For the most part, I am doing well. Most part.
However, as the year anniversary of my husband’s suicide is about to roll around, I get deep anxiety as to how I am going to face that day. Will I wake up gasping for breath? Will I be able to get out of bed? Will I be able to put one foot in front of the other? Or will it just be another day?
Thank God I continue working from home, because I just do not know if I want to be around people that day.
Almost a year. Sometimes it is flying by, some days it is dragging by. But I know I made tremendous strides in my healing.
When I have to say my husband passed away, those words just do not seem right. Passed away. Passed away, to me, seems like a peaceful passing. His was not. His was a violent death – at his own hand.
I have not publicly shared what happened that day to try to protect what was good in Bubba, and let him have some dignity. But by not doing so, rumors abound. Rumors are worse than the truth.
May 29, 2019 – a day I will remember for the rest of my life.
The years of chronic pain, his body failing and the multitude of medicines he was on, I swear, turned his brain into Swiss cheese. The last two years of his life were very difficult for him, and his moods were difficult for the rest of us. His last two weeks of his life were worse.
I will not go into detail, but there are a few things that I would rather utter the words instead of others spreading rumors. You will know this truth from me – the only other person with him that day. What anyone else offers is pure conjecture.
All I will say is on May 29, 2019, Bubba had a most difficult day. I returned home from work not knowing if I would find Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. I was in the front yard. Bubba was on the carport – when I heard the gunshot. I heard the gunshot. I will never forget that. I heard the gunshot.
I knew what he did.
I called 9-1-1. Since no one else was home, the 9-1-1 operator said I had to check my husband to see if he was still breathing. I could not imagine what I would find. Yes, he was still breathing. No, his face was not blown off like someone later told his sister. How this untruth traveled from north Mississippi to the bayous of south Louisiana beats the heck out of me. I could have had an open casket funeral if I had not chosen cremation.
To dispel other rumors, at no point was a gun turned on me. I was not in fear of my life at that moment.
My goal in this is to make people think before they offer opinions to someone who has lost a loved one by suicide. Death by suicide of a loved one already has enough stigma attached to the situation. We do not want to hear you state our loved one cannot get into heaven because he took his own life. We do not want to hear what the trajectory of a bullet does to the brain. And mostly, if you were not in the room at the time and have no idea what occurred, we do not want you to offer opinions, or repeat hearsay as fact.
I hurt for Bubba for what his mind must have been going through contemplating his suicide. I hurt for our children and grandchildren. I see the pain on his siblings’ faces when they speak about him and I could just cry. He’s left a world of hurt in cousins, aunts, uncle and friends.
His suicide hurts badly enough. Rumors and conjecture hurt even worse.
Fast forward to May, 2020.
As May 29, 2020 approaches, for the most part I am doing well. Most part.
I am bringing on my own anxiety by anticipating I will have a bad day.
That is an unknown.
What I do know is God’s promise.
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
This verse brings me peace, for the most part. For the most part I am doing well.
A common comment heard from someone experiencing new grief is, “I wish I could fast forward from this deep pain to a day this pain does not bring me to my knees.”
This crazy COVID-19, Jumanji year has accomplished that very feat for me – fast forwarded my grief. I am not making light of others’ hardships during this most difficult time, I am only speaking of my own experience.
Usually during a time of trial and tribulation, God sees it fit to put me in the middle of the turmoil. But this time, God let me sit this one out. He gave me rest, peace and blessings. I still have a job. I work from home. I get paid. And I will return to my job when this over. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Life is good during my time of quarantine. I am finding myself, re-kindling old friendships, spending many therapeutic moments in my vegetable garden, eating better, losing weight and learning much. Learning things such as, did you know you can open a bag of potato chips and not eat the entire bag in one sitting? Who knew? I have also learned I can let my bangs grow out, and I do not have to cut them myself. The hairdo actually looks better! I can have downtime and enjoy this without guilt. I can be lazy sometimes, and that is okay. My soul finds rest.
Yes, my grief has fast forwarded, but I find myself trying to put on the brakes as May 29, 2020 approaches.
Check with me on May 30, 2020, and I will let you know how I survived.
For the most part, I am doing well. For the most part I have shed my skin and stepped into a skin I like much better. For the most part I live, I laugh and I love. For the better part I am moving forward, not just surviving but thriving.
For the most part I am truly doing well.
(Just a note to my U.S. readers – I am finding healing in giving back. My side job – my Avon business – is helping me do that. My daughter, and youth minister son-in-law, have a personal ministry of reaching out to college students in their home town. Pre-Quarantine, they would bring the college students into their home on Monday nights to break bread, play games and speak the gospel. They have since then had to find other ways to minister to these young men and women. I am tithing my online order proceeds to their ministry. Every little bit helps. Would you please check out my website? If this is your first time ordering Avon online, use code WELCOME10 for 10% off any size order. Your products will be delivered directly to your door. Some of the college students are foreign exchange students. From a hand built table in southern Mississippi, the gospel is managing to be spread around the world. Would you shop from my online store and have a part in spreading God’s word?)