Copyright Nik Bonkoski 2019

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Praises: express warm approval 

"In awe of your calming composure and thorough grasp of the dynamics of these emotions, thank you"

 

I want to thank you, thank you, thank you for putting yourself out there, for writing so eloquently about your (this/our) deal, for diving in deep and sharing your learnings, for welcoming us broken people into a community we can be proud of. All the very best to you Nik Tebbe, you are a legend beyond your lifetime already.

 

Hi Nik,

My name is Juliette and I was the editor who worked with your piece, "What Suicide Loss 'Looks' Like." This was one of the most impactful pieces I've edited during my time at The Mighty, and I just wanted to reach out and thank you for your vulnerability and beautiful words. 

I'm also reaching out because I wanted you to know Talinda Bennington, widow of the late Chester Bennington, frontman of Linkin Park, shared your story and wrote, "What a great article. I feel like she wrote exactly how I feel. Thank you." You can see it here: https://twitter.com/TalindaB/status/969600758109777920

Sending love,
Juliette

Cannot thank you enough, you are my new lifeline in a time when I find myself doubting my strength to carry the load.... it just becomes so exhausting, in a way I never knew existed. 

 

I was on Facebook and caught a glimpse of your comment on our friend post about her daughter's tough lunch hour. You posted that you often ate lunch in the bathroom in junior high.. which resonated with me. It was one of those wonderful 'I thought I was the only one' moments. :)I don't know why, but I was prompted to click on your FB page. Two hours later I'm still reading your blogs and my head and my heart are pounding. It's so strange. I can't relate directly to your journey, but I find myself drowning in empathy for you. Your feelings and words are so powerful, that you are able to make me see (and to some extent feel) a parallel universe where this has happened to me. It's not somewhere I planned on traveling to today (didn't pack my waterproof mascara) but somewhere in the sheer terror of it all is a feeling of enlightenment and empowerment. So.. I wanted to just send you a little note to say thank you. Thank you for reminding me that feeling blessed is different than being grateful. Thank you for reminding me to slow down with my husband - and especially my kids. I have a voice in my head that tells me this once in a while but I tend to swat it away. Next time I hear it I will listen and I will slow down. So thank you.No need to respond.. I'm sure people email you often about your writing. I just couldn't take in what I read today and then just pivot and move on with my day without letting you know what a gift of expression you have. The weights you're carrying would sink many people, but you are not only staying afloat.. you're lifting others up. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, and thank you for telling your daughter the truth. I’m a Therapist, and too often, when something bad happens, a parent won’t tell their child what happened. Because of this, the child comes up with their own story of what happened, and as we all know, kiddos have amazing imaginations. Unfortunately the kids’ stories almost always revolve around something “bad” the kid did to create the tragedy. 

I can’t imagine what you went through and continue to experience, but I know that beautiful girl of yours is SO lucky to have a Momma like you!

 

Hi Nik, you may never read this but I have just read your post about your husband. It broke my heart and left me in tears. I am so sorry for your loss and that of your children. Your plea to think about your children and what you leave behind could not be more timely for me. I have five beautiful children and I am fighting a silent battle in my mind every single day. I'm fighting to find value in my existence. I'm fighting to stay alive. I love my babies more than anything in this world but I often question my value. Please never forget that your husband loves you and your babies. im sorry for your loss but in honour of your husband and your bravery I will seek the help I need to believe in myself again. Not a person on the planet would know of my daily struggle to stay alive but I will seek help and I will fight for my babies. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you

Hey Nikki, I live in regional Queensland, Australia. I just read your post with the pic of your beautiful daughter at the top. I found myself crying as I read your words. I felt them so deeply. They stuck a chord within me. I just wanted you to know that you made a difference to someone today. A profound difference. I won't bore you with my story suffice to say you have helped a father of 6 wonderful children make it through another day. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you for the hope you have given me. I am so grateful that I found your page through a random post. Bless you Nikki 

You are gorgeous and amazing, Nik. You have the heart and soul of an angel..the reserve and persistence to follow thru on anything u do. Whether it be your blog or something with your children or...self love. You know how to and recognise how u feel and in turn you can translate feelings to words like a words smith. You will get so much love and be loved and spoiled because you deserve it. Thank you for being you....gorgeous, amazing talented, and empathetic. Thinking of you and your kids on Easter...hope its amazing. Xx

Loved the video upload, literally you are the only one who can smash down the walls around my heart. As I sit here crying on the other end of this thread I don't feel alone anymore. Thank you for that.

 

Nik, my name is May Bradley. I post for LOSS, we provide support groups for people bereaved by a Suicide Loss. I wanted to thank you for the beautiful messages that you share on FB. We repost them frequently on our FB Page and they help so many people! Bless you for writing, pouring your heart out and making a difference in the lives of others! Tender Mercies!
PS I lost my daughter to Suicide.

I cannot thank you enough for your post. I have been battling depression and suicidal tendencies since my son was born. It’s been extremely tough lately and your post about your daughter touched me on a level I cannot even begin to describe. You may have saved my life by opening my eyes. I cannot thank you enough because you also have changed my son’s life for the better.

I lost it, I had a river of tears come down my face I am holding my 2 year old at that moment (who is with my now fiancé) but that right there makes me realize I can’t leave my kids to this nasty disease. I am not the person to discuss my thoughts with. But right now I’m crying like an ugly person because I am so glad I haven’t left my kids. They need me, and I need them. Thank you so so much. I can’t even explain how that paragraph has saved my life right now and I’m sure has saved others. I’ve got a lot going on in my life, but that saved me.

 

 

Hi Nik. Your words mean everything to me! For too long, I haven't felt qualified to write to you, as I have not experienced anything similar. I have my own story, my own struggles and reading your posts have been some of the most meaningful words of encouragement that I've come across. I feel love and admiration for you, for sharing, for reaching out. I too feel a purpose in my life to encourage others, to make a difference one person at a time. So, here I am, writing to thank you. Thank you for encouraging me and others to find and live out our purpose. To look beyond our personal struggles and see life out there. To experience the joy and beauty in our surrounding natural environment. Thank you!

Hi Nik, how are you? Grief seems to be swallowing me whole here on today, even with the sunshine and ocean views. The weather outside here certainly does not match my insides. I’m so low. So drained. Exhausted. I do not know how I’ve managed to raise my son completely on my own for the past 8 years. It baffles me. It mostly saddens me, and today the grief is winning. I miss MN. I want to move back. My son has grandparents on his father’s side who could help take care of him. Im trying to not make any big decisions today but I had to reach out. Your Facebook page keeps me going. Your authentic articulation on grief speaks to me and you are so appreciated. How’s it going on your end? Thinking of you my sweet mama soul sister. Sending love and aloha

 

 

Dear Nik,
I am a 17 year old senior who was very moved by the story you posted with your daughter on your page. Growing up I was a major daddies girl and he was my best friend. A week before the start of my senior year of high school my dad shot himself. I had pounds of guilt from then to 6 months down the road where I am now. I just want to say thank you for sharing this because it is truly motivating me. It is good to know I am not alone in this world but feel so heartbroken for your daughter because I am also in those shoes and know how cruel they are. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoy your posts and that your work truly is helping others

I just wanted to say Thank you. Thank you for sharing that post. You saved my life. I swear you saved my life. I'm at the end and I can't fight anymore. But I swore after reading this on your four year old girl, it reminded me that I cannot continue this cycle and I cannot put my hurt on my children. Thank you for your very timley post.

 

You are a voice in the dark. Thank you.

A light

 

I came across your post by accident I live in Ireland and am widowed 21 months. Reading your posts it’s reading my existence. Kind regards. 

Dear Nikki... I'm not sure why I felt drawn to friend you or even read your blog. I guess reading about how the "woods" can do SO much for the soul I was not only searching for guidance but looking for direction. Unlike you my story is different but yours was so truthful and raw, that, I sat there after reading it telling myself that I can make it! Your words have touched me and I hope one day I can help someone as your words have started to guide me. I want to thank you for friending me back and sharing your story! Hugs to You!

In the past, I have thought about committing suicide. I even tried it a couple times. After reading your post, and thinking about my husband; I'm quite sure that I could not do that to him. How you felt upon your husband committing suicide came through so strong, that I would most certainly seek help before I starting thinking about suicide. Just because it hurt so badly for you; I couldn't and wouldn't want my husband to hurt that badly. So if I started feeling deeply depressed, I would stop thinking about suicide and pick up a phone. I would call for help because I couldn't bear for him to suffer like you did! You expressed your emotions in writing very well! If I ever start feeling that badly again, I will think about your post.

