A Message from One of the Ones Left Behind

You know by now I’m passionate about the epidemic of bullying and suicide among children and teenagers because I faced the same thing in my youth. I felt the crushing weight of bullying, and the desperate and dark thoughts that seemed my only way to escape it. But there is yet another reason why I devote so much of my time and effort and spirit to this plague on our society.

I was widowed by suicide. Michael was my husband. He died in October of 2011 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Even worse, I was the first to find him.

I was the unfortunate soul who found my husband’s lifeless body sitting in his vehicle after he put a .357 magnum to the roof of his mouth and pulled the trigger. It’s both a sight you never want to see and something you never forget, an image that will forever remain seared in my memory and that I will surely carry to my grave.

Any time I listen to the news and hear of a suicide, especially when it’s someone young, someone whose life has yet to begin, it breaks my heart in two. I think about the lost future of that person and I ask myself, “Could they have overcome whatever was dragging them down? Could the lost have gone to college? Could they have become a doctor, writer or teacher? Could they have been the one person, who could have changed the world for the better?”

And it makes me sad because, yes, I believe that they could have.

I also think of the person’s family and how devastated they must be over the untimely death of their loved-one. I know firsthand how that feels—it’s the worst kind of heartache. The pain is gut-level, like being kicked in the stomach, while it leaves our head spinning with questions that will never be answered as your struggle to figure out why only drives you into a spiral of confusion and “what-ifs”.

I want you to know that if you commit suicide, someone who loves you will come looking for you. And when they find you, their whole world will be turned upside down and forever changed.

I know what suicide looks like. As terrible as it would be to find a total stranger that way, when it’s someone you know and love…It’s horrible and grotesque, something no one who hasn’t experienced it can imagine or comprehend unless you’re unfortunate enough to see it yourself. It’s always the surviving loved ones, who are left to pick up the pieces.

This is something that I would never wish upon anyone, not even my worst enemy.

No matter what you may be going through, you need to know that the suffering will not last forever. Better days are ahead, and if you stick it out, you will emerge stronger, happier, and more victorious than ever before—when things seem to be at their worst, your breakthrough is just around the corner.

You will see the sun again! Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Don’t cheat yourself out of what will more than likely be an awesome future! You have so much to look forward to, you just don’t know it yet. Your best days are ahead of you. If this anything you’ve considered, I beg you, please don’t do it, and find help to get you through.

So, very sincerely, I wish you all a wonderful day.

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2 thoughts on “A Message from One of the Ones Left Behind

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had no idea. You have my love and appreciation for your advocacy work, my friend. I lost my 1st husband to a freak, work-related accident. Not the same thing, I know. But someone once told me that God knows when everyone’s ‘time’ comes, and God chose to have my husband spend his last days with his best friend, me. That sentiment always comforts me. I share the sentiment with you in hopes that it brings you comfort.

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  2. Thank you, Lisa! This means a lot! It was tough, but God brought me through it and although I’ll never forget him or what happened, maybe I can use this to help others who might be considering suicide to rethink their decision. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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