Suicide Loss Survival Story: First Month

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 Survivors of suicide loss… When I say my life was flipped on its head, that is not an understatement. You have a vision of what the rest of your life will look like, with the person you know you’re
going to spend the rest of your life with and in seconds, it all changes. It
was unexpected. And I never thought in a million years my wife would kill
herself. We had an incredible connection and enjoyed doing all the things
together. “Lifing” together. She was fun. And then she was gone.

There’s a lot of mental health events that led up to this, but this is about the first month
after she was gone. To be honest, it really is a blur. I was either crying or
sitting in complete silence, completely still. I couldn’t even tell you what
was going through my mind in that first month. But when people asked me what I
needed, my only response was to not be alone. Going from a house of 4 people to
being completely quiet was so painful and empty.

I remember friends offering to come and feed the cats and take care of them for me and I
turned them down because they were the only things getting me out of bed. I
remember thinking I might be able to see her one last time to say goodbye and
that being taken away from me because of the condition of her body. I had to
accept that she was just gone. I know I needed to move forward but every day
was such a haze. Every day I had to remind myself that my wife was gone because
she killed herself.

I couldn’t eat. I think I lost about 15 pounds in the first couple of weeks and I literally
only ate maybe once a day because of the pain that encompassed my entire being.
Meltdowns occurred frequently and just the overall feeling of being lost and
abandoned. I didn’t want to go on without her and I didn’t know how I was going
to go on without her. I had to do some deep awareness and searching on how I
was going to move forward. Not “move on” but move forward.

My first attempt at trying to move forward was to just build human connections. I needed
my community that huddled around me, and I needed friends to keep me going. But
towards the end of that first month there was one thing I NEEDED: and that was
a companion to fill those lonely empty days. I adopted a French bulldog whom I
named Juna (new moon). She was my new moon and the start of my new normal. I
knew I needed her and based on her living situation; she needed me too. She
broke that silence for me, and I heavily relied on her to keep me company and
keep things interesting. She absolutely kept things interesting. Lol. She is my
rock, and we still lean on each other quite a bit. She is a major part of my
never-ending healing journey.

First month advice. Do what you need to do to get by. Go with your gut. And just keep
searching inward. Don’t listen to what or how people say you should handle
grief. Everyone grieves differently and no one can tell you how to take care of
yourself that first month. You just do your best. And if that means you lay in
bed for the first month, then do it. A hard lesson for me was to accept that
people mean well. No one really knows what to say or how to help and that’s
okay. It’s impossible for them to know how you feel. But they mean well and
that’s okay.

The first month is the beginning of your new life. It may not be a life that you had
anticipated but continue moving forward and do your best. It’s a tough road but
you can still do great things and you can still live.