Yesterday was 3 1/2 years since mine passed (12 days after our youngest was born) and I've been struggling with the negative thoughts of who would want me and my "baggage" especially since my oldest has health issues. I really needed to read your post today, so thank you for sharing your thoughts and words of encouragement. And for being real and relatable, its a relief to be able to connect with someone who (unfortunately) get it. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Hi Nik,  I live in England and have just found your Facebook page ..and read your posts..and have been crying for last half hour like a dam has been released..I lost my husband almost 3 years ago to suicide and miss him so much, my best friend and soul mate and recognised so much that you say..will be following you slavishly from now on..loads of love from England

Who knows if you will ever even get around to reading this but I just want you to know that your post about your daughter and how at such a young age her Dad took his own life.... I get that. That story is my story. I was just 3 years old, my sister 6 when my dad took his own life.

I am almost 26 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, I needed to come across that post tonight more than anything. As I am sitting here crying, I can’t help but stop and pray for your family because I know how it feels.
Life stays hard, but you only get stronger.

 

Dear Nikki, About a month or so ago, a beautiful dear friend of mine directed me to a post you had written and I found myself so connected with its truth that I had to follow you on fb and here. My husband of 5 years passed away suddenly 2-2-13 from sudden cardiac death, like you, leaving me with our two babies to raise on my own. My eldest was 4 and my other was a mere 17 months when this tragic day struck. Today’s post about Plan A and Plan B made me cry sad and joyful tears. 3 years after my husband passed away, unexpectedly through a mutual friend, in March of 2016, I met my current fiance and we’re expecting a baby boy in August. I feel more than blessed to have a second shot at forever, yet your encouragement to say thank you to Plan A for all that you’ve given me tugged at my heart in a great way. This is my Plan b and I’ll embrace it all the more because of you and I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! 

 

My husband died this past December suddenly from an artic dissection that ruptured. We had been married 36 years and have three grown daughters and three grandchildren. My husband had just turned 60 in November and I’m just turning 54 at the end of the month. I am much older than you and I do not have young children but it is still such a big loss and I now have to figure out how to be me. I met him when I was 15 and married him at 17. I too downsized all of our belongings and I only kept a few of his clothes which no longer help me feel better. I just want to find others who have been through what I am feeling. I have purchased a book on grief “Getting to the other side of grief” and it is helping a little. I read what you wrote on Pinterest and I thought you’re sounded a like what I was going through.

Thank you so much for writing this!! It is exactly how it is and so hard to explain to others. I always wanted everyone to think I was ok. I could never explain my time alone. I lost my brother but it was the same. It’s been 2 1/2 years and I have worked through those days. You give others hope with these words. God bless you. I remember thinking I wouldn’t make it through. I still always believe any unexplainable thing is my brother and always will. Keeps him close to me.

 

 

 

Nik! I must meet you someday. Your words are my soul. I’m originally from St.Paul, MN but I’ve been living on Maui in Hawaii raising my son solo for the past 8 years. His dad is alive, but has nothing to do with him. I miss MN so much and plan to come back for a visit over spring break. I’ve followed your writing for quite awhile now and have been wanting to reach out in total solidarity. This single mama plight is something only a fellow single mama can understand. The knowing. Your writing expresses that knowing so well and even your latest post on restless life syndrome is spot on! Time moves so slowly, even 8 years later. It still stings to have that huge dream of having a partner shatter and be reminded (at friend’s birthday parties particularly) with “intact” families caring for one another- that the loss is still there. It still hurts. I sometimes cringe and the word daddy and look for clues to my son’s distress as he has no one there with the title. I still feel defective and deficient that I have nobody to share parenting with nor does my son have anyone he calls Daddy. It somehow fuels my restlessness. Maui is beautiful and it’s healing, but I’m a MN girl at heart and really truly hope to connect with you someday on our healing journeys. For the love, for the knowing. I find comfort in that. Thank you, Nik. Thank you for being here with me.

NIk, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for sharing your story. I can't tell you how moved I am right now. I understand the heartache you felt. I am a survivor of my own suicide attempt, and struggle daily with major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts. My wife and I often have conversations about what her life would be like if I ever chose to end my story.Thank you for doing what you do, for surviving and fighting and finding hope. Here's to tomorrow, and many more tomorrows.

 

I’ve never once heard about you- a friend of mine who lost her Dad to suicide in jr high, liked your post- and I read it. I couldn’t read it because of the tears flooding my eyes. I have 3 children, when my loving wife was pregnant with our 2nd, I was having some very dark, evil thoughts. Believing that my wife and kids would be better without me. What a dark, lonely, almost unreachable place I was in. I was lucky enough, to listen to the still small voice inside and I did not go through with it. Here I am 4 years later, another baby later and for the most part happy. I’ve had to learn that life is about perspective, in EVERYTHING! I will admit that I have my bad days, but I hope and pray that I never get that low again. I’m sorry that you lost your husband, and I’m sorry for the pain that your sweet children have had to endure. I’m a firm believer that the good lord knows EXACTLY what we need to hear (or read) 🙂 in the moment we need to hear it. And your experience was an answer to my prayer. Thank you- I sure have an awful lot to live for​

 

 

Just wanted to say THANK YOU for your lastest blog post....as someone who was rejected time and time again in a loveless marriage, your words are comforting as they reiterate what I already know deep down. That I am worthy of love just the way I am. As much as I would love to be perfect (actually i don't want to be perfect - that would be just too damn hard!)...I am not perfect and there is no need to be perfect. Just be me and love me and someday, someone will love me for who I am. Not for what I might be or could possibly one day be. I am intelligent and kind and decent and funny and loads of other great things...now I just need to find that other half! THANK YOU as always, Nik!

 

 

 

The article you posted said everything I've been trying to verbalized but haven't been able to. Sometimes it feels like there is no one that understands how you feel, then I come across something you have written or posted. Thanks for being there for all of us that didn't know we needed you until we found you.

 

 

Hi Nik - My husband passed away on March 31st of this year...just 2 days before his 44th birthday. He died of a polysubstance overdose. He had been having challenges for about a year in trying to stop his anxiety and trying to sleep. I tried everything I could to help him...everything.

 

I just wanted to thank you for all the thoughts you share. You help more people understand that what they're going through is ok...probably than you may even realize. So...thank you! I stumbled across your blog around week 2, when I was desperately trying to read anything and everything online. I read all of your posts, as much as I could take in, through the next couple of weeks. Your writing helped me so much, especially during the first months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just found your blog post. I lost my husband Aug 18th he to shot himself. As I read your blog about shock I felt as if I could have wrote it myself. I feel I am just now entering the grief part, but I find myself so angry at him for leaving our son without a dad. He's 2 and will never remember him. It kills me. Thank You again for your blog it's helping me navigate this horrible road I'm on right now and making me feel not so alone.

 

Hey there - just read your post as I plan thanksgiving dinner for everyone who feels the need to join my four boys and  My husband passed away in March. I think I’ll be fine but I need to give my boys permission to leave the table. Thanks for this. I’m more worried for them than myself. They are 12 - 22 but I’m wishing we were headed to the water park about now.

 

 

 

Nik, I feel like I know you through your words and posts about your loss. I “like” and “” them but you don’t know my story and that doesn’t really seem fair.
My best friend killed herself our senior year. It has been twenty years since then but my story with her continued after she passed. I married her boy next door. Her parents and his parents they are best friends and looking back I’m sure it was an odd way of feeling close to her still. I spent Christmas Eve at her house with them and my in-laws every year. I saw her room and where she chose to end her life on a fairly regular basis.  loved my husband dearly but we grew apart after we had our daughter. Your posts make me think of her and help me work through the loss of her and of him. He was a causality of her suicide. I was as well. In a sad way, our marriage was.
With all that said, thank you. Thank you for your words and thoughts. I am remarried now but I still have days, many of them, that hearing I need to be my own prince speaks so loudly to me. I have a daughter I want to know that feeling too. You are strong and you are enough. You are perfect.
I’m rambling because I have never spoken these words to anyone much less someone that has never met me.
Again, thank you for you. You are wonderful and are helping more people than you could ever begin to imagine.

 

Thank you for being so real. I have struggled with suicide for a very long time. I still do. Sometimes when I am feeling my worst I will read things you post and it makes me realize what I would be leaving behind. I have two amazing kids and a husband.I'm not one to comment on things, so just another face in the crowd, but you have helped me and so many others you probably don't even know about.

