783 days ago my husband shot himself in the heart while our children and I played on the playground. No, I don't count the days anymore. I googled how many days it's been when I was inspired to write this piece.
783 days ago he died, and I dreamt of him that night inside of the maybe 20 minutes of sleep that I got. It was a visitation dream. It was him. It was his soul coming to me ask.......no, to beg and plead for forgiveness. What do I remember about that dream? I remember that he wouldn't stop hugging me. I remember that he wouldn't let me say anything. I remember that he just keep hugging me tightly and I could hear him saying, "Nik....oh shit, Nik. I'm so sorry. It's going to be ok, I promise. I can't believe this is happening either. It's all happened so fast. Oh, Nik...promise me you'll be ok. Promise me that you'll be your tough as nails self and get through this sting. Ok?"
The sting of suicide grief.
The sting still burns 783 days later.
Being left behind by suicide is unthinkable, unimaginable, and indescribable.
Being a suicide survivor leaves a little sting in your heart. A slight twinge of pain........probably forever.
There are no answers. There are no goodbyes.
This is something that suicide survivors live with for the rest of their days.
I used not to be so sure about the title, "Suicide Survivor." Like what the hell? I am hardly surviving getting through each day........why are they saying I'm a survivor? But now? 783 days later? Hell yes, I'm a survivor. And if you've been through this too? You're a survivor. Why? Why are we survivors even on the days we feel like giving up? We are survivors because we didn't give into the sting. We didn't let that sting make us leave this earth too. We didn't let that sting harden our hearts. We didn't allow that sting stop us from living.
November 18 is Suicide Survivors Day. Hug a survivor. Send them flowers. Take them to lunch. Smile at them at the grocery store.
I'm a survivor because when my husband died? I wanted to die too. I wanted to turn into a big puddle of mush and just let someone come and take care of me. But? But I didn't do that. I turned into a quiet warrior. I decided to turn my pain into helping others to get my mind off of my heart burning. I dove into learning about self-love, real bravery, compassion, grace, and spirituality. I might be a calm and quiet person when you meet me but inside of my heart lives the sting. And that sting has turned into a little warrior that isn't going to let anything or anyone bring me back down into the black hole of grief. I now stand at the top of that hole where the sun shines. I carry that sting with me every single day of my life, and I am reminded of it countless times a day, and no one notices but me. I breathe through the sting, and I laugh again, I smile again......I'm fully living again. I still have grief, but I'm not letting that sting take me back into that murky, muddy hole.
Are you a suicide survivor? You are brave. You are loved. You are an incredible human being, and your story matters. Search for an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Suicide Survivors' Day event in your community.
I'm sending you a big hug and so much love and healing. I know what its like to live with the sting of suicide. It's possible to keep on living, keep on going, keep on believing in brighter days.
Share this blog post. Comment below and share the name of the loved one you lost to suicide.
All my love, Nik