Monday, June 16, 2014

Fairway to Heaven

Tonight I went to a Survivors of Suicide support group.

It was...weird. I'm used to being the support group leader. I found myself comforting someone else rather than crying my eyes out. Maybe I don't know how to be on the other side anymore.

I sat there with a rock in my stomach, just waiting for the inevitable moment when I would have to say it was my spouse who was dead. It did not feel real. I felt like I was explaining the premise of a movie or a book.

I'll probably go back, but so far I haven't met anyone else who lost a spouse to suicide. I feel alone in that.

And I don't want to think about anyone else being in the kind of pain I'm in right now.

As I drive home most days, I feel sad. Sometimes, to curb the urge to cry in my car, I imagine Rick waiting for me at home, sitting in his chair, watching sports. I go through the whole scenario in my mind. I walk in the front door. He turns to me with a big smile and says, "Hi, baby!" The cats come over to greet me. "They missed you!" Rick says. I go over to where he's sitting and give him a kiss. "How was your day?" he asks me.

"Good," I say. "How was yours?"

Sometimes we talk about our day. Sometimes we talk about the cats. Other times, I just climb into the chair with him and sit on his lap for a few minutes.

By the time I'm done imagining, I'm smiling. And I pull in my driveway. The reality of an empty house in comparison to the old days I just imagined hits me like a ton of bricks, the way it always does. Sometimes I cry in my car for a few minutes before getting out. Sometimes I cry while I get my mail and let myself in the house, not caring whether the neighbors will hear me. Sometimes I make it inside the house before I cry.

I don't remember what my heart felt like before it hurt so much. All I know is that I want that feeling back.

I just finished Rick's golf on the DVR. I reached the end. It's over. I blogged my way through it each night until right now. I'm afraid to delete it. It feels final. There won't be anything left in the DVR except my stuff. I'm the only one who lives here now.

I just keep staring at it on the screen. I could keep it. I could delete it. I watched it all. I spent these nights looking at the green and thought of my husband. I listened to the announcers in the background and remembered how Rick loved David Feherty. I smile. I cry.

We watched it, Rick. We watched all your golf. It was the soundtrack to my nightly blogging and now it's done.

I miss him. I miss his voice telling me to look up from what I was always doing to see the leaderboard.

I miss Rick. I finished his golf. And I'm still afraid to delete it.


  1. Who says you have to delete it? There's nothing wrong or unhealthy about keeping it. Some people who've lost children keep their rooms the same for years and there is nothing unhealthy about that. I think if you deleted it right now, you'd regret it. Once its deleted, then you cant get it back. At least if its there, you can always delete it. Give it a year, then you can decide if you want to delete it. Each day you ponder something like this, just tell yourself, "I can always delete/get rif of this tomorrow." Rhonda Jones from FB

  2. My story is very different from yours, but I do recognize that feeling of being on the other side and how odd it feels. When my marriage ended, I found myself comforting other people when I told them about it. When I started seeing my therapist, who ended up recognizing that I had an ED, which was not even on my radar of possibilities, it was REALLY hard to flip into the role of the person being cared for because my career as a nurse means that I am usually the caregiver. I still struggle with it, and I am 2.5 years out from the event that ended my marriage.

    There are no rules regarding how long you can keep something that reminds you of Rick. There are no "shoulds" in this situation. Each day, all you can do is make the best decision for you...the one that feels right. We often tell our families in the NICU that eventually the good days start to outnumber the bad, and eventually you are able to string a whole bunch of good days together as you adjust to your new normal. This is my hope for you...some good days to start mixing in with the bad.

    I hope you can feel the love that all of us who are reading your words are sending you everyday. You have done so much to help so many other people, and we are here to help you in whatever way we can.


Help me feel less alone.