Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

When the Word is Taboo, Does That Mean My Life is Too?

Monday, April 8, 2013
Posted By: 
Deborah Guidara

Today, we welcome new guest blogger, Deborah Guidara.  Deborah will be writing for CYWC on a regular basis.  Read about her below!

"My name is Deborah and I lost my husband suddenly on December 31st 2011, although he went missing on the 29th. This journey of widowhood has been tough to say the least, and I have learned that writing helps heal. I have been healing, slowly.... And I have been soul searching. I am 34 and a mother to a six year old (i) and a four year old (h). I hope my writing can be an inspiration to others, educate them on what occurs for those left behind, and why one may choose to live life to the fullest but above all, love!"

NEVER, and I mean never, did I think I would be a part of this group. No offense, I am sure you are all amazing people… but I REALLY could care less to be a part of this so-called classification of people. Not at 32, not now at 34. But I am. And the worst part is, my husband chose to take his life. Well, I can’t really use the word chose. I doubt he REALLY wanted to leave his wife of 8 years and his 2 and 4 year old children. But that is what occurred. Within the blink of the eye, my husband was gone. And I was left to pick up the pieces that were so shocking to me and I became a member of the widows club. But worse yet, I became a “suicide survivor.” The word suicide and survivor is kind of ironic if you ask me… and to be honest, it makes me kind of giggle. How the heck did I become part of this taboo circumstance?

I believe medication took my husbands life. Mike was a pretty healthy 34 year old man. He loved me, and he LOVED his kids. I believe he was meant to be on this earth to be a daddy.  Everything with the kids was 50/50 with us. He was so hands-on. But around October of 2011, Mike did vocalize some strong feelings of anxiety. I always knew him to be a pretty anxious person, but it was getting worse. By November, he took himself to the general doctor who prescribed medication. Within two weeks, I thought he was getting better. He complained a bit about some side effects, but overall, he seemed happier. Our 8 year anniversary was upon us, plans for the holidays were set. We were even going to go out to celebrate New Years. I thought things were perfectly fine--but I was wrong. On December 29, just 2 days after our anniversary, Mike went missing. It was like he vanished into thin air. After 2 days of agony, calls to police, interviews with news reporters, etc., family members found him. He hanged himself in the woods not too far from his work.  His stone states that he died on December 31, 2011 but I know the real truth!

Obviously, the news that he had died was not what I was expecting. I just remember everyone asking me so many questions of possible solutions as to why he would leave. Nothing made sense. I knew he would never cheat. I also knew that there was no possible way he would just “run away.” The nightmare just began and my life was changed forever. Once I found out what he did and how he did it, the word SUICIDE made me crazy. I began researching like a mad woman. Why people do this, the percentage of people who try but never actually complete but not my Mike. One try and he was gone--forever. No note. Nothing. Many dark days were ahead of me.

Luckily for me, a therapist who I worked with when I was much younger contacted me within a few days. She began working with me in my home. She also gave me the name of an amazing woman who works with children and within a week I had my kids in therapy as well. I also was a firm believer in yoga and I began attending classes almost immediately. These are things that saved me. I quickly began to realize that Mike had a “brain attack.” Like people have heart attacks, his brain just snapped. I think it was because of the medication. Something I will never be able to prove, but something that I have to believe in my heart. I know Mike would never purposely hurt a fly, let alone the kids and me. This is what drives me to look forward--to live my life. To be the best mom I can be for my two beautiful children.

I still question the whole idea of what Mike did as being taboo in today’s society.  By moving forward, wanting to possibly even help others in my situation, to be happy, does that make my life taboo too? Something that sits with me on a daily basis….


Deb, Since the day I met you, I always saw you as a strong woman. What you have been doing to find peace in your heart is just wonderful. Though we may not speak much, I'm always thinking of you and always have you in my heart! Love you!

Debbie: You are a woman of courage. There are not many like you to write about such a traumatic experience and disappointment in your life. But amazingly, there are others like you out in the world. My first husband was an extremely abusive man towards me and our 3 kids. I divorced him when I was 25, 6 years married. He lived a life of destruction wherever he went. Now I think he was bipolar. Ten years later he committed suicide in the week our son was supposed to visit him in Florida as a graduation gift. My son has suffered suicide thoughts most of his life. He had intense counseling as a teenager. He is now 33 and has lived with the consequences of poor choices. Then July 2012, I lost my 2nd husband, the only man that ever cared about him. But I refuse to let suicide define our lives. I pour out love as much as I can and do the best that I can, now as a widow as well. A good person, like your husband will always be loved in the hearts of those who knew him. Hold on to your faith and the love for your children. Mental illness and similar problems are physiological and they are very difficult in dealing with. In my son’s case, I feel that there are behaviors that could be hereditary. I will certainly keep up with your blog. It is an encouragement to me to hear of you persevering through this hard life. Your children will praise you when they get older to know that their mother is a strong, faithful woman who did not let tragedy end your future.

Dear Debbie ,no one can know the pain in your heart, but you are always in mine and my though's ,I am so proud of how you been able to express your pain and finely able to see that's light at the end of a tunnel ,you have such strong passion for everything you do,and my greandchildren are the most beutyfull thing in the world ,they are your support for strength and a smile on your face. I will always be there ,with a word or a hugs and my love ,you writing is so compelling ,that it make's cry! Your Mom

Deb... thanks for sharing you story and glad to hear writing helps you heal as well. I also found yoga to be a great release and just completed my yoga teacher training. Best wishes as you continue on this path...

Dear Debbie, You have my utmost respect for many,many, reasons. I have always been proud of the woman you have become. In my eyes you are a wonderful, thoughtful, and loving mother. A very smart, accomplished lady, a loyal, dependable friend, honest, loving daughter and sister. I could go on and on easily describing all of your attributes. It was courageous of you to write this article with such honesty and clarity. Those of us who are lucky to share a little part of your life love you and the kids very much. I still grieve for your undeserving loss, for the pain you have been enduring, for the void and insecurity your children have experienced, and for the emotional growth the three of you continue to make. I like you find solace in writing. I'm glad you have found this outlet,too. Your words can and will help others through their pain. You and the kids are always on my mind. I, like many others in your life, worry about you and the kids but also trust you to do the right thing. I marvel at your efforts and persistence to keep moving forward. You have my unconditional support,too. One minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year at a time, maintain your pace of searching for what your heart desires for yourself and your amazing children. Love you, Mo

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