Darren, it’s one hundred fifty-three days since you left and this is what it’s like:
As I stand there, on the outside of my body, watching….just watching, the darkness closes in around me.
All I see in the darkness, is me pulling, pulling with all my might….trying to get that night back.
Just imagine, a sheet lying on the floor. You reach in to grab the center of the sheet and lift it from the floor. The soft cotton gathers at the center where your hand grabbed hold but the creases get bigger as the sheet lifts from the floor, finally gathering in a flowing mass of fabric as your hand lifts higher and higher. No longer flowing, the sheet now but hangs in one thick mess in your fingertips, dangling above the floor.
That’s what it’s like for me while I’m pulling to get that night back. I’m tugging and tugging at the center of it, pulling with all my strength. All I get for my struggle, is a mess of memories surrounding that night…the couple of days prior and the couple days after.
The memories are there. The words. The texts. The actions. All there, but all in a tangled mass. The visit from the cop and chaplain. The days after, wondering what happened…not knowing….the questions….the fears….the doubts….sleepless nights and groggy, tear-filled days. It’s all there, but to make sense of it all, I have to open that wound again….that wound that gouged so deeply into my heart. Can I do that? Can I relive those moments again?
I stand here now, visit his grave, and know he will never be with me here again, but the questions remain. The memories haunt my mind. The tears threaten so easily, escaping not quite so much…..normally at the most inopportune moments – in a meeting, watching a movie, driving down the road, talking to my children……..
My mind wonders:
- Could I have saved him if he were with me?
- If the courts would have handled things a little differently, would he still be here?
- What word could I have said to make him feel differently?
And then the doubts, the could haves, the should haves:
- I should have been with him that day he talked to his attorney.
- I should have tried harder to make the court officer listen to me.
- I should have tried harder to get others to listen.
I am currently reading a book, Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families after a Suicide, and I know it’s normal to feel this way. Confusion, heartache, anger, anxiety….it’s all normal albeit not something I want to go through.
The other day, in one of the many thoughts of Darren, I felt an internal struggle. The struggle that tells me two things…..(1) He’s gone. He’s not coming back. It’s time to get over it because all the thinking of him doesn’t change what is and (2) He’s gone and my heart is broken. How do I continue to live without him? I don’t want to be here because he cannot be here, but I do want to be here because I am needed here. I am here and regardless of how I feel or how much I want Darren to be here too, I have to continue on.
And it saddens me…..I feel guilty for living.
I only have one question:
When does it end? Not life, but the pain.
When does the pain end?
I am confused. I am lost. I am clearly different than I used to be, but who am I now?