Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Life's Too Short

Date: 
Monday, July 1, 2013
Posted By: 
Deborah Guidara

One thing that has come to my attention and has been on my mind a lot lately is how we all have rituals we follow; special traditions in our religion, special occasions, or when someone gets married. As all of these happy occasions that come into our lives at one point or another, it is so easy to find those people you can count on to be there for you. They call all the time, check in on the progress of things. These people can be close friends or family members. They know what you need in your time of need, and they are there for you. Sadly, that is not the same when someone close dies.  Especially suddenly.  Especially as a result of suicide. At first, and I mean within the first couple days and weeks, yes, people are there. They want to know what happened, to really get the full story. Was he depressed? How bad was his anxiety? When did he start this medication? What medication? You really had no idea??? Etc. But once the dust settled, and for me, that was two weeks since I HAD to go back to work (my husband took his life over a holiday and no bereavement leave was to be given to me), it became EXTREMELY apparent that for some people, even family, the fact that Mike took his life might have just been a bit too much. At least, that is what I am led to believe.

I don’t think this is an abnormal thing to happen. A good friend told me I would really know who my people would be after a death. I just can’t help wondering why it is that this happens. I began to question if people blamed me for his death. I mean, how is it that I could lie next to someone day in and day out and not know what was going on in his head? Or, maybe they felt that I could have done more. Believe me, I wish I could’ve done more! Knowing something wasn’t right would’ve helped though. I also questioned for a while whether or not people began to feel like it is a contagious thing being around me. Maybe their significant other would act upon their anxiety as well? These have been struggles that I have worked through the past 18 months through therapy, soul searching, and lots of yoga and meditation. I have come to the realization that it is ok. Okay that people who I always thought I could count on are not the people I thought they were. Or that death is just too scary for people to deal with. I can get that last statement. It is scary. Unfortunately, it is my reality and I have to let go of the past relationships that I thought were strong that may now almost be toxic.

I can’t help people who have no idea what to do or say when they are around me. I have to take care of myself.

I realize that life is a gift and I am not going to sit around and not take advantage of all that is around me that can be great for my children and me. I have really learned who my true people are. The ones I can count on to be there for me, to come to my rescue, scoop up my kids if need be, run to the store and grab something for me, or just be there for me to listen to complaints, and lately, to talk about the wonderful things that are occurring in my life. I have been learning to ignore the thoughts that people might think it was my fault that Mike took his life. I know the truth. I know he was the most loving, gentle man alive, loved me wholeheartedly and unconditionally, and was obsessed with his children. And because of the love he gave me, I have been able to make the choices I have made. To live my life, to move forward, to open my heart, and just try to enjoy my days here on earth. I do know that I will be reunited with Mike one day. Until then, I have a job to do: to be the best mommy I can be to my two greatest gifts Mike ever gave me and for them to see me happy! The main idea here: Life is too short to worry about others. Be glad for what you do have!

Comments

You are so right and your words are such an inspiration. I cannot fathom how lonely this sad time of life is and really connected with the "people have no idea what to do or say to me" statement. I am realizing (finally!) that it's not my responsibility to put those people at ease--I'm the one that's hurting. You lose more than your husband in all this--you also lose the relationships that likely meant more to you than they did to the others. It's the right time to take stock and cut your losses and focus on the beautiful, sustaining folks in your life who endeavor to be there for you and your children.

(((Hugs))) Great post. Thank you for opening up and sharing this. The guilt we put ourselves through after losing our spouse is terrible. My husband died while laying in bed asleep right next to me and I had guilt of how did I not know, I thought we were so connected. I should've known. Your message is inspiring. Thank you

Even when your spouse is dying from a terminal illness, I learned the disappointment of some family and friends incapable of helping me and I learned the kindness of strangers that had no need to help me. The wisdom I have learned on relationships has been invaluable and one of the positives from living the tragedy of my husband's life being cut short. Good for you to know which relationships are worth your mental energy and those relationships that need to be ended!

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