I never thought I would have to share a devastating story quite like this one. I feel vulnerable, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, and everything else that comes with suicide loss. Here is my story; raw, real, and my reality.
December 27, 2017 will be one of the worst days of my life. My phone was ringing at 3am. I was in a deep sleep, quite content not to answer it. It was my sister, and she left me a message. I listened right away and will never forget her voice and her message. ‘Sarah, it’s dad’, my sister spoke, in a choked up voice. I called her right away, running out of the bedroom saying ‘No, no, no! This is not real. I am in a dream.’ Unfortunately, it was very real. Here is where my shame and guilt come in. I already knew what he did. I thought he had done it in the desert. These are some hard words to write. I feel ashamed. I. Knew. What. He. Had. Done. How could I let this happen? How could I have helped more? Why didn’t he call me, in that vulnerable state?
The day progressed in a fog of shock. I threw clothes in a bag for my baby and I, and left for the 8 hour drive to my family. Leaving my husband and 5 other children at home. I drove, numb to the world. I forced myself to eat, and couldn’t tell you how many energy drinks and sodas I had.
I arrived at my parents house, set the baby down, and ran to my mom. Wrapping my arms around her, like a child. I cried and sobbed. My mom’s voice was horse. I later joked that she sounded like a mafia Al Pacino gangster.
The day continued in a haze of fog. My sister and I busy making phone calls and making sure my mom was stable. I made sure that my mom did not have to make any phone calls. Having to tell her story, over and over, would be too much.
We were victims of this horrible, tragic way of ending a life. Grief of a loved one is hard. Very hard. But losing a parent to suicide is what experts call ‘compounded grief’. There’s so many extra layers to this kind of grief. Each layer becoming harder and harder to peel back. Other layers coming back. How are we all going to deal with this?
This is where I will pause my story for now. This will be a place where I share how I am dealing with this tragic incident. A place for hope, help, and healing.