 

 

Nik,

I want to thank you for writing about your journey through hell and back. I didn't lose my husband, but I lost my brother to suicide. He left behind two amazing children, there are days that I think if I can just figure all of this out then it won't hurt so much. That is a lie that I tell myself. He was my younger brother and we grew up with a single Mom, I was the oldest. I had two younger brothers and I was always taught that it was my job to take care of them. So when this happened, I felt like this was my fault. I didn't do my job and because of that my beloved brother is dead. Guilt is a horrible thing as you know. 
Our circumstances are different, but we both lost someone that we love dearly to suicide. I just want you to know that reading about your journey has really helped me. I tried grief counseling and seeing a psychologist and other doctors, that didn't really help. I can really identify with you and you have helped me more than anyone else. I don't feel so alone and I know what I'm feeling is ok whatever it is. Everyone has their own way to deal with loss and grief. I just want to say thank you and let you know that you have made a difference in my life.

 

 

Just please take from this, you are strong as shit and you somehow have the capacity to make others feel that too. Pure, true and an absolute gift.

 

 

 

Hi Nik,
I read a lot of blogs and things on Facebook but felt compelled to send you a quick note to say thank you for sharing your raw stories with the rest of us who have no idea. I just read your blog about "Shock". So personal, so raw..I was so humbled, as a stranger to read it. I work for Queensland Ambulance and take a lot of heartbreaking suicide calls, it is never ever lost on me..the thoughts of those left behind. I am also studying my masters of counselling..and find these kinds of first hand experience like yours invaluable insight into supporting people. So thank you for sharing your most painful, soul destroying event with me. Your ripple effect is immeasurable. I truly hope it helps your healing and that life is being kind to you & your family once again after being to hell & back. Big Love to you from Australia.

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. My husband passed away 4-1/2 months ago so "jolly" I am not. I feel like a ship lost at sea. I'm sure others have said that before me but it's a perfect description of learning to live without ________. I leave the space blank because there are so many nouns and adjectives a person could use to describe the love of your life. Just leaving it at "learning to live without period" is a statement in itself describing grief. Our 45th wedding anniversary was last Saturday. December is full of firsts as well. I survived November, with God's grace I'll survive December. But in all truth, why? What is my purpose now? Only God knows and I have to trust that. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

 

 

Hi. I've been following you for a while now. I think one of my friends sent me one of your posts and I've been meaning to message you for a while but could never muster up the strength. So here it goes... I lost my husband to suicide in 2014. I have 3 daughters. He shot himself in front of me while 2 of my children were at home. In an instant, I found myself to be a widow and a single mom all at the same time. It debilitated me. It's been 3 whole years and I'm still not anywhere CLOSE to being the old me. I am in counseling and I just don't think it's helping. How can anyone possibly make this seem OK? How can anyone sit with me for an hour every other week and somehow make me believe that any of this makes sense? Anyway, I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that I sometimes read your posts. But mostly I START to read them and it hurts too bad to finish reading. It's too close to home right now. But I will...someday...I will. I promise! I appreciate you for sharing your feelings. I appreciate you sharing everything. I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Grief is a bitch. And it has kicked my ass. I just hope that I'm strong enough to kick it's ass back someday soon. Much love to you and yours.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for writing this. We are also a family of three, my two girls and I. I worry that I'm not enough sometimes. I'm always exhausted and I feel like we are just barely getting through the days sometimes. But we are a family still. Just the three of us. Thank you.

 

 

I just want to tell you how inspiring you are and I look forward to your posts. I lost my husband to suicide 6 years ago. He had been battling depression most of his life.

 

 

Thank you for this, Nik (Brave Ladies Club)  I adore your blog and you. Thank you for opening up your life to others so we can feel a sense of normalcy ourselves. My husband committed suicide on last year after kissing me on my cheek while I was asleep, saying something to our then 3 year old son that he doesn’t even remember and rocking our then 7 month old son to sleep. Autumn is bringing many triggers out as our birthdays and wedding anniversary were this month and next month will be the month the unthinkable happened. I can’t thank you enough for “being there” for me (I hope that makes sense.) Love and hugs.

 

 

 

Nik--What an inspiring post! You do not offer a "quick fix" or "rosey colored glasses" platitudes. You offer the gentle, compassionate truth. Grief will have it's way with us. And if we yield and go with it, we are led to a peace and clarity that is a gift to ourselves. It is a gift that informs our lives and relationships which can reap benefits in ways we could never have imagined.
I appreciate your bravery, quivering heart. The courage you have to share your personal/universal story is a warrior's path. 

 

 

 

I had to reach out and thank you for all of your writings and for baring your heart and soul. Your words have touched me and made me feel not so alone. Although my story is not exactly the same as yours, there are many parallels and your writings have given me hope that I wasn't sure I would find.My emotions go from profound sadness to shock to anger and many others. But I found your blog and it's been so comforting. Your words have inspired me that there will be light at the end of the tunnel so for that, I am beyond grateful. Keep doing what you're doing. You have no idea the impact that your writings have had on me.I am so deeply sorry for your and your children's loss. They are blessed to have such a strong and courageous mother. Wishing you peace and happiness.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing your grief and your story...the tragedy, the struggle, the survival and now the revival. I never experienced what you went through and continue to go through, but in different ways I have and continue to deal with similar things having been through a divorce. My world, too, was shattered, and the life I dreamed of living and sharing with someone was destroyed and I was left to pick up the pieces and attempt to keep moving forward. It has been many years, but the struggle is real and still present from time to time. It's not something you can just shut off or put 100% behind you (especially with kids in the picture), but it's something that can't define me either.  

 


Thank you for sharing your story...it brings hope to many I am sure. Good luck and keep LIVING each and everyday to the fullest!

 

 

 

 

As I researched grief blogs (because I was thinking of starting one and oh, who knew, it's not an original idea! LOL), my friend messaged me and told me I should check you out.

I Googled you. I saw why she suggested you. First, you really are doing some impressive work. And secondly, you suffered a loss by suicide.

My beautiful amazing (his own self-reference, with which I agree) son took his own life April 4, 2017. As my mother just said today, she still hopes it's a bad dream. He was truly an awesome man. He was in military training and fell for a girl who rejected him. I don't think it was just love. I think the training and being away from his friends took a toll. All I know is in hindsight I wish...

But anyway. Because I saw your work and your hike is admirable. I'm just sharing that praise

 

 

 

I'll endeavour to read more of your posts & I'm following your journey on FB...you are doing some seriously amazing stuff. What a phenomenal way to channel your grief..soothing and educating others. Suicide is a life sentence for the loved ones left behind. So your ability to write about it is honestly inspirational. I sincerely hope you're enjoying more hopeful, brighter moments than crippling moments.

 

 

beautiful post.. a testimony today. Somehow, life just keeps going. Your perfect description in saying it feels like yesterday, and sometimes it feels like 10 years. I feel the same way. We awake each day and that confirms the reality. They aren't here. Our love and grief will never part, never dissolve, as I believe both become part of us, part of who we are now. I am so proud of you, and as you know Nik, I am also a survivor, we both are weaving and finding every and any way to survive, to adjust, and maybe, God, yes! To grow and heal and give back....Thank you for sharing your heart <3....as it is such a beautiful one. 

 

 

 

Nik, Being open about grief and raw emotion is critical for survivors. I lost my brother in a crash a little over 7 years ago. Yes, you learn to deal with the emotions associated to grief by learning your triggers and developing ways to cope in order to make it through the dark and the light. Having an open environment to connect with others who have experienced loss helps the healing process, a process that never ends. I offer you the same to reach out anytime.

 

 

I thank you so very much for this post. It validated every feeling I have had regarding my father's death. Thank you so very much for articulating what I could not for so many years. I was a child denied the grieving process. So harmful. You are the only one that has helped me heal. Thank you. Thank you.

 

 

You truly are so awesome. I'm so glad I stumble upon your profile. You have helped me so much in these past few months of grieving.

 

 

 

Hello, my husband killed himself this summer. He was also named Ryan. Like you I was as happy as I could be, our life was pretty much perfect. And out of no where he's gone. So confusing. I relate to other people who were in a happy situation and then this happened. I feel It's a little different then situations where there was something bad happening, like dicorce, bankruptcy, drugs etc. It's a bit more confusing. Anyways sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is that I'm not alone in this experience.

