Every year I handle today differently. This year, I am bitter.
I always used to get offended when people called suicide “selfish”. They have no idea what you were going through; what drove you to this or why you would consider suicide as your only option. But that’s the thing. WHY. No one knows why. No one ever will or ever could know why. & that has been the biggest struggle of my life. At seven years old, wanting to know what I did wrong. Why didn’t you want to be my Dad any more? I was so sorry for all the times I made you mad at me. All the times I didn’t listen or talked back. Maybe if I hadn’t. Maybe if I would’ve cleaned my room the first time you asked. Maybe, maybe, maybe. The weight of blame & guilt is overbearing and it is so easy to drown in the what ifs. So this year, I am angry for you being “selfish”.
Over the past 19 years SO much has happened. I mean, it’s almost been two decades; a lifetime. Mandy’s lifetime, to be exact. You literally missed her entire lifetime. Yes, you missed the majority of mine; all of the “big” moments. But at least I have memories to look back on, I have photos to reminisce on, & I have experience that cannot be replaced. She was left with hearsay & the chaos of being raised in devastation. & I am so mad at you for that.
You left Mom alone to handle it all. To raise two kids. To maintain a business. To find you. Can you imagine? Now that I am married & have a son, I absolutely cannot fathom it. What would I do if my husband committed suicide? How would I deal with that? How would I raise E? How would I survive? She barely did. & I am so mad at you for that.
I will never understand what made things so dark in your life that you wouldn’t want to watch your daughters grow up. Why your vision was so clouded by what was haunting you in that moment, that you could see past it & imagine the future. That you couldn’t hold on to see us graduate, to walk us down the aisle, or to meet your grandchildren. & I am so mad at you for that.
What would my life have looked like with you around? Would I have still played soccer? Would I have still moved out at 16? Would I have still gone to UNCP? It’s impossible to say. & honestly I am so blessed with how my life has turned out. All of these things I have been through have gotten me to where I am today, so I am thankful for the experiences & for the family they have led me to. But it’s so hard not to wonder. What would my life have looked like with you around?
You turned our world upside down & it’s never been the same since. It never could be. Suicide isn’t something that just passes by, it’s not just a phase in life. Coping with losing someone to suicide is a lifelong journey. It doesn’t just go away & you don’t just “get over it”. It changes your life forever. You’ll never not ask “why” & you’ll never not wonder “what if”.
I really would have loved the opportunity to know you. & I’m so sorry for whatever it was you were going through. But today, I am bitter.