Depression. Alcoholism. Pain.
These were the the things Rick dealt with on a regular basis. These were the things that brought him down. These were the things that hurt him.
I often write about his sweetness and his humor. I write about nice memories, because I want to remember them. I want people to know that part of Rick. But I think it's also important to remember that he was troubled. He was not perfect. And I don't ever mean to paint a perfect picture or write a perfect fairytale.
My husband had his demons. Whether he was drinking or spanning time sober, he had his demons. His life was hard. He had a lot for which to be thankful, but he struggled. He searched for answers. And more answers. And more answers.
I tried to help him. I could not save him. The saving was not up to me.
The pain that propels suicide makes me sad. The pain that occurs after makes me sad.
What makes me happy is hearing from all the people out there who have told me since May 18th that they will choose life. The people who have attempted suicide in the past... the people who have considered it... the people who thought it might be a real option. Since Rick's death, people have sent me the most beautiful messages - not of support (though I've been lucky to receive those messages too) - but of explanation, sharing, and gratitude. Some from people I know, others from complete strangers or followers of my other blog.
They told me that Rick saved their lives by showing them that suicide is not the answer. Or that in seeing my sorrow, they would now never take their own lives.
When I feel sad, when I feel alone, and when I feel like Rick's suicide was senseless... I remember that at least a shred of hope exists in all things. And that shred is the domino effect of other struggling lives... lives affected by depression...alcoholism...pain...and much more... lives that will remain lives, because Rick's death stamped out an option for them.
Maybe... just maybe... if Rick had not taken his life, many others would now be dead or thinking about dying.
Those messages... those shreds of hope...keep a smile on my face some nights. I tie those shreds of hope together and remember that we are all connected. And that one precious life lost to suicide means that others might embrace the gift of life.