A Difficult Day
It is a difficult day today, it’s 7 years today that Paul, my husband and father to my 7 children, took his own life, leaving us all to wonder, guiltily, if there was anything we could have done to prevent it. Of course, we’ll never know, which kind of makes it worse.
The death of anyone, whether by accident, illness, old age etc….is always harrowing and incredibly sad. There is no preparation for such an event even when the person has been ill for a very long time and the end is inevitable. With a sudden death there is, obviously, no preparation at all, just the sudden shock of someone not being there any more.
Sadly though, suicide brings with it another huge raft of emotions that no other loss seems to carry with it. The guilt…….oh the guilt. Could we have changed things had we known what he planned to do? Could I have worked harder to encourage him to seek help? Were we in any way to blame for the path he chose? What state of mind was he in at that moment when the deed was done? How can a person so close to you possibly reach such a state mentally that it seems the only solution?
The list of unanswerable questions goes on and on with never any resolution, just an uneasy acceptance of what has happened and the unsettling thought that probably nothing could have been done.
Then there are all the tumultuous ragings of the imagination. How did it feel? How painful was it? In the dying moments were there any regrets? Did he think about the family he was leaving behind? Or was life just so unbearable that nothing mattered any more apart from the eternal release that death would provide?
I know none of the answers to these questions, I just know that every year around this time our minds are focused like lasers on all of these questions and thousands more that will never have answers.
I know there are so many people in the world who go through the exact same thing every year and, to a lesser extent, constantly through daily life. My thoughts are with each and every one of you. I understand, truly understand, but with that understanding comes strength and the ability to empathise with you. Maybe that knowledge, knowing we’re not the only ones, can carry us through together.
And to Paul, I know you’re at rest now, the demons are no longer tormenting you, but the family you left behind will live with theirs for the rest of their lives. So sad. R.I.P.