Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shaking Fists Skyward

My husband called me from work a few weeks back, and from his first intake of breath I knew something was terribly wrong.  He could barely choke out the news he had received--one of his friends had killed himself over the weekend.

No one seems to know anything of value.  No why, just the where and how.  All mutual friends are at a loss to understand.  My husband is devastated, and I?  I am angry. Spitting, snarling mad. 

I am furious at him for hurting all of us like this.  It makes me so angry to think of how this is going to be explained to his beautiful neices and nephews.  At the loss of their innocence.  At the guilt children internalize within themselves.  My heart is in agony for my husband who has so few people outside our family to whom he feels close.

Within the confines of my anger is an enormous well-spring of sorrow for the pain and loneliness our friend must have felt.  I spent the week after his death yelling at him through my ceiling.  Shaking my fist skyward, I have shouted all manner of hypothetical questions at him. At this point, the only positive aspect to his being dead is that I can yell at him and he has to listen.  My grief, my rules.

It brings to mind another man we knew within the past few years who also killed himself.  He left behind a wife, two toddlers and a torrent of unanswerable questions.  At the time, I had a frank conversation with my husband about the importance of communication and the perception of a successful life.  Now that suicide has once again touched our lives so intimately, I sat my husband down to reiterate a few points.

I told him I was saying all of this for my own benefit, but that I needed to know he heard me.  It was important for him to look me in the eye and hear me say that the only thing that matters is the four of us.  That if the job and house should slip away, we would always be okay.  No matter what.  That the conditions of where and how we lived were far less important than us having each other.  I also made it very clear that if he ever tried a stunt like that, I would revive him just to beat the everloving shit out of him.

This horrific news has reinforced my belief in the importance of telling people.  Something as inane as seeing something at the grocery store and it reminded you of them. Nothing is inconsequential.  You may think the people around you understand, but I am not taking that chance.  It is so easy to take for granted that the ones you love KNOW you love them, KNOW you need them.  I am devastated that our friend didn't know.  There may have been nothing anyone could have done, that the darkness he felt could never have been brightened by any of us.  We will never know, and that is the most painful bit of all.


Nubian said...

What does one say? Depression is very real and too often when we are in the black pit we can't seem to get out. Thanks for the reminder to sit down with our loved ones and chat. Too often we take too much for granted.

Unknown said...

I also experienced this kind of thing just a couple of weeks ago. A young guy, wife (my friend) stays at home with their two younger kids, seemingly had it all. No history of depression, no mental illness diagnosed, no indications at all of this possibility.

I can't wrap my head around not understanding what such a decision does to your family. How could a parent chose to hurt a child in such a profound and life altering way? I get so angry at him and and so sad for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you back here, but so sorry it's with such sad news. Thanks for the great reminder that comes out of it.