A colleague that I have never met sent me this link to Brene’ Brown’s post on LinkedIn. Laura (my colleague) reads my blog and noted she appreciated my transparency in sharing about my husband’s death by suicide. Laura was kind to say that she thought of me after reading Brene’ Brown’s post and wanted to reach out to see how I was doing. A remarkable act of selfless kindness.
What was so fascinating to me was that my week has been difficult and challenging….I had a hard time keeping it together. With the death of Kate Spade, I found myself going back to the same conversations people had when Mark died – we never knew he was in that much pain; what could have happened to push him to that choice; he had a wonderful family, a wonderful life – what went wrong….
My heart ached for Kate Spade’s family. I know the pain of being a survivor. The journey is daunting and oh so difficult. What I wasn’t ready for were the barrage of thoughtless comments and people’s judgement of those who die by suicide. Brene’ Brown’s blog: “Everyone Has a Story” is on point with the impact of that harmful commentary. Best 2 minute read – please take a moment.
Then on Friday as I was just beginning to see a bit of light through the fog of sadness, the alert pops up on my phone about Anthony Bourdain. That hit me like a punch to the stomach – knocked the wind out of me. I became overwhelmed with a sadness so powerful that I needed to call my sister. I couldn’t stop crying, I felt like I was going to be sick…..I was right back at that moment when I found Mark. The floodgates of questions, of trauma, of terror, of fear ……. came back in a very powerful way. I was able to regroup and get through the day but as I sit here on Saturday writing this blog, I am still shaken. My longing for my husband is the strongest it has been since he left us. I miss him terribly and my heart aches.
As I think about Mark today, my heart goes out to the families of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and all of the suicide survivor families not quite as famous. There are far too many of us left behind to deal with something so very difficult. My heart goes out to every person that struggles with depression; anxiety and any facet of mental illness.
The world is a tough place and sometimes people just can’t stay – no matter how much love, how much money, family support, and therapy. People do the best they can every day – that’s all I know. I also know how very lucky I am to have “my village” (family, friends, colleagues). The love, your support and patience during this journey has given me the strength I have needed to continue my journey even without Mark by my side. Remember, our stories don’t need to end. If you are struggling, or if you know someone who may be struggling – reach out, connect, and share this number 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline)