I never saw it coming. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it would come to this.
Suddenly, I was a widow.
My husband had committed suicide.
My entire life changed in the course of just a few short hours.
One of the first questions people ask me is if I noticed any warning signs. I can honestly say “no”. Of course, there are those everyday stressors and we had been going through a rocky time in our marriage, but nothing I thought would rise to this level.
To me, my husband was strong. At over six feet tall he was not only physically strong but also emotionally. I rarely saw him cry. Maybe the fact that he never opened up about what he was feeling was a warning sign in and of itself. Still, I don’t understand how someone who I viewed as both physically and emotionally strong could do this.
Maybe it was a troubled childhood that haunted him. Maybe it was pressure from work. Maybe it was something else entirely. Whatever it was, it was something that drove him to the brink of desperation.
These are questions that will never have answers.
That’s what haunts me.
Did I somehow miss the signs?
Would this have happened if he had sought help?
What inner demons was he wrestling with?
Honestly, the list could go on and on. The truth is, there will always be more questions than answers. Answers that I will never have. Although as frustrating as it is, it is the reality of the situation.
You see, that’s the thing about suicide. Unlike other deaths, suicide leaves loved ones looking for a sense of closure. For healing. Trust me, I’m living it. Making the best of what’s left behind.
There are days when I look back and wonder how I got here. How my life changed in a matter of hours. Regardless of the route, however, this is now my life and I’m going to make it.
I’m now a widow.
I’m a Survivor of Suicide.
If you are ever considering suicide, I urge you to contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Their phone lines are open 24 hours a day as well as an online chat. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).