Rosalinda’s Story: Stepping back from Suicide with a Smile
This is a most welcome support group. If only we had this earlier, I would have been guided in my 3 days state of shock, when I could neither cry, eat nor sleep for days and in my prolonged mourning. For the first three months, there was no moment when I was not in tears. I saw my husband everywhere and at dawn, I would give in to intense sobbing. There was even a time when I became suicidal. It has been 2 1/2 years since, and I am still in mourning clothes, his pictures are all around my room, as I talk to them and his clothes still hang in our walk in closet, to hug when I would feel so lonely. By now, I know that I have not been coping well. It is only lately that I sport a genuine smile, and could react with a chuckle.
First of all, a BIG THANK YOU Rosalinda for sharing your story with authenticity and what life has been like for you for the past two and a half years. The good and hopeful part about your story is the ending~ you are starting to genuinely smile again and have found you can start to laugh a little. Baby steps are crucial for us. And also sometimes giant leaps are too, even if we stumble. I wrote a blog post early last year when my husband first passed away from cancer called “Training Wheels” and I used this analogy when I was in this space and it helped me. Maybe it will help others too. It is about learning to live “AS IF”. Because everything we know changes in the moment we lose that person and our new life begins. It is a process and many of us get stuck in the physical separation of grief. It takes time to learn our new lives and for me, living “AS IF” provided a Godsend answer.
Most of us learn to ride a bike using training wheels as kids. We learn how to get up on the seat, balance ourselves, and steer while peddling. We learn how to break and watch for cars. But the training wheels are what enable us to move forward and to feel what it is like to authentically ride. We get a grounded feeling, a oneness with the road with the help of those training wheels. Eventually they come off and we are free to roam. Steady. Self-assured. Not looking down but out to what life puts in front of us.
Right now I am trying to live a life “as if” and I feel it’s a good place to be. I am trying to live now based on what I envision I want for myself down the road. It’s not that I am trying to bury my grief into the recesses of my brain and just carry on; I just have my training wheels on. I have no end goal in mind in terms of when I will get the wrench out to unscrew those little-helper wheels, but I know that I will know the feeling when it comes. When I feel a oneness with the road and I feel free to roam, I will slip into that life that I have been living and catch up with my actions.
My belief is that during the epicenter of the death of a loved one, living authentically is nearly impossible. Your whole definition of who you are is profoundly changed because “no man is an island.” Some people have had time to consider what is about to happen~ and such was my case. Maybe Rosalinda didn’t and like so many others felt there was no other option than to join her deceased husband. The link below is a sobering view of a statistical fact that suicide is much higher for widows and widowers, especially during the first three years. And I write to all of you, both those who are bereaved and those who want to support and understand that these years are the crucial ones. Please don’t give up on us. Make a genuine effort to stay connected to this person through it all. You might actually be the link to them deciding to stay with us.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
I pray to you, God, that this journal finds its way to those that might be considering this option and to those who need a spark of inspiration to pick up the phone or stop by to see someone who is suffering the worst of grief in that they may be lifted up by your Angels and given hope that life is important and it does get better.