 

 

Hi Nik! I want to congratulate you on your certification. Everything you have said gives me hope that maybe one day I can get out of this rut I'm in and get back on my feet again. I'm having some trouble moving on. I know I have to do it for myself and my son. I feel depressed and lonely. You inspire me to move forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to help others like myself.

 

 

 

The words you put out there on fb are just so encouraging and they help when people struggle. I know I seem to see one of my fb friends like your posts right when I am struggling the most. Your posts bring such hope and positive vibes. Thank you for posting and sharing what you do. It helps those that you don't even know are there!!!

 

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts & feelings. It's been eight months since I lost the love of my life. And yes sometimes it feels like yesterday & sometimes years! I really thought I'd be over all the crying & heartache by now! When I say heartache I mean my heart actually hurts!
Reading your post some how made me feel better. I'm not sure if it's a matter of misery liking company or just knowing I'm not strange to have these feelings. Either way I thank you.

 

 

Hugs Nik, your heart & post is leading the path for us... showing us the steep road, and the little light that sometimes shines...still. 

 

 

You write so honestly from the heart .. I have the utmost respect for you ...each word .. sentence describes perfectly how I feel ... what I have learnt about life and people after losing my courageous daughter. I choose my solace .. I choose my way of living with my loss than rather be "out there" .. it's me whose lost her precious child not those people ...I am lucky to have just over a handful of "safe people" .. an amazing mother and sister .... the rest of the world I choose to lock out ...
Thankyou for being YOU .. a truly remarkable .. brave .. honest .. caring mum and lady xx

 

 

 

You took another step, Nik. It was wise for you to let go of the shirt. When my mother died, my father could not go through my mother's things. So my sister and I did. Opening up the closet doors in their bedroom was like peering into an inner sanctum--the most personal things which make a human life unique. Tonight, as I write this, I am wearing a turquoise cardigan which my mother wore. I wear it on days or nights when I'm missing her more. It's comforting. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. 

 

 

 

Hi. I opened Facebook in the first few months just now and your post popped up. I just wanted to say that it was so touching. I lost my father 10 years ago and you said it all. Your words in your video will help so many people. You really profoundly captured grief. I just wanted to let you know it was a beautiful video and that you are such a strong mama.

 

 

Thank you for all that you do, for not sugar coating things, and showing others that it is ok to grieve.

 

 

The very first post I read of yours was about never envisioning being a single parent but suicide left me no choice.  A coworker had forwarded it to me and I am so glad they did as that post, along with many others, spelled out exactly how I feel.

 

 

Nikki, your words are a blessing to so many now and to those who will find your blog in the years to come. Thank you for sharing yourself, your immense heartache, your growth and your heart. 

 

 

Loved the article you just posted. I'm 17 months into this journey tomorrow. I have found happiness, I think my kids have found some happiness. It is amazing how the grief creeps in and out of your day to day life. I too feel like a failure many times, but don't let it stop me from starting every day with a clean slate. You are doing a great job and you are helping so many people. Thank you! Lots of love to you!

 

Your writings come up on FB occassionally, and they are very clear, well-done and even jarring. We've had episodes of depression in my family, and everything you say is so accurate and insightful, it just seems you're speaking from our experiences, too. Thank you for being a great mother and wife. We can never go back, no matter how much we see in retrospect, but only go forward using what we've learned to make things better for those we love and ourselves.

 

I don't often meet people who speak as real and raw as you do. I appreciate your light. 

 

 

You are an absolutely beautiful human being!!! You always seem to stay such a "real" person and talk about what others may try to avoid!!! Your truly an inspiration to a lot of people who try to just get by Day to day❤ sending love and hugs from my family to yours

 

 

Thank you so much for this message. I stumbled across your blog by God's will tonight. On a night that my heart hurts so bad remembering my best friend and celebrating his birthday today. As the tears roll down my face, your words remind me that it's okay to be sad but it's also okay to move forward. His death affected me in ways that I still don't understand, but I have faith I can & will move forward...thank you for touching my soul and allowing me to feel like it will be ok.

 

 

You are my inspiration. If I could have half the strength you do, I would be ok. 

 

 

You are gifted beyond measure and sent to us for a specific reason. Our God is not the God of circumstance. Everything. Is. For. A. Reason. You, my dear one, are a blessing. (I'll add "from God" because that is what I believe)
Be well. Enjoy your day.

 

 

 

Hey. Your posts this past week have really helped me. I think of them throughout the day to get me through. I had to leave work early yesterday because it gave me severe anxiety. It's been a little tough but I have so much support around me.I just wanted to let you know you've been helping me through it even though you don't realize it.

 

 

I wanted to reach out to you as I was also widowed at the age of 33 with 3 little ones (ages 6, 5, and 3 at the time). My husband also completed suicide and it was terribly unexpected. Your post touched my heart and I am so proud to be on this journey with such a strong young woman. Your website is beautiful

 

I cant say enough thanks on how your articles have helped me. Im so sorry that these events happened to us and our children, tbe heartache is so real. However, thankful to the moon and back for your articles and posts. I have had such a hard time putting it into words or even recognizing what I'm actually feeling. So thankful to have stumbled upon your work! Truly a blessing.

 

Perfectly written. Captures the essence of what it is to grieve and live - love this article (The space in-between grief and renewed life) 

 

Not only is this piece heartbreakingly accurate it is perfectly stated. Also, the clock graphic is very relevant given the spiritual significance of 1's and 0's as in 10:10 (The space in-between grief and renewed life) 

 

 

 

Dear Nikki,I am so sorry to learn of your loss. I cannot begin to know the depth of your pain. But this sentence, "The screams coming from inside of me could not escape my mouth to form words. This is the day my heart shattered and my entire life cracked into two; the before and the after", is absolutely heart wrenching. In working with others who have lost a loved one to suicide, I know that suicide has unique sorrows and complexities; no doubt you have also experienced countless other losses that have stemmed from his death. Your strength and love for your children shines through it all. Wow, you still "parented" your children and were attentive to their grief and needs. You found ways to cope -- by turning inward, writing, and feeling the earth beneath your feet. And you coped by screaming on the basement floor with his clothes and picture and cleaning the house and wailing to God. Your determination and courage are incredible. And you express your hope so articulately in your writing when you speak of the joy of a sunrise or your children's giggles. Sending you love, hugs and prayers. 

 

 

These photos exhibit delight and good health in this natural setting. In the times of "nature deficit," Nik's story shows that all parents can counteract that "disorder" if they take the time and initiative.

 

Such a beautiful word picture of such agonizing pain that most of us can only imagine. Thank you as always for sharing so openly and honestly, your strength and courage and endurance is so powerful. As always, I continue to think you are amazing.

 

 

 

I am struggling with my grief too. It is 29 months and everyday is a discovery. I am exhausted and tired of the fight and then another day, I tell myself that I have the right to happiness. I do not need to be stuck here forever. I can breathe small breathes but they become a little larger each day. It will be my 3rd anniversary on May 1 and memories are swarming thru my mind. Sometimes, I want to stop them because I don't want to go that place I have been for 29 months. I am slowly trying to find ways to relieve the intensity if this enemy- grief I look at my beautiful children who are awesome adults and I see my husband in them and I hear him in their voices so that is a blessing I was fortunate to be left with.  I love reading your blogs. You hit my heart with the things you say. Please keep writing. It is such a dark lonely place and and we all need inspiration.

 

 

I'm really glad for your honesty and bravery. There are many times reading your words has helped me snap back to reality during a suicidal crisis. During those times when I'm sure my husband and children would be better off without me, the words you have so honestly written about your own grief and loneliness and pain have helped me to realise the lies my depressed brain is telling me.

 

 

Oh my gosh ... hi Nik....I can hardly see to type as I'm crying so .... it's been 15 years since I lost my husband... July 22 was the day ... he had brain cancer , diagnosed, surgery, etc ...only survived 3 months to the day of diagnosis. But your words, your story ... have touched me so... I'm so sorry for your loss..... im so happy I somehow found you tho ... I've been reading and looking at your posts for the past hour ... I have to say I have been to the depths of hell and back ... but you , your words today have touched me and inspired me again that I can do this. I can survive.

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your journey.  I read your article (Scary Mommy.com)this morning and it brought me new hope! I am a single mommy now of 5. My husband made his choice on April 3, 2015. We have 3 children and I was pregnant with identical twin boys at the time. I still question why he chose that path. I've been struggling so much the past few days with the why's and the what ifs. I forget to look at the joy and the fact that I do get all the hugs and kisses and love from those 5 beautiful souls. Thank you for reminding me! God bless you and your babies!!

