One Year

Matt was a handsome, intelligent, friendly, quiet, and amazing man. He loved me immensely. I was his other half, we were a team, we were the best of friends. Our relationship started off as colleagues, roommates, and best friends before it grew to be love. I know this is why we were so successful for so long at being together and sharing our lives. We were opposites in almost every way possible. But we shared common morals, family lives, and loves like reading/eating/beer/sports/smoked meats/friends. I cannot fathom that it has been a year since I have tasted Matt’s amazing smoked tenderloin on the grill. How has it has been a year since we have held hands or embraced? How has it been 365 mornings without him on this Earth. How have I survived this intense loss?

I lost my best friend one year ago. Oct 21st 2017 is when I know he passed away. His certificate says Oct 22nd 2017. I have reflected a lot on the loss of my husband over the past year. I have looked at his passing from every angle possible. Trying to understand why, how, when, and what I may have missed. I have gone to therapy and went through EMDR for my post traumatic stress. I have shared his story one on one, on the blog behind an anonymous shield, and in countless support groups for Widows.

One thing that I have not done been is publicly open about the circumstances of his loss. I chose to wait to reveal this publicly for several reasons. One, I was still processing everything myself. Two, Matt was an extremely private man and I was very concerned with revealing what is his biggest secret. Three, I wanted to be sure when I posted this that I was prepared for the people who will ask for my help, ask me tons of questions, find themselves in this story, or find their loved ones in this story. I am telling his story today because Matt loved good people and was always there to help someone in need. This may be the best way Matt could help. Telling Matt’s story will help to erase the stigma, create a safe space for men and woman to discuss mental health, and maybe even save someone else.

This is not something that will be easy to read and I urge you to consider passing by his story if you do not wish to know what happened to Matt or feel that the story may be too upsetting for you. I feel that telling it today is the right thing.

For those that follow the blog this is a reposting of October 23rd 12:30 AM:

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.

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.

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?

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.

My dear husband took his own life after suffering from an unknown depression. He was in a pain I did not know about for what I now suspect was a very long time. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are things I now see with the knowledge I have picked up over the last year. Through working with a medium to speak with Matt after his passing, reading books, talking with my therapist, and a dear friend who has lived through similar pain; I have an understanding of what he may have been feeling, going through, thinking, or not thinking of. My husband was not selfish, weak, crazy, or abnormal. Matt was anxious, depressed, concerned, in pain, closed off, and tired. I do believe that Matt was doing all he could to self medicate, be ok, cope, and move forward with his life. I do believe that he wanted so very much to live and feel pain-free. I do believe Matt felt that my life would somehow be better without him. I do believe after working with the medium that Matt now realizes that he was so very loved by all who know him, especially his wife. I do believe that Matt has clarity as he has crossed into Heaven and he has awareness of how amazing he truly was, and how much we needed him.

Please if you feel that you or someone you know may be suffering with depression reach out for help.

Matt will live on in our hearts, memories, pictures, and videos. But he will also live on through my crusade to erase the stigma that keeps people with mental illness from seeking help. There is nothing wrong with a man (or woman) crying, asking for support, needing medicine to cope, or requiring therapy.

I hope me sharing the story of Matthew will encourage others to speak with their children, family, friends, about suicide, mental health, and the importance of kindness.

I love you Matt. I miss you. Thank you for watching out for me. I see you in the birds, I hear you in the songs, and I know you are encouraging me to continue forward and be happy. With love, your Wifey.   10-22-17

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