and love you my heart is so broken. I have stayed strong so people probably think I am ok. But I’m so lonely and sad without your being here.
Tomorrow is your birthday and mom dad and I will be hanging by your ashes and the house to spend it with you.
I will go away from our house for some time to try to grieve more and attempt to figure out how to live.
Love you baby happy birthday 🎉🎈🎁
11-6-16
Happy Birthday,
We celebrated you today with cupcakes and a lot of people who love you so much,
We sang happy birthday for you I hope you heard my off key singing.
The dogs are a little worried because tomorrow I am going to go to moms for a break from here.
I told them they are coming but they are even more clingy than yesterday.
We are all missing you so much. Nights are the worst times. Everyone wishes you were here. I hope they smoke meat for birthdays in heaven.
With love on your birthday,
Wifey!!
11-9-16
I wish I understood more. I wish you had just said. I would have done anything to help you. I would have set you free if it was me. I would have the house and got us a trailer in a trailer park. We all miss you severely. Seeing that you were researching negative thoughts and passive aggression made me more frustrated to be honest. It feels like you knew that something was amiss. Why didn’t you come to me. Give me a chance? Go to anyone. Leaving me like this. It is so painful. It is mostly painful because I worry if you were in pain when you died. I worry how much emotional turmoil you had and how long for that you would do this. I worry that you never really loved me, wished you did not join me in marriage. I worry that every minute of 12 years was only causing you pain.
I worry you would have been happier without me. I worry that I did not see the signs. I worry I did not take seriously the snide comments. I worry you did not know how much I love you. I worry you did not know that I would have done ANYTHING to keep you ALIVE even if it meant giving up on our marriage.
Why? Are you ok? Are you happier now? Do you see me? Do you ever check in on me? Or do you hate me so very much that you are disgusted by the site of me?
I will say again I love you more than anything and I wanted to be with you for another 60 years. I miss you.
11-11-16
So much to worry about to get this done have 11 days left to closing. I am still at moms. I pretty much stay in the one room with the bed as much as they will let me and work and sleep here. I come out to pretend to watch tv. Usually I am just visualizing walking through our home at night until I find you there at 12:55 desperately trying to get you down, calling 911. I try to block it out but the reality is that is my TRUE last memory of you.
I try very hard to replay our last week together to recall the last words spoken. I so wish I could recall every one of them. Did you tell me you love me Friday before you left?
I think I am upsetting people by not wanting to go out, see people, or hear that it is not my fault at all. It is my fault to some degree. I knew you had some issues and I should have pushed you to see the counselor again or find you a better one. I always assumed it was simple anxiety. I never realized until too late that it is actually depression.  Hindsight is 20/20.
I would have done anything to help you. I would have let you go free, I would have found you a hospital, I would have cut you off from negative people.
I just hope my crazy way of just dealing with crap right away and yelling about it and then getting over it did not make you feel worse. I do not hold things in. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I wear my emotions too.
Inside you had to be in turmoil. I cannot control how you felt about what I would tell you, what you were able to hear that I said, how you interpreted things. But I can tell you now in case you can hear/see me. I LOVED YOU and STILL LOVE YOU. You are my guy the one I chose. I would have done anything to help you. I wanted to be with you for another 60 years. Please know how much you mean to me.
Later that day 11-11-16
I just miss you that’s all. My tears keep coming and I feel so sad all the time. I’m broken without you and I just wanted to say I love you. I am not mad. I feel only sadness for your pain and if I caused any please know how sorry I am. I love you so much. I wish you would come back to me. I miss everything your smile your jokes your kind voice. I’m sad that I cannot hear your voice anymore. I miss you
11-12-16
Hi honey I love you that’s all there really is!! I have checked in w mom and dad and sisters and we are all  hurting without you there but we are trying!!
We miss you to pieces. You are the light in our world and we continue to tell your stories.
You are so sorrowfully missed.
I will be putting our dream house on the market soon. I think someone will really enjoy the love we put into the space and the dreams in our hearts when we created it.
I am sorry that I am not strong enough to stay. Forgive me but my heart is too weak. It was only a house and you made it a home. Without you it’s bricks and wood.
I’m working on a tattoo for my arm and I hope you like it.
Forever yours – wifey
11-14-16
You are so loved, respected and missed. Everyone you met you made a better person. Your heart was so big. No one will ever compare to you.
I hope you hear us crying and know our despair. We miss you.
11-15-16
It’s so hard to function alone in all of this. So much work.
I think you were sad a long time. I wish I had known.
Everyone loves you and misses you we all cry daily.
Would you have done it different? Would you have confided in me? You could have told me anything. Do you miss me our fur kids? Our little world of crazy? We miss you so much. I wanted to go to our cafe for coffee and food in the morning.
Can you show me a sign you are ok and that you love me?
I need a sign to know.
Missing you more than anything the tears keep coming and I am so Sad.
Your Wifey that I thought you loved?
11-20-16
We all had some dinner tonight. The cousins. It was so sad. An empty chair waiting for you to sit in it. The guys wanted so badly to see you. It was very hard to find joy eating food when I would have loved to eat with you.
The Sheriffs Office is a mess. I got your reports back and they did not do any autopsy. I have no control over anything that has happened to you or me right now. It is one disappointment one sadness and one more area of no closure each time I step forward.
My heart wants answers I will never have. I want to know you knew I love you. I want to know you knew how much everyone loved you. I want to know that not every day hurt you but I worry it did. I am so sorry for me failing you.
with tears and love.
11-22-16
Today we let it go. Our first house is sold. I told you we had it. I hope this did not add to your pain and suffering. I hope I told you the right things about it all being ok. I know I was the type to put it out there when things bothered me. It was never you. I would get it off my chest and move on. I love you so much and I hope you know it was never anything you were doing wrong…

Focus on the Tasks

When you are in your 30’s you simply do not think about preparing a service for your beloved spouse. You never think about what you would do in this situation. Who do you call first? What do you do next? How do you get off the ground?

