Sunday, October 7, 2012

Suicide Survivor

Picture of me hugging my grandpa at Seth's funereal. 

November 2009, two days before my birthday, Seth had his 3rd suicide attempt.

I headed to the Grand Canyon. I kept the gun on my lap in case I got pulled over I would just shoot my self. I got to the Grand Canyon and enjoyed its bountiful views and watched the sun set. After all the people left I help the gun to my head for 3 hours. I was so afraid of the pain I couldn’t pull the trigger. I was so mad that I couldn’t do it. I left the park and stopped at the store out there. I ate dinner, tipping the young small town waitress $100.00. After dinner I bought some beer and got a room for the night. I thought if I got drunk enough I would stop being scared and I could just pull the trigger. Well I sat there drunk with a gun to my head for 7 hours.
I finally called Melinda crying and she talked me into coming home. 

My physiatrist got me on some new meds and I went through 8 sessions of Electric Shock Therapy. The treatment made me loose lots of my memory but I think it really helped me.

The ECT (Electric shock therapy) made the biggest difference, from what I could see, with Seth's depression. 
He lost some memories and his short term memory was shot. 
It was sad that he lost memories of us.
The ECT was pretty painful for him, he would have major headaches, but he finally had that spark back in his eye.
I don't know if bipolar or medication took away that spark, but it had been missing for a long time.

His memory eventually returned to normal, but he didn't get all his memory back.

I thought we could finally move forward with our lives.

July 27th, 2010, Seth had his 4th suicide attempt.

He did not live to share his story.

The love of my life, shot and killed himself,

July 27th, I was thrown into two groups I never put much thought into.
And Suicide survivor.

I was widowed at 29 years old.

Seth's story is sad and tragic.
Watching someone I love completely change into someone I do not know was the hardest and most frustrating thing I have ever been through.

Fighting so hard keep him alive, and in the end, it came down to his own choose.

There are times I feel guilty for asking Seth to keep fighting for so long.
He was suffering so much. 
But for my own selfish reasons, I wanted him here.

He always told me "if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be alive".

When the detectives came to the door and told me my husband was deceased, I should have died on that very spot.
I can't believe I didn't die right then.
I remember hitting my knees and screaming. I don't remember much more beyond that.
I have never experienced anything so painful in my life.
Every night, as I tried to sleep, I was convinced my heart would stop beating in middle of the night.

No one should ever face that pain. No one should LIVE through that much physical pain.

In my widow journey, the first year was the worst.
Around the 8 month mark, I fell into a deep depression.
I finally understand what it is to be a suicide survivor.
At the 8 month mark, I didn't care if I lived or died.
I welcomed death.

That is when you become a suicide survivor. 
When you are so depressed over your loved ones suicide, that you become suicidal yourself.

Fighting through that and choosing to live, made me a survivor.

I really could have took my own life, and joined my husband.

But I choose to live.

I just passed the two year mark in July.
In some ways it's gotten harder.
In some ways it's gotten FAR easier.

Through it all, I miss my best friend.

My best friend left his body 5 years ago, but has only been physically gone for two years.

I feel like I lost Seth 5 years ago, which in my mind, feels like a different lifetime.


  1. It will be interesting to see what kind of comments you get here from your posts and what the "editors" will allow to BE posted. I am also a survivor of my husbands suicide. What you wrote of the pain is so true. I know in my case, if I had not had my children to raise I would have ended my life too. It was so incredibly painful, that first year. I often wonder how I managed to keep up the facade that I was fine when in the presence of my kids. Some days I am sure they were scared to death of what I might do. We did make it. They are wonderful people now. As for me, I don't have anyone to pretend for now. It is a new "beginning" of some sort. Another huge change in my life. I am glad you are doing so well. It is so important to talk about "it" when ever you can. Just get it out. I am with you on that.

  2. How incredible and tragic his journey and yours must have been.
    I understand "suicide surviving" . After my husbands death, I considered suicide twice. The first time, I almost completed.
    I came here and I went on an on line site for those contemplating suicide.
    I am so grateful now I did not do that.
    It was despair and grief.
    I would have destroyed my children (who had just lost their father), I would have left a terrible legacy in their minds and that of my grandchildren.
    I think the important message about suicide is that when you are thinking about it - you need to talk to someone. It isn't the way out. It is the end.
    If only someone could have shown my the life I am living now. . . at that moment. I would never even have considered it.
    I lost the love of my life but I know if I would have ended mine, everything we believed in would have died too.
    I am grateful - so very grateful to be alive.
    I hope your life is getting better everyday.

  3. I understand completely. I am sorry for your loss and all the pain you have felt and will continue to feel. I think it changes but never goes away. I too am a survivor, not that I feel that way right now. I am 3 months out and so sad and confused over the loss of my best friend and husband of 20 years. I want to find someone I can identify with, but we are all on our own journey so ... His was a total shock. He was not depressed, we were planning a vacation he couldn't wait to go on and lots of future stuff we'd planned for years. I feel his was accidental and was there when it happened. I know exactly how the events unfolded and know he would never hurt me intentionally. I believe he thought the gun was empty and trying to make a point ended up taking his own life.

    Our children are grown and grandchildren almost grown as well, so am alone a lot and live hours from my family and his although his family is not very involved. Of course all the friends I thought would be there are NOT. Especially male friends we shared, some of who I thought were my good friends as well. Some do keep in touch but from a distance. I have people stepping up to help that I never thought would befriend me so that's a bit odd and I am a very private person so ...
    I too, feel the call of death often, I'm in counseling but seems more to have someone to talk to than anything. I would love to find a site just for people like me. I am under 55 and it seems so hard to connect with anyone now. Please take care of yourself and be strong. It is worth it to stay, even if it's to spare others what we are going through.

  4. Melinda,
    I am so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing your story, we can all relate to your loss in some way, even though suicide may not have been an issue. Yes, we miss our best friend, and always will. No doubt about it, many of us have thought of departing this world too. Reading of how others have moved on from those thoughts at this site has helped me see the light. I hope there can be joy again, it will always be tinged with sadness, but I believe it is there for all of us. Take care.

  5. I too am coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my husband's suicide. During the first year I felt as though I had an amazing support system helping me cope. My child and I were always surrounded by family, friends or church members. May will be the two year mark and we are lucky if anyone even calls to check in on us. :(. I am tired of be surrounded be negativity! I pray this journey will become easier for each of us!

  6. ive been a widow for 6 weeks i was only married for 8 weeks when my husband took his own life my world has fallen apart i just want to die i cant see any light at the end of the tunnel only big black fog of shit.

  7. I am approaching the 3 year mark of my husband of 13 years unexpected suicide.. we were on the couch, he walked upstairs and I heard the shotgun and run upstairs to witness the first moments of my life falling to pieces. I developed PTSD and have been thru therapy, meds, and severe health issues.. I was widowed at 35 and nearly 3 years later I can't imagine my life being anything more than leaving bed for doctor's appointments.. I feel alone and unlovable.

  8. Thanks for this. I am at the 3 year mark. In a lot of ways things have gotten better (I was nuts after my wife killed herself and the first year is a blur).

    Still, I sit sometimes in front of the computer surfing the net looking for answers to God knows what. Coming across your testimony helped.

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