 

 

I just visited this woman's blog/facebook page. WOW what a warrior and an inspiration she is!! The amount of strength to not only pick yourself and your family up...but also BETTER yourself in the process. So much love for this mamma.

 

 

From another single mama due to suicide, thank you, for speaking for us all...we're a unique group, with not too many in our boat. Please know, you're not alone, and whenever you need to vent or talk, you can always reach out to me! God bless your littles and you-with peace and God's grace.

 

 

 

This article is wonderful because it is her raw true feelings not the glossy version handed down by the mental health field. Yeah it is a sickness and not selfish and blah blah blah but in your heart I think most people who lost someone due to suicide feel the same way. I lost my day 13 yrs ago and this is article was many of the things I think and feel looking at my own children. Thank you for writing this.

 

 

 

Hi, I wanted to let you know how much I liked your blog on suicide and being a single parent. I am sorry that you have to go through this but your writing really resonated with me. I have a friend whose husband committed suicide but more importantly, I know many people through my work. I work for  a non-profit that works with children who have lost a parent. We uphold a tradition that the child did with that parent every year until they turn 18. We have many families in our program where the parent died from suicide so thank you for being so raw with your emotions and letting people know that they are not alone.

 

 

"Teach your children about mental health" what a powerful and important message to take away from your heart breaking story. Thank you so much for sharing. You will change people's lives with this

 

 

I follow you on Facebook. Not because I've lost someone. But because you help me. Help me to love more deep. Not take advantage of what I have. And realize that tomorrow could be different.

 

 

I've given your name to a number of grieving friends because you have such an awesome ability to share your grief journey in writing. Blessings to you as you heal and help so many others along the way.

 

I'm not even sure how to begin. Over the last year I have followed every post on Facebook or on your blog. I've cried, I've laughed, I've loved, I've been inspired, I've reevaluated things both personally and professionally, and most of all I've admired you. You for all you share and your willingness to continue on even in the darkest days. I don't know you that well but I feel like I do. I thank you for all that you share. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. I'm sorry that you and your family went through this. No I don't know what you have been through and are going through or will go through but know that people like me care and we read every word you write. We are supporting you in positive thoughts. We follow you because you know how to connect and you say things very openly and there's not many people that can do that. You have a very special gift.

 

 

I have never heard anyone who has suffered the loss from suicide tell thier story so well. All the stories others have told me have all been told in the way of blaming the suicidal person.

 

Your words have moved me to tears....I can see you pain in your eyes. I too have mental illness and things got too much recently that I had suicidal thoughts. Like you a single mum, with 3 beautiful children, I don't want to die, I just don't want to live with this torment in my mind. I will fight these thoughts all my life, I won't leave my children. You are an utter inspiration and you have made me talk to my children

 

I'm so sorry for the hole in your heart, I'm sure your husband knew your love and held it close to him in his last moments. My thoughts are with you and your children, you are surely the light they need.

Thank you also for sharing. I've been in a dark place, but because of your story I hold on more. I realise how hopelessly inadequate words would be to console MY BEST FRIEND, my dear husband, if I let the demons win.

 

 

I want you to know that I am beyond grateful for meeting you even if just in cyberspace as your positive attitude and your light shine so brightly. Your thoughts on love, life and your children and your opening sharing your own personal growth have been keeping me going in my own personal journey and struggles. I can't thank you enough for that. I wish you only the best.

 

 

 

I came across your blog through some ink, somewhere - I don't really remember. I just happened to catch your latest FB post where you recount what your husband is saying to you. It really struck a chord so I wanted to write.I've had those same conversations - same sentiments, same short stacatto phrases. I hear my love telling me those same things. In a lot of ways we share a similar journey. I lost my love on 04/15/16 and it's been brutal but through a lot of spiritual work and connection, my own writing, etc... I am just now, 16 months to the day, slowly coming back into my own light.

 

 

 

Everything you write is so powerful. You are the light in the dark. I love reading what you write because it is truth, pain, happiness, wisdom and so much more. You're an amazing mom and are teaching them so much that you don't even know yet. Keep the light in your eyes bright and you will go far beyond your expectations of what you were meant to do. 

 

 

Oh what a light and gift YOU are to the universe! How I wish you hadn't been asked to carry such unthinkable loss along the way. Thank you for being so brave, so open, so giving

 

This may be odd to say (or hear), but I am blessed by your words. Today especially. My heart feels so much for you and your sweet kids. I work as a grief counselor and feel that I have so very much more to learn about loss and grief. You have given me new insight, by sharing your story, your struggles, your pain in this journey. I just want to say thank you for sharing. You are teaching us through every word you write. You are teaching me. So thank you for writing and posting. We are listening and hope to be better supporters to those around us who grieve.

 

 

Hello! Your scary mommy article popped up on my newsfeed today and I found your page. Coincidence that today is the 29 year anniversary of my father's suicide. Thank you for all you are doing. Your stories remind me of how hard my mother's life was, and I realize I don't give her enough credit at times. You will be happy to know my brother and I are very well adjusted, and both work in the mental health field! Although the uncertainty of all the unanswered questions does still haunt me at times. I'm happy to have found you and I'll be following you! (I am in Minnesota as well--Minneapolis, married with two wonderful boys)

 

 

Thank you for your wonderful in site when it comes to teaching your children. I started reading your posts when I was in the hospital with my son and have done a lot of research since then on homeschooling and my husband and I are talking about doing homeschool next year for our children. Your words keep inspiring me and helping me look deeper into what is best for my children. So thank you so much for that as you go on your journey.

 

 

I just wanted to say a thank you on your writing of "just a single mom" on scarymom. i must be honest i felt that for the first time someone was feeling what i have been feeling for the past 4 years. i recently had to courage to walk away from a "friend" who used to constantly put my life down saying i need to get one, telling me how i use my daughter as a crutch instead of living a life, how i could not think of myself but at my 40th i considered a venue that she could attend. after reading your story i just wanted to say thank you....i'm not the only one that lives for my daughter, cat and 2 dogs, and most importantly that i am right to have that life and find utter joy in living it. sometimes one feels like no one can ever understand or that you are the only person feeling this way.... know i find comfort in knowing im not alone due to your strength of speaking so openly about it. so from one widow to another... thank you and well done to the remarkable strength you show.

 

 

 

I just finished reading your article about being a single parent, being just the sun. I am currently sitting in my parents living room, watching my baby girl sleeping on the monitor - and my husband is in the ER in a different state getting evaluated for his second suicide attempt in 5 months. Thank you for this article. One of my biggest fears with my husband's mental illness is how do I go on with my daughter if he actually does kill himself. And I read this article and broke down into tears because this is a very real look at what my future may be. But that is also my answer. I become her sun. I don't know how your story fell into my lap at this moment, but it was meant to be. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope I never have to feel your pain, but I've had the fear of it and that is terrible enough. Prayers to you and your family.

 

 

I honestly didn't expect you to respond. When I was typing to you I am not sure why but I had a flood of emotions (crying, anger, guilt, Etc) and felt compelled to share my story with you. I guess something in my universe wanted you to know that you aren't alone and that you are helping. Our paths crossed for some reason. I worry constantly about my children struggling with the same issue(s) that have plagued my family for over 100 years. Your posts have provided me with a lot information and for that I am eternally grateful.

 

 

This Facebook live video (on Mental Health on the Mighty FB page) is heartbreaking, truly heartbreaking but it's really highlighted to me the significance of talking to my children about my mental health issue in the hope that it's not a taboo for us. We're all fighting our own battles , but as highlighted by Nik Tebbe, just talk, find the strength to open up a dialogue in the hope that people know there is an alternative to suicide. 

 

 

I've had very close family members struggle with mental illness. Suicide attempts. One even went of the grid for awhile- causing a multi state missing person search. I still deeply worry every day for them- although they both seem to be in good spots in their life right now. But I enjoy reading your blog as it keeps me grounded. This illness can always come back, or is always Hiding just ready to jump out again. You and your family are on my thoughts and in my heart. You are a very brave woman and your kids are very lucky to have you. Thank you for telling your story. I never speak of my story and I don't really know why....embarrassment? Resentment? Disbelief?uncertainty? Scared? I don't know, but I can tell you I live through it every day.

 

 

 

Your blogspot is a wonderful gift to others and a testament of what a beautiful person you are. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart with us.