You know you need to start making the calls. You need to call everyone who last saw him and understand what he had been like. You need to get every story and put together the timeline before his passing. You need to search the house for a suicide note you will never find because one did not exist. You need to snoop on your husband and read his journals and emails but none of them will contain what you are after. You need to get off the floor. You need to let go of your friend’s hand because you have been gripping it too tight for so long. You enter TASK MODE.

The questions and preparations do not stop from the moment you find him.

You call family and close friends first. Then onto the timeline speaking to his boss, colleagues, etc. Then you have to tell people he knew whom you have met once at a your wedding and some you never have met. The share amount of calls is overwhelming but there is also no rulebook on what to say and how to say it and who should say it. Now in shock yourself you are trying to hold up each person who has now been told that one of the best people in the world, their special person, is gone. EXHAUSTION

Services need planning and your determined to do it perfectly and honor this amazing and wonderful man.

  • What type of service?
  • Who will speak?
  • Burial or Cremation?
  • Music and photo’s?
  • Prayers and readings
  • The Eulogy you know you must write and read yourself

I was very lucky to be guided by a very kind funeral director and a wonderful Reverend. RESOURCES

Soon it is onto the rest of the tasks that will burden you for days, weeks, months and maybe even years to come:

  • Police reports
  • Toxicology/Autopsy
  • Financials/Insurance
  • Alerting his credit card company and getting a copy of his last statement to scrutinize
  • Contacting health insurance and doctors for any clues

And then you have to do the hardest thing of all it is not a TASK it is dealing with the GRIEF and LOSS that is slowing weighing down on you. You know if you stop doing it will overtake you. People try to feed you and you are choking so much you almost throw up. For the two weeks you barely consume anything. You surround yourself with your army of family and friends but you have never felt more ALONE. You are SCARED and in the home he died in. You cannot sleep. The TRAUMA has started to swarm you and the bad images have paralyzed you already. You know then you will need to sell this house and get away soon before you can no longer move.

YOU CRY and SCREAM and you hold your dogs tightly to feel someone love you. You miss him and it is taking over. You feel like it is a nightmare and you will wake up but the nightmare continues. You are so down right now that me saying you will be ok, you will get through it, well I would not have listened to me either… But you will and you do. You promised him “I will live for both of us now”. You will keep your word to him like you kept your love for him.

Oct. 23rd 12:30AM

Reliving this moment is not going to be something I go to a lot anymore almost 7 months later. It is critical that I tell the story once so you can understand what brought me to surfing grief waves.

It was a normal busy week filled with work, business trips, meetings, etc.
We had just moved into our dream house. He had a new position he was very excited about. My flight was a little delayed and the bags simply would not come. Saturday evening turned into Sunday morning, as I excitedly drove him to see my husband and fur kids waiting for my arrival. The entire day I had tried to reach my husband on the phone sending calls, texts, and pics. He was not the biggest fan of the phone and often left it in the car or did not hear it. Nothing of concern just a normal day for me.
HAPPY

I came into the driveway the house was pitch black with no lights on outside either. I thought this was odd being that I was coming in so late at night/early in the morning. I quickly got my things from the car and unlocked the door announcing happily “Honey, I’m home!”. SILENCE, Dogs barking excitedly outside at this hours… strange… screen porch door propped open… strange. Cell phone on the counter. Next came 30 minutes of blind panic, running through the house yelling his name. As each moment passed the fear became more real, the worry escalated, I was certain someone took him. His keys, car, and wallet were placed in their proper places. I raced inside and outside looking and screaming. PANIC and FEAR

After 30 minutes I entered a very dark attic that I thought to enter at the last moment. What I saw I will not describe to you because I feel like it is a trigger for others with PTSD and Trauma. Suffice it to say my husband had taken his own life. I did not realize at first what I was seeing… my body left me and something grabbed hold of me to propel me forward. I was screaming what are you doing in here this isn’t a funny Halloween joke. And then I touched his hand and I knew. My heart stopped, my life changed, my love was gone.
HORROR and LOSS

The rest of the early morning had me giving directions to lost first responders while trying to keep myself from sinking deeper into the floor and the corner that I was now melting into. I answered questions, wrote out a report, and immediately was asked to give them a funeral home. I am 35 alone with no family in the state he was my family. Funeral homes are not something I am aware of. The police needing to take care of business while my entire world had crumbled to the ground was very difficult to understand. Thankfully by then we had woken a dear friend and she came to sit with me and helped.
I just wanted to turn back the time and it not be true. It was not true was it?
SHOCK and BARGAINING

Recounting this to you here has me crying very badly but I am no longer paralyzed by fear and panic when I retell the story.
EMDR and THERAPY