Death by suicide leaves the people left behind asking a ton of questions.
I’m writing this because a month ago a good friend took her own life. The shock of hearing the news was something I never felt before. It hit me in the chest like a punch to the heart.
I wanted to fall to the ground and scream NO with my legs in the air like a child would have a tantrum about how unfair life is.
With the shock came disbelief. Is she gone? Can it really be that person? Must check the RIP online website refresh it refresh, still nothing can it be true then?
I reached out to someone who also knew Rachel. The news was true…
The next day we gathered. Made an alter. We lit candles around her picture. We each said goodbye in our own way with a song, a poem, a few words on what she meant to us. And Rachel meant a lot to so so many. She was/is a beautiful soul. I feel very lucky to have met her a couple of years ago that day I was waiting for an interview in the community cooperative. She walked in with her two kids and looked around and then said hello. What are you doing/waiting for she said?!! She asked me to keep an eye on her kids as she forgot something in her car!! This was Rachel. So trusting and so friendly so quickly! If she saw you she saw you and she told you and that was it!! A friendship was formed. We enjoyed some lovely times together since our first meeting that day. I will cherish them always.
I still question now two months later if I could have done more, been more, said more, known more…these are the questions suicide leaves behind for all. I know its collective and I know its grief.
Grief is hard in the body. It manifests in such a way that you feel like you can’t breathe. Like what’s inside is too heavy. Too much. Too unbearable. I think they say time can be a great healer because with time the grief has space.
I’m fortunate to have that time to heal. Sadly my friend does not. I know she felt things a lot so I guess what she was feeling was too much and she couldn’t find a way to cope. I can’t ask her sadly. I listen to her voice notes. I listened to them a lot in the beginning. I think listening to her helped with the grief. Either way, it was just good to hear her voice. Alive.
So I did ask her for a sign. A sign that she was okay. And I believe I got some. Since Star(our dog)passed on there has always been a robin close by every time I go out. The day after I asked Rachel for a sign there has been two robins! Also the other evening in a small town close to home I was driving home from therapy. Rachel was on my mind so much and I saw the most amazing shooting star. Like a silver fireball falling across the sky.
It was so beautiful just like my friend.
So my urge to numb has been real. But i have not. Instead I’ve talked and gone to AA meetings more. I’ve taken the love I’ve been shown and wrapped it around me like a blanket of healing.
This is living and this is living with whatever happens.
This will be my second Christmas sober.
One day at a time.
712 days together.
Life is hard for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.
I think collectively we need to remember this.
Keep shining your light. Others see it and need it.
Also let your own voice be kind to yourself.
And breathe breathe breathe…..
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