I attended a gala for mental health a few months ago.
I think I’d mentioned that in a previous entry. I had a wee bit of hope after that night. Hope that some suicides are preventable and permanently avoided. Well, another blow to hope came last week.
One of the “successful” patients who was a walking, talking proof that we can truly have hope, took her own life. “Set herself free” they said.
Her mental anguish won. The depression and despair won.
Hope lost again.
Someone lost a mother, a daughter and a friend.
I don’t think there will ever be a fix. As I approach what should have been my tenth year wedding anniversary, I can say that for those left behind, the blast radius is immeasurable and permanent. You don’t ever truly rebuild. You slather stucco on a cracked frame and hope nothing ever shakes the earth beneath you again, lest the pieces flake off. You can make it look pretty, but a thorough inspection reveals permanent damage. Most would walk away for their own safety.
Images of John’s goodbye letter pop into my head at the strangest moments. Like when I’m getting the mail. Or when I’m starting engines. When I’m cooking dinner.
As he wrote, his death allows me to “… start the life I deserved”. That is the line that breaks my heart. The entire letter breaks my heart, but there’s something about those words that could easily destroy me.
What did he perceive he was holding me back from in this life? I loved that life! I chose that life. It’s one of the first things I think I did really well in my life: choosing him.
But now, as I feel I may have permanent damage, I wonder if anyone inspects me closely, will they walk away?
Even worse, to continue the house comparison, if they connect with me, will they have buyers remorse?
As far as the letter goes, one of my grief mates has destroyed her loved ones suicide letter. She didn’t want it anymore. I’m not sure I’ll ever get rid of John’s. Some of it is in his handwriting. They were his last words. He even made a joke.
For now, that letter flits in my mind, between the gusts of despair, the gentle breezes of contentment and the soft, humid breath of hope.
I still have it.
I find it lying in the grass, a little beat up but I dust it off and hold it like a firefly, cupped in my hands.
Don’t ask questions.
We don’t really know the answer to anything in this life, anyway. Im not sure we need as many answers as we seek.
We just need to have hope.
Fuck, Do we ever.