The darkest day in grief…
(originally posted September 2014, please note content warning of suicidal ideation, if you are reading this and it causes distress please contact Lifeline 131114)
It was a Sunday 6th of April 2014, in the evening and I was sitting alone at the kitchen bench and I had placed a fairly large carving knife in front of me. I remember picking it up with the sharp tip pointed millimeters from where I thought my heart was (as a side note, I would make a terrible heart surgeon – I should have paid more attention in biology class) I remember my chest was aching so much and feeling helpless – it had been almost 4 weeks since my partner died, I still couldn’t breathe, I was down to my last few pills of medication, I was on some fun things for anxiety and sleep, none of which seemed to last very long. I was completely at my wits end and I still couldn’t breathe properly.
My father whom I had a strained relationship with before he died, used to tell me that suicide was a selfish act and it wasn’t really until I had a knife in front of me ready to end it all that I realised just how wrong he was.
You reach a point in grief where you feel like you’re just a burden to everyone and no matter how much they tell you that you’re not, you can shake the feeling because you’re just so exhausted, your mind can’t seem to escape the mental hoops you jump through. I had been crying out of exhaustion, insanity and desperation, I missed him so desperately and there was no amount of screaming or pleading to the heavens that was going to bring him back, I begged for so long, I begged to the universe for me to take his place, I begged for the universe to take me so I could be with him, I begged for everything I could think of that would bring us back together. I just didn’t see a way out other than death and since the man I loved was on the other side – wherever that is – I was so desperate I just wanted to be where he was – I’ve never been so scared in my life and never will be that scared ever again.
The day after my partner died my friends created a call list it was stuck up on the fridge with all of their names and numbers next to it, I remember turning and seeing the list and thinking, “I owe it to them at least a phone call, I need to at least try for their sake if not my own.” I rang 20 phone numbers that evening and through no fault of theirs each number I called went to messages, I didn’t leave a message, I just simply didn’t have enough energy to leave a message.
About a week before my loved one died I had helped with a charity event with Mondo Community Warriors, my brother was in town and we donated our time to help raise money for Lifeline WA. I’ll admit I had heard about them but never really had any idea what they did until I had helped out with this event, I’m helping again tomorrow so it’s no surprise that it’s bringing up a lot of emotions for me. Lifeline was my last ditch effort to stay alive, I figured I had helped them raise over $300,000.00 that day, they could afford one phone call from me.
The number rang and I started speaking to a woman, I don’t remember her name all I remember was her Irish accent and the kindness in her voice and only in the last few days did I remember that she was also the first person to ask me about his life, everyone else up until that point had asked me how he died, by asking me how he died they without realising they had been making me re-live those first few moments again and again and again and again – I don’t blame them for this, they didn’t know what to ask, so they ask that.
This simple act of asking what he did for a living and what we used to do together and what he loved, weather she knew it or not started me focusing on our life together and all of the memories I had of him, if I hadn’t made that phone call, I truly believe I wouldn’t be here today sharing my story, she kept me on the phone for 44 minutes in the last 5 minutes she told me to try my mum again and get her to stay with me and encouraged to take my last few of anxiety pills and lie down and wait, so I did.
When my mother arrived I woke up and started screaming again every time I woke up it was like I was waking up to a reality I didn’t want (my poor mother, I’m still wish I hadn’t put her through all of the distress from my grief).
Without my mother, without my dear friend Sherry who called me back and comforted me over the phone, without Lifeline (please donate to them here) I wouldn’t be alive today.
I am happy to say that my life is full of incredible abundance, the success in my business is blowing me away and I am so grateful for the incredible clients we have. I am also surrounded by are beautiful people some old friends, some new ones, I sometimes feel that my partner has sent certain people to me from where ever he is right now and I wonder if all of our loved ones are sitting up on a cloud somewhere plotting making sure we have the right people in our lives to get through grief.