 

I'm from New Zealand and my mother linked me to a post of yours she thought would help me. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there to people who are also experiencing pain such as yours, you are truly an inspiration. I wish the best to you, you are strong.

 

 

This is an amazing, compassionate personal & priceless contribution to support victims of serious mental health issues - I so wish I had been able to access this when my darling daughter attempted suicide - thank you so much. (Comment from Mental Health on the Mighty...Facebook page live FB video Nik created for Suicide Survivor Day) 

 

 

I too am a widow. My husband committed suicide 7/16/15 and we have 2 young children as well. I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I believe in honesty and sharing my story. I am constantly speaking to my kids about my husband and encourage them to share their feelings and memories as well. This is something I wish we didn't share but considering we can't change it I am grateful I have stumbled across your blog.

 

I am so sorry for your loss. You are an answer to my prayers. Suicide survivor guilt is the worst. My brother took his life. Thank you, Angel!

 

I'm very sorry for your loss & pain. I am a suicide attempt survivor, and seeing in your eyes what would have been in my wife's makes it very hard to watch your video, but glad I survived to spare her. I work hard every day to cling to life. For us. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and pain. My love to you.

 

 

I really can't begin to imagine the pain and emotions you are going thru... But I can say you are incredibly inspiring in so many ways. I read your posts and follow your blog because I feel for you and your children and I just wish there was some way I could help you. But I also think what draws me to you is because your story has put so much into perspective for me in my own personal situation... I am a mother of two young children 3 & 2 years old and mostly a "single mom" all week Sun-Fri evenings as my husband is an "over the road" truck driver. He works so hard to make most of the money to provide for our family. I know it's not easy on him being gone... But even though, I used to have a lot of feelings of "resentment" towards him about having to do so much by myself with him being gone. But since reading your life experience it has made me look at my life in a whole new light. Instead of focusing on the negatives, I focus on the positives and how truly lucky I am and I now appreciate him so much more because of it. I just felt like I needed to thank you for being so open and honest about your life and experience. You are helping so many in so many different ways... You are a very strong, intelligent and amazing women whom I truly admire. Thank you!!

 

 

I have been following your blog recently. You are such a role model. Strong and honest in your personal journey! Giving hope and strength to others that may be in your shoes as well.

 

 

I am captivated by your writing and your blog. You are an amazingly strong and talented woman. Your words have brought me strength at times and have encouraged a strong sense of reflection. Everyone has their own story. Yours brings me to tears, encourages me and brings me hope all at the same time. I thank you for that. Much admiration -

 

There are signs, I wish more knew of them. I wish when looking at others we were all able to shut off judgement and the critical thinking. I'm so sorry for your loss and your children's. Your not responsible not in the least bit. The feelings within isn't explainable it's not something obtained by the words of the person fighting them. I couldn't tell you enough how great this is, speaking out with such sorrow. Strength.

 

 

 

Hey Nik, Just wanna let you know you're really brave. I do not know if you will see this message but I hope you do see it. You may not know it, but your story on the Mighty.com may have quite possibly saved my life. Thank you.

 

Hi would just like to say thank you for your honesty on your live feed. Since losing my partner January 2014 it's the first time I felt someone else understood and what I felt was totally normal under the circumstances

 

Hello, My husband committed suicide 4 years ago, when my children were 2 and 4. A friend who's brother committed suicide 10 years ago just sent me your post via the mighty and just wanted to thank you for putting into words something that I have never been able to nor have I ever found/heard anyone speak so familiarly of what I went through. I haven't met any young widows of suicide with young children so the reading your piece was comforting and sad at the same time. Just wanted to say thanks.

 

Hi I watched your video for the mighty. I'm sorry that like me you and your children are survivors. My dad left me twice, once when I was little (divorce) and again when I was a grown up. There were no signs and like you I educated myself. Raising awareness is really important and I will do that here in the U.K. The place where no one really talks about "that".
Your strength helps me and others know we're not alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Nik, I’m not even sure how I came about this page. While sitting here breast pumping and drained, this is exactly where I needed to wander upon. I’m deeply touched by your courage. Your messages and posts are exactly what people like me need to stumble upon on the internet. As strangers we may be, your words and perspective have helped push me along. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life. I didn’t have a good childhood. I have overcome that in many ways with years of therapy. Yet, things still stumble across my mind and I have to remember what I learned and talk myself back out of those hopeless thoughts. I had my daughter 27 days ago. As you may know, it is hard. I’m mentally and physically drained. I’m a strong woman though and doing everything I can to keep afloat mentally. I’m pushed a little farther along after reading your story. I can’t thank you enough. Unlike many people, you have a great perspective on mental health. It is all too common for people to blame and be angry at people like me and your husband that struggle everyday. There is such a lack of compassion as if people can just “snap out of it”. After years of therapy and several different stabs at medication, I feel stable. It doesn’t change those thoughts the creep in when things get hard. Or sometimes no reason at all. I live with it buried beneath. Luckily, I’ve learned how to keep moving forward. I count on people like yourself to remind me what I’m fighting for. My daughter is my everything. I love her dad more than I could ever imagine. Still, there’s still a faint part that makes you wonder if you deserve this.. if others actually need you. I’m reassured today on this rough day that yes, I do deserve this. I’ll keep moving forward. Thankyou.

Um. Wow. Thank you.
A friend shared the ballet picture/story on FB. I was scrolling and “happened” to see it.
“I’m asking you to stay”.
I want you to know that you are being used by God.

 


As you age, newfound insight into the human condition will provide you with much warmth and solace. Your sincerity is unquestionable! As for understanding, as you become sympathetically aware of other people's feelings, reciprocality will be a golden gift to you. I believe your strength deserves praise! You are amazing!

Hi I saw your post about your little girl. Just wanted to reach out as I was once that 4 year old little girl being sat down told the same story about my daddy killing himself. Sending love and hugs, your girl will be ok. 

Every milestone, every achievement, every holiday, I will grieve for the things he is missing out on with our boys. When you have children going through this as well just magnifies the pain. Thank you for sharing your words. It is like a breath of fresh air. Reading the words make me realize that I am not alone in this daunting journey.

I just saw one of your posts for the first time about your daughter and your husband and read your bio! Just wanted to tell you In case no one has lately.... you are amazing! Inspiring! And what you’ve chosen to glean from your situation honors God, humanity and will bless your children and children’s children!!! Though i know not always as easy as it may appear from the outside it is all Simply beautiful! God bless!

Hi Nik, it was so heartbreaking for me to accidentally stumble across a post of yours on my newsfeed. Some friend had shared it. It broke my heart to read your words of your pain and yet I also found it deeply inspiring. To be in the place where you are and still allow yourself to feel such forgiveness for your husband and such concern for all those others who might be suffering similarly, is remarkable. It shows such strength of character. And to do the right thing by your daughter after all that you received is amazing. There is this writer I follow called Asma Hussein. She lost her husband too and is a raising her daughter alone. Her husband was killed in a protest against oppression. She wrote a book about her loss and healing called 'The Temporary Gift'. I'm suggesting so you maybe able to look her up and I hope you find some solace reading about her healing. Take care and keep inspiring! You have found your purpose doing so. No matter what or how much you lose. Don't forget you are amazing!

A friend shared your post from earlier this week with picture of your beautiful daughter and as I read I stopped in my tracks. I started to cry, something I hadn’t been able to do because of bipolar medications for months. I stopped in my bedroom. I had been gathering my things to leave and find some way to end my life because I felt worthless and that my family would be better off without me. Your post saved a 13 yo girl and 11 yo boy from having to find out about their dad dying this afternoon. Thank you.

I just want to thank you for sharing your post about your daughter and late husband. I struggle with anxiety and depression and suicide enters my thought on almost a daily basis. I am married and have a 3 year old girl and a 2 week old girl. My wife knows the circumstances. When those thoughts do cross my mind I think of how my daughters would grow up without me. Or how would it be fair to my wife to have to raise them alone. Those are things that keep my fight alive. Thank you again for sharing and reminding me the importance of what I already know.

