September is Suicide Awareness Month. While I applaud our society’s efforts to educate the general public, those who have lost a loved one to suicide are PAINFULLY aware every day.
I wrote this piece for those left behind….
Suicide is a unique type of pain.
It consumes you as you try to find “the why“. Missed clues and hidden signs rob you of sleep and keep you wanting answers.
It startles you when you reach for something, only to see the wristband you wear daily to remember them. To NOT forget them.
It washes over you like a salt heavy wave as you reach out to their surviving spouse across the table, hoping your words won’t make their pain worse.
It overpowers you while driving on Interstate 95, passing the exit where they used to stop for their favorite BBQ.
It holds you prisoner as you look through photos, inspecting each picture closely….looking past the smiles to find the sorrow in their eyes.
There is no pain quite like it.
It is an angry, narcissistic pain that asks “Why didn’t you call me?” As if we could have changed their path to destruction with nothing but our voice.
It is a haunting pain that holds our hearts hostage as we try to remember the words they spoke, or the late night conversations we shared.
It is an engulfing pain that takes down families and friendships, leaving more questions than answers.
It is a hollow, aching pain that takes up space in our hearts. Sometimes a big space, sometimes just a small corner….. but it never leaves.
It is an immobilizing pain that hinders us as we try to find the words to eulogize the person who couldn’t see their own worth.
Who couldn’t let go of their own shame… their own hurt…their own fears.
Who couldn’t understand the wake of agony they would leave behind.
Suicide is a unique kind of pain.
*This piece is dedicated to all the families struggling with loved ones in crisis. To read more of KP’s work, visit her M:M Author Page.