I regret so much in regards to John. I’m sure people who lose loved ones to natural deaths, or deaths you know are coming, have regrets as well, but suicide doesn’t give you a chance to make things right. You don’t get to say goodbye.
The last time we spoke, I was in a hotel and he was at home. I was going to tell John that I wish he had come with me on my layover, but I didn’t. Why didn’t I? I don’t know. I got distracted. We were speaking on the phone, and I don’t know why I didn’t say it. I don’t think it would have made him stay, but it would have made him feel more loved as he drifted away. I believe he had already made his irreversible decision to leave when we were chatting. He may even have been in the car.
I wish that I had been more mindful towards him. Especially in the last year with the difficulties we were going through with his work. I knew it was difficult for him, because it was for me as well. I developed the beginnings of ulcers over the stress. He blamed himself for that. It wasn’t his fault, and I told him so. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he perceived it that way. He was very hard on himself.
Being mindful is such an overused word these days. Mindful this, mindful that.
To me, being mindful should be spelled “be nice” or better yet, “don’t be an asshole”.
Thinking before you speak is really a weak trait in most of us.
We have the kindest people saying the stupidest things. We have people who just want to make their point, at any cost. One wouldn’t think simple words could alter the path of someone’s life, but they can, and they do.
Think of a moment in your childhood where maybe a classmate made a fool out of you, a parent scolded you in public, a friend said words simply to hurt you.
I can’t remember where I put my cell phone, but I remember playground words, and hurtful events from 20-30 years ago.
I’ve heard it takes 7 generations to heal from trauma. In Canada right now we have the reconciliation ceremonies occurring at First Nations communities. We are at generation 3 and 4 in some instances and still the hurt is born into their blood.
It takes cleansing. It takes healing.
It will never happen because the generation that survived the residential school in turn brought up children than in turn were scarred by their parents actions, which stemmed from their trauma in the 1950’s.
I don’t know all of the hurtful words and events in John’s past that led him to think he wasn’t good enough, or that made himself think everything was his fault. He told me of a few, but in his usual demeanour, he made it funny.
Looking back, I wish I had seen what I see now. I wish I had been equipped to see. I wish I’d seen the signs.
Regrets. I guess I have more than a few.
Accepting that there is nothing I can do about it is nearly impossible.
I don’t have a generation to follow me as John and I did not have children. I have no one to scar.
Where will my trauma go? Will it fade when I pass away? I don’t understand why John made the decision to cut his life short, and I’m wondering, if we do indeed still ‘exist’ after death, does he regret it now?
Therapy and group meetings are good, but the sessions cannot answer my questions: When will the images of my Behr not waking up when I shook him, when I tried to breathe life into his lungs, when will those images stop?
I don’t think they will.
I find layers to make those images less sad, less traumatic. I remember his smile, his beautiful sparkling eyes. I remember his crazy laugh, head toss and open mouth laugh. His big, lovely hugs.
He wasn’t a prefect Behr but he was perfect for me.
Things I don’t regret: I don’t regret a single second I spent with him.
4 thoughts on “Regrets… I have a few.”
My interactions with Behr were full of apologies, tears and jokes -mostly because we did realize that good people can be jerks (by jerks I mean me). I will always wonder if I could have helped/seen something/been better/magically jumped in last minute? But no one knew John better than John. You were his love, his life and a fab person to boot.
I cannot (and yet have to try NOT to) imagine, those moments you found him. I remember waking up to Lise’s phone call- the disbelief (not our Behr! No way!)
It was not right. The world fell sideways. And I can’t even begin to think what that meant to you. All I can do is remember how he lifted my son (with one hand!) onto his shoulders and carried him when I was tired and sore. And shared his joy and funny over food and drinks. Always keep a smile on his face at holidays when father was less than ‘fun’. Work ethic, love of his work, wife and cats, music, food, friends and fun. And always, always, standing up for the little guy. Meh. Don’t know what I am saying? Except…he was one in a million. YOUR one in a million. And mine. And my son’s. And. And. And. He is missed. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and memories. Oxoxox. Annd the hurt may stop within this generation because we have his back. And yours. He will always be a part of us. I refuse to think of him with any negative thought. He did the best he could with the tools life dealt him. So we need to do better. Let’s look at the people we leave behind..and help them. Like John did with every breath he took. His sadness was a weight that was hard to carry. So maybe, just maybe? If we share the load? We can help.
He loved ya. Loves you still. He said that. Xo
Oxoxox (spelling errors-apparently not correctable aside-we loved (love) him too.
Wonderful post. Thank you