Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Second Time Around

So October became a blogging bust. The month got side railed when we had an unexpected tragedy strike. A childhood friend of my husband’s took his own life. As you can imagine, this sent my husband reeling. Especially because many of the circumstances surrounding this man’s suicide were similar to my father-in-law’s suicide, which my husband is still processing.

I spent a good portion of the month being angry. Angry at my father-in-law, angry at my husband’s friend, and just angry that I have to watch my husband hurt so much. I love him and I want to fix him. But this isn’t a “fixable” situation. Suicide leaves a mark that never goes away. So we don’t fix, but we learn how to incorporate our grief and frustration into life moving forward. That is what my husband has been trying to do. He tries to heal while I sit on the outside protectively watching over and being angry that he has to endure this.

The week before his friend committed suicide, I was angry at my father-in-law. It was the week of my husband’s birthday so my husband had lots of pain and mixed feelings. See, once someone you love dearly commits suicide, every holiday and birthday after that is marred. You wish you could see that person or make that phone call. But you can’t. Something is just missing. So I was just mad and my husband was just hurting. Then to find out that this had happened to his friend sent me into protective mode and I was mad again. Here’s what I came to realize and if you are considering suicide please know this:

Suicide doesn’t take the pain away, it just transfers it to the people you love.

True story. At my S.O.S. group we hear so many stories of how our loved ones were in a daily agonizing pain that we cannot even comprehend. Knowing they aren’t in that pain anymore provides some sort of weird comfort. But what are we left with? Daily tears and questions. While we can still rationalize that despite our pain life is worth living, it is still an unbearable mess some days. And, yes, it’s not fair that we now carry it.

My husband’s friend had 2 daughters and a wife that are now a part of our exclusive group. His daughters are 18 & 10. His wife is now a widow. He suffer from bi-polar disorder and was attempting to step down off his lithium so he could feel like himself again.  Now he's gone.  Not fair. But is it also fair to ask this man to continue to suffer a depression we can’t comprehend? Was the love he felt for his family not stronger that the loathing he had for his life? Did he stop to think about the wake that his absence would leave in the lives of the people who loved him so dearly? Is it fair that his parents have now outlived a child?  These are the questions that will never be answered and they are the weight that his family will carry. I know because we carry the same weight.

Because my husband’s grief process was delayed for a year due to my bed rest, he is in the muck of it right now. And he is now in the double muck because he has lost a father as well as a good friend. My husband is a good man. The best man I have ever met. I know he will get through this. But I worry about him. I want him to be happy and whole. I don’t know how long that’s going to take or if he will ever be the same again. But we made vows so we will continue to evolve together. He is my best friend and my heart.