Hi Nik,
The post you made Tuesday about your daughter made its way to my newsfeed today, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have a 2 year old daughter myself, and I just want you to know that I needed to hear EVERY WORD of that post today. Every. Word.
It’s so easy to be blinded by depression and anxiety that you lose sight of the big picture. I wept for your daughter as I read that post, and I wept for my own daughter as I realized her need for me is so much bigger than my urge to escape my own mind.
I can’t thank you enough for the perspective you’ve given me.
I’m going to fight.
I’m going to stay.
Much love and gratitude

Hello,just wanted to say your doing an amazing job .I have stood on the edge a few times,ready to end it all but my two sons,my beautiful boys,have been my strength to keep going. Depression,or the black dog as we call it,is a brutal foe . The smallest problems can send one spiralling down ...anyway,thank you for what you do...regards from,Australia

I am so touched by all the pieces I have read tonight. I have wept so deeply. I am a Mum feeling like I don't want to continue anymore and your page helps to look at so different perspective. You are a true hero to turn your horror story into something positive by helping others. I don't know you but feel like I love you and your kids. You really have been to hell and back. I sincerely wish you true happiness moving forward. You are amazing.

I have a baby boy that is about to be one. I always think about how he'd be better off if he had a different mom. One that could get off the couch and play with him all day. One that didn't have anger issues and was always patient. But I am his mama. I have to fight for him. I have to keep going. You have changed my life by changing my perspective. Thank you. Keep fighting the good fight

just want you to know that yet another person has been touched by your continuing to write. I lost my toddler son last year, and since I've been very depressed not really wanting to live, or frankly to parent my two surviving children. (Even though I love them so much) But your most recent post about your little girl and the effect of suicide on children really struck home. Thank you.

Hi Nik, my friend reposted your post from yesterday and I just keep reading it over and over. I have suffered with severe depression my entire life. After I had my children I promised myself that I would never leave them but there are still times when the sickness takes over and I doubt myself. Reading your post reminded me just how important it is that I stay here for them and how much it would change their lives forever if I didn’t. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing and know how many people you are saving by doing so. 

I want you to know how strong you are. You’re story just hit me so hard, one of my friends on fb shared it, and I instantly broke down in tears. You put into words what most people seem to not be able too. I’ve been in a very very dark place recently. I’ve had thoughts go through my mind that I would of never ever imagined before. I have a five year old little boy. I said he didn’t need me, he’d be better off without me. How could a mother say that? But, the good Lord above took care of all of those horrible thoughts before anything happened. You are so strong! And I say that because if it hadn’t of been for my husband, I don’t know who else I could of turned too. I spoke up and told him what I was thinking. Thank you for sharing your post, you keep following your heart and writing and sharing. You speak to many more people than you could probably imagine, and someone who can take what people think about and can write about, when most people can’t is a gift! You’re a very strong person and you and your family are in my prayers!

I sat here tonight in bed with my little boy sleeping next to me while his dad, my fiancé was away at work and I counted to see if I had enough pills to end it. I did. And then I saw your post. I’m still here because of you. Because my son needs me, because no one should grow up without a parent. My own dad killed him self when I was 6. I know I couldn’t repeat that onto my own. Even if he’s so little he won’t remember. So thank you. I’m going to make a change tomorrow. Whatever it may be. I’m going to talk to somebody. I’m going to be okay. For my Harrison. For myself.

Just saw one of yr amazing posts on FB. I live in Australia and work in a mining community. We've had a handful of young men take their own lives in the last 12 months, each leaving behind a shattered family. I am in awe of the way you've lovingly helped yr little girl work through the process of loss, grief, & an empathic undedstanding of her Dads passing. Right or wrong, I know of some families (as per above) where the children are "shielded" from the truth (dad had a heart attack...) Your message is inspirational and will save hundreds, probably thousands, of lives. I grew up the eldest of 4 boys and my Dad let us down pretty badly. I've now got 4 sons of my own and my #1 goal is to be the best Dad ever. I have always put my children first, & prioritize my time around assisting their development. Despite those best intentions, I too have sometimes felt in dark places. Thankfully, I've been able to tell my wife and it's been a huge weight off my shoulders. Life can be hard but with great people like yourself spreading awareness, hopefully this generation of men can start seeing other options. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

I know you’ve probably gotten thousands of messages but I just wanted to tell you thank you. Thank you for sharing your story. It stopped me in my tracks. I’ve never been able to relate to anything so much in my life. I was 2 years old when my dad walked out of our home and shot himself in the head. The pain of wanting to have memories, wanting to know him, wanting to have him here is so great. I look at my son, who looks identical to me as a child and I cannot imagine walking away from him. I cannot imagine making him grow up without me. I didn’t really think that anyone else knew this pain. Thank you again. My prayers go out to you and your beautiful little girl. I wish y’all many blessings God bless

How incredibly powerful !!! I have no doubt you just saved a life,and if nothing else have made someone think twice about their decision. As someone that has been affected by suicide, I am thankful you were brave enough to share your story. Thank you and God bless!!

I just read your post of April 16th.  And then read it again.  The second reading took much longer since I was struggling not to openly sob in my office.  Thank you for your post, its message and light.  Please keep doing what you’re doing.  Your message touched a nerve with me to the extent that it made me question my very being.  And I needed it.  And my kids needed it.  Thank you.

Nik, the photo of your little girl gave me the strength to announce my pain in a post on Facebook which has always been something I haven’t been keen on. The strength you must have needed to share that is beyond anything I could ever think about. Mental health is a worldwind of pain that no one who hasn’t experienced, will never understand. I wish you and your little one all the best and hope she doesn’t feel the pain I have now at 23 after losing my dad to suicide. All the best

am sure you get lots of messages from grief stricken people so I will keep it short. Than you. I have four children PTSD from serving my country. Struggling every day to smile. You have helped me through today. Xxx God bless you and yours

This message may never reach you but I just wanted to say I came across one of your posts on my news feed. I have thought of suicide, the only reason I feel like I'm here anymore is because of my beautiful 6 year old daughter. She is my strength and my world. Your post moved me. Just wanted to say Thank you.

I have just read your story about your daughter’s father that committed suicide? I needed to read that. I am a single mom and my daughter is 5, I know I am her whole world, every one that meets us and sees us together also comment on how much she loves me and yet I’ve had suicidal thoughts, but I know it will destroy her very being and that is why I keep going, keeping willing myself to live! Thanks for sharing that.

I just want to say, THANK YOU. Thank you for sharing that message. Thank you for opening my eyes and making me realize it shouldn’t be just about me. I’m going through one of the most difficult times in my life that I would have never imagined would have happened to me. I have been through so much loss, hurt,& pain in my life that what I had went through a week ago, had brought me lower than what I ever knew would be possible. I contemplated my life and had everything planned out...but my daughters kept crossing my mind,& I had to speak to someone about it. So I went to my husband about it a few days ago, and came across your post today. I couldn’t even finish reading it because I couldn’t see with the amount of tears flustering my eyes! Looking back on it now, I know that would have been the worst possible thing I could do to myself and my family...you opened my eyes that much more..I’m so thankful you shared your story. God bless you

Hey, I just read your story about your daughter and her father. I am a husband, and father to two beautiful kids.  I have mentally and emotionally gone thru hell and back in my 28 years of life and the last year has been so hard mentally on me. The feeling of why? Why am I here, why am I always emotional, stressed, angry, and always feel like I'm at my breaking point. When I was a teenager there where two points where I took to many pills on purpose. And the knowledge that's it's still an option out, has always stayed with me. Nowadays I know that I could never leave my kids for the exact reasons you said on the post, but sometimes life's hard and that thought will pop up. I'm writing this to you directly after reading your post and I'm crying and I just wanna let you know I appreciate your words I appreciate your daughters bravery this is exactly what I needed to hear this is exactly why I need to stay and this is exactly why I need to take better care of myself so thank you for helping me get through another day thank you beautiful daughter for helping me get through another day and I wish nothing but peace and love and healing in talks life.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post about your daughter. Your pure honesty resonated with me as I was once that little girl myself. My mother took her own life when I was five years old. I read your post with tears running down my face as I realized what you must have went through as a parent, watching your child lose her sweet innocence. My heart broke for your children, for you and for my five year old self. It is a loss no child should ever have to endure. But I am living proof that life goes on, hearts heal and joy returns. I went on to lead a happy life. I was loved. I am loved. My father always told my younger brother and I the truth about my mother’s death so it was never a deep, dark secret. So I commend you for that honesty, even though I know it’s the hardest conversation I’m sure you’ve ever had in your life. Children who are dealing with loss need to be able to trust and that starts with being truthful, even if that truth is difficult and heart-wrenching. Children are resilient. I am now a 38 year old mother of two. I had to teach myself how to be a mother but everyday I feel my mom’s spirit living on through my beautiful children. So I’m here to say your children will persevere. They will be happy. They will live and love. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that to them, you are their hero. 

