not quite myself but slowly getting there.

I'm feeling a little off my axis today. It happens from time to time, particularly when the world begins to approach the month of February. But more than that, I read a blog that lead me to another blog that broke my heart and what I read was such a familiar story that it brought tears to my eyes. And then I was reading my book and realized that the same topic was right there in the pages that I was quickly devouring.

The loss of a loved one to suicide.

Some of you know, many of you do not, that my father comitted suicide when I was a kid. This is a fact. Not a ploy for pity or sympathy, but simply another part of me that has influenced the woman I am slowly trying to become. It is a hurdle you never wish to encounter, and when you're slammed into it you never think you'll get over, and once you're over you realize that while you're bruised and scraped and bleeding, that your wounds will heal but the scars will always remain.

I read the story of a young mother whose husband took his life, leaving behind her and her two children. I read about her pain and her anger and her worry and I realized that I was reading part of my own life story in someone else's words. And while it hurt and it brought up painful memories, it also gave me a sense of joy, that no matter what we encounter or go through, we are not alone. There are others out there that can benefit from what we have gone through, what we've learned. So bearing that in mind I left her a few words of encouragement and reassurance that she does not have to travel this dark path on her own, but rather with kindred spirits of a sort who will hold her as she falls even from a distance.

As I read my book, about the woman whose husband chose to end his life and leave behind her and their son, again my heart throbbed. Not because I was reacting solely to the life of this character, but because there it was again, the reality that pain exists even in fiction. I have yet to finish the book to see how she finds her way, but regardless of the ending, as I read each line I am with her on her journey.

It may all seem insignificant to you, but I assure you, as a kid you think no one understands. As a teenager you think people will judge. As a kid in your twenties you think that no one can relate to you so why bother bringing it up especially when the topic makes people uncomfortable. But for all my profusions of being an honest person to a fault, I find that in this area of my life I am dishonest. I'm not ashamed of my history, but grow weary of the reactions from people when they hear the words leave my lips.

Now I realize it doesn't matter, because it's my story. I might not have chosen it, or wanted it to be this way, but so be it. I, like the two women I have read about recently, was once faced with a topsy-turvy-twisty rollercoaster of a hiccup in my life journey, but I'm finally starting to feel like I've come out the other side.

So as I approach the 15th year since my dad ended his life I find that I am both humbled by how far I've come in those years and at the same time a bit lost at how much was missed by one of the people who should have so greatly wanted to stick around. I was valedicatorian of my high school. I put myself through college. I've graduated college. I'm becoming an aunt. I will be going to Grad school. I've become a fairly well adjusted and functioning adult. (scary.)

Do I understand why he wasn't here to see it all? No, and I never will. It does no good to linger on those thoughts and play through what-ifs. What's done is done and I could not have changed what happened. Do I miss him? Yes, and always will. Do I wonder if I would be a different person today with him here? Absolutely. Am I always a bit baffled when people say I do something just like he did or have a similar personality? You betcha, baffled, intrigued and saddened that I didn't get to discover this first hand. But what all of this boils down to is that there is a silent epidemic out there that no one wants to talk about because it makes THEM feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes life isn't comfortable.

Today I tell you that my life was touched by the suicide of another. A beautiful life was taken because he didn't know where else to turn. He was 39 years old. I tell you this so that if you're reading this and you feel like you have no where else to turn...you are wrong. I might not know you, but I will listen. Push away the shame at what you're feeling, the despair, because no matter what you might think in this moment, YOU are important. Your life means something to someone and without you they will never be the same. You are loved.

As for my dad, I can only hope he's proud of what he sees from above and knows that I love and miss him.


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