You are a warrior, Nik Tebbe. May God bless you and give you the strength to continue your message of Hope. Love you girl..

For the past 6 weeks since this all happened i had not been able to cry. I have now and i needed to it has released some of the aching pressure in my heart and mind. You have to hit the bottom before you can start swimming towards the light and you have helped me. I am so sorry for your loss and you kids loss. You are an inspiration and from a lonely Scottish father and husband thank you keep on swimming and inspiring.

Hi. I just saw your post on your post on your husband. I'm in the same boat as him. Struggling to hold on myself. Your words so hit home. I have a six year old boy I love more then anything. It's made me really think.

 

 

 

I don’t know you. I now know a little of your story. Someone shared your post about your husband on my feed tonight. The effects his decision has made on both you and your daughter.
Today, I sat at my kitchen table and contemplated suicide. The kids were playing outside. It wouldn’t have been hard. It seemed an easy end to so many problems. It wasn’t the first time I’ve thought about it.
Without going into detail...life has been hard for years now. And I have had to remind myself to simply breath at times.
So tonight...I needed your post tonight.
For what it’s worth. Thank you for sharing your story. Your hurt and healing.
Thank you

Hi. I just read your post about your little girl and her father. I am so so so so so sorry that happened. But I want to thank you so much for writing that. I suffer from depression, anxiety and also PTSD. I’ve been suicidal in the past and have made attempts (never wanting too) but I’m still alive and fighting to keep living so I can be here on that Tuesday with the ones I love eating tacos, laughing and smiling. I’m a writer as well and I am posting some of my writings on Instagram to help as many people as I can out. You and your children are all so so so brave.

I just wanted to say thank you. I am not a big facebooker but I was looking tonight tonight and saw the article from your about your daughter. I lost my fiancé to suicide. It was the most terrible event of my life and I finally feel like i an starting to adjust now. I can’t imagine explaining it to a child and having to be so strong pull yourself together for them. It’s a great thing you are doing and I know it’s helping. You are inspiring me to try to help and maybe save a life and their families life. Suicide costs so much to everyone. Katie took her life after a 6 month battle with anxiety and depression that we learned was caused by the IUD she had just got so we could have her finish her Masters before we started our family. I have waited to long before trying to help and you have helped inspire me to get moving on trying to make a difference. Thank you, you are doing an amazing thing. I know you are saving lives

 

I just read your post about your husband. I have been having some issues with depression for about 3 years just before I had my daughter. About a year and half ago I was put of depression meds they worked I was almost my old self. My prescription ran out and I just thought oh I’m okay with out it. Well I am wrong today was one of my very very bad days. But reading this I believe is a sign from God telling me to go get help again. I just want to thank you for sharing and you did help me today! I am going to be calling my doctor as soon as they open!!​

Nik...I read your post re your late husbands suicide. First off I’m sorry you and your daughter experienced such a horrible incident. Second, it was brave of you to share. It touched me deep in that I remember vividly sitting under a tree in the woods for hours one day while feeling hopeless. I sat by myself with my back against a giant oak tree. Staring at the rope swaying in the wind. Horrible thoughts raining down on me while I wept. Convinced the world and my family would be better off without me. Finally, I closed my eyes and laid beside the tree from shear exhaustion until I drifted off to sleep. After a few hours I was awakened by a doe with two fawns who were eating acorns under the tree...they didn’t realize I was there. I sat there in silence watching her with her fawns. It was beautiful. Life goes on.
The rope is still there and hangs from the giant low hanging branch. It is bright orange and every time I walked through the woods It haunted me. I always wanted to cut it away from the tree, but instead I chose to tie on another section of rope and at the end I attached a tire swing. It is bizarre because there is a tire swing in the middle of the woods...but it’s much better than what it could have been.
Thanks for sharing your story.

I had to say Thank you for sharing your life story. I just broke down crying. I too have lived your life story. My daughter was 9 months when her father took his life. She is now 11 and in counseling cause I have not told her how he died. I want to tell her cause she is begging but his parents don’t want me tell her. Your writing is just like God speaking to me letting me know the time is right. Thank you again for sharing.

Thank you for helping me last night with your post.. Whats crazy is I had begged god the day before to send me an angel... Thank u!

But when the darkness comes, rationality retreats. And lately it’s gotten worse. And darker. And it all culminated that night when I almost ruined my wife’s life by doing the unthinkable in front of her. I tell you this because I want to thank you. I just finished reading your story. The picture of your daughter, and how you had to explain what is almost impossible to explain to an innocent human being of that age. It made me think of my daughter more than anything. How she hugs and kisses me daily. The way she has me wrapped around her finger. The cute way she tells me she loves me. The kinds of things I don’t think of when I’m in the darkness. I don’t know what my future holds, but reading your story has definitely moved me into a place I haven’t found myself before. I’ve bookmarked that particular post. I’m going to make it a point to read it every time I go into the darkness. I have a feeling that it will help drive me back to the light. So thank you for opening your life to the world. I hope that it has an impact on many others like me. If you save even one life, then you are truly a hero. Hopefully you’ll never have to save mine. But I’m glad I have this story to help me through.

My mum was the pillar of strength, our one consistent. Her transparency (on Dad's suicide)  was second to none and I truly believe that, that is the reason that we are not filled with overwhelming amounts of confusion in our life. Thank you for being real with your little girl, thank you for being real with all the people reading your post who may be suicidal. It's not all rainbows and unicorns. We have struggled, we have cried more tears than I can remember, I have questioned the love my dad felt for us and I have been angry. Really angry. But you will get your little girl through all of these phases and more, you are enough. I wish you all the best, I can't imagine being in your position, and I am sorry you have had this happen to your family.My mum is my super hero.... she is the rainbow that shines after a storm. When my world felt like it stopped moving, mum would nudge us forward. Keep nudging. 

Your post about your daughter was beautifully written. I bawled, because it was everything I wish I could have said to my dad. He was a great man, who made a bad choice.. Again, Thank you.

Hi, I just read your message on FB, I’m literally so emotional.. You and your incredible family are so brave to share your story and I’m glad you have. To stop time and reverse a day would make your life different although to spread your story the way you have will make sure people stop and think of the devastation it can have. I hope you and you family take comfort that of nothing else, you will have saved someone by posting this. 

 

Hello, I will keep this quick as I'm sure you have been flooded by comments. I'm an Army veteran that has ptsd. Your post had been shared in my veterans group on Facebook, where we constantly are trying to help our brothers and sisters that are considering suicide. I won't lie to you...I have been quietly struggling myself here lately with depression. Your post however, really spoke alot to me. I look at your daughters smile in the photo and see my own son. I imagine how he would feel if I wasn't here for him anymore and it gives me an extra push to better myself. So thank you for your openness. Your post is being passed around the veteran community, and for that I thank you. You and your daughter have saved lives. Thank you. 

Thank you for sharing your sweet girl's story of losing her dad. You may very have just saved my own children from going through the same. Thank you.

Nik you do not know me, but I just want to say thank you for your open and honest post about your husband. I know it was difficult for you to write, and even more difficult to live through. But please know you did save at least one persons life with it...mine. I am a single mom of 3 girls and for the past week have been planning how to kill myself and not have my kids find me. Thanks to your post I have decided to go seek help instead. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening my eyes. I will forever be grateful to you. Thank you...

I want to thank you for the words I read on Facebook today, shared by our local news anchor here in San Francisco. As a single father of 2 young boys who has struggled with suicidal thoughts and has almost acted upon them, your plea to those who find themselves in this situation was incredibly moving and powerful. Wishing you and your children all the best.

Hello Nik, I know we are strangers. And I came across your post just randomly... I just wanted to say your post. Thank you.. it is so raw, it was like a punch in the face reading your words. I am a paramedic and surrounded lately by mental health and suicide. From patients, coworkers.. but I am also a mother and a wife.. and that just got me and shaken me to the core reading your words it’s such an awakening. I just simply wanted to thank you for your words.

Hi Nik,
Thank you so much.
I came across your post from April 17th, the post about your daughter in her ballet costume and I have not missed a post since.
I lost my dad to suicide 10 years ago this past December on his birthday. I was 9 years old at the time and completely thrown off balance. But I have never felt more understood then when I read your posts. I have been looking for you for the past 10 years. I have been so confused and lost since he left and I feel like you understand me more than I understand myself sometimes.
Thank you so much for everything. Keep up the phenomenal work.