Wendi’s first post, “On Suicide – From a Survivor” is here.
To my darling husband,
It’s been almost 2 years since you have been gone now. It seems so long ago, and yet, I remember it like it was just yesterday. I remember you calling and calling, but, I could not hear you. I remember the police going into the woods to try and find you, they locked me in their cruiser so I could not go into the woods. I remember it being a place I was unfamiliar with, I drove around all night trying to find it. I finally found someone to give me directions to the woods where the police had looked the day before. The sun is up on a cool November morning, as I am driving to meet your friend that gave me directions, I see an old abandoned gas station on the corner. Your friend that I was meeting was there, along with 3 police cruisers. I knew it then but i refused to believe it. You were always so happy, yes, you had been acting a little…off, the last few months but you assured me everything was fine. They have me pull into the gas station and that is when my life as I knew it ended.
The officer informed me that you had been found. You were gone, you were so far back in the woods that the police don’t know how you got your van back there. You were trying to spare me from seeing what you did, but, you had mistakenly parked in front of a deer camera. The hunters found you the next morning. I remember being picked up off the ground while I could hear someone screaming, only to realize it was me. I do not remember making any phone calls but I guess your friend and I called both our families. Your parents were clear on the other side of the country, and my family is all 8 hours away. I will not go into too much detail to avoid triggers. The officer informed me that you had shot yourself in the head. It was absolutely suicide as it was all caught by the hunters camera, and he informs me your body is at the hospital in the morgue.
The next thing I can remember is being ushered back to the morgue. I went alone, I had no idea what I was in for. Having worked in the medical field, I have seen quite a bit, but still was not sure what to expect. The 2 nurses walk me back, 1 walks up to the cooler door and opens it, she pulls out a cold metal slab with a black body bag on it and walks away. The nurses are just standing about 10 feet away from me, I guess in case I pass out. At first I can only stare at the body bag and rest my hand on someone’s chest while I draw my strength and pray to God as I unzip it. I unzip it a little more than half way and take a deep breath as I grab the corner and pull the bag open.
There is a man lying there on that cold metal slab in my husbands work clothes. As I look at your face it is hard to discern but, yes, there lays my husband. I let the tears flow and roll down my face but I do not make a sound. No one had even bothered to clean you up before I got there. I can feel the red slowly creeping from my chest up through my shoulders and arms as they begin to shake uncontrollably, I feel it creeping up my neck, my ears turn red, I’m pretty damn sure the nurses could see the hellfire in my eyes as i slowly walked up to them. I stood nose to nose with them and I said yes, that is my husband lying on that cold, metal slab that you have not even bothered to clean. I suggest you go get me a lot of wet towels, and stand back away from me before I lose what little control I have left in my body right now.
I got the wet towels and began the daunting process of trying to make my husband presentable. His sister wanted to see him, his brother could not. After about 20 minutes, one of the nurses starts the um hum coughing to get my attention. I look and she asks me if I could hurry up because they need to get him to x-ray. I look down at my husband, my love, my soulmate, i look at the wet towels now stained red, I look at my hands cold wet and red with my loves life blood. I just look at her, I don’t move, I just said go get me more wet towels and stay the hell away from me and my husband, neither one of you are to ever touch his body you are not worthy, I will take as long as I damned well need to make him look as much like my husband as I can, now go, and do not bother me again.
I was told that I spent over an hour and a half in the morgue before I sent someone out to get his sister. I can remember her and her husband walking around the corner. I can hear her screaming, that’s not him, that’s not him, that is not my brother, but she knew it was. I pieced together and cleaned his hands, neck and face as best I could and zipped the bag up to his neck. She unzipped it, there was nothing I could do about his clothes. I vaguely remembering telling someone that we were done, they could take him to x-ray, but those 2 nurses were not to touch my husband. I remember walking out into the lobby with my sister in law and seeing his brother, and some of his friends sitting in the chairs crying. I would not allow anyone else to go back.
I do not remember how I got home. I walked into our bedroom and just looked around. I used to bitch because he would always throw his nasty, dirty, work clothes in a pile in the corner of the room. The worst was his socks, he had the stinkiest damn feet. I knew I would never smell those nasty, stinky feet again. What I wouldn’t give just to smell those feet once more. I kept his old nasty, stinky, work boots, they were his favorite pair. He had new ones, but he always wore the ones with no tread and barely and soles left on the bottom. I had told him for Christmas I was going to get them re-soled for him. I never did. I know I was just sitting on the bed for hours, one moment bawling my eyes out, and the next moment feeling nothing at all, just numb. His work boots are still in the closet just waiting for him to come home. I am going to stop here, and I will write again soon.
Please think!! Chances are it will be your spouse, parents, or children that find your body. They are also the first ones to be questioned and scrutinized, made to feel like a suspect. All the while, they can’t think at all. We are numb. Our loved one is gone, all our hopes, all our dreams, they are now just a huge void, and you feel like your are in the darkest depths of hell. Your loved one is no longer in pain, they have given all that pain to you and the rest of the family. Welcome to the hell known as The Survivors of Suicide.
related post: On Suicide – From a Survivor
All I can say is “I Love You!” I am so proud of you for sharing this horrific experience with us, the public… for being so transparent and showing unto us the pain that is afflicted unto families, so hurting inside, because their lost love one chose suicide.
Pain is so individual-We can’t judge a person for their actions and can only pray and be there for those left behind… Those with so many empty voids and all the questions leading to “Why?”
I pray this day and always that God will embrace you, your family and loved ones- Spirit, Soul & Bodies, with His Peace that passes all understanding and know that there are people out here who really do care…
Much Empathy & Sincere Respect,
No More 22
Thank you Dawn Marie, I am praying that if even 1 person reads my blogs and changes their mind and does not become another statistic, then this will all have not been in vain. I will continue to write so people will understand the never ending suffering that survivors go through
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lisle Brook says
Wendi, I am so very sorry for your loss. My daughter in law committed suicide and 9 days later, after her funeral, my 31 yr old son did the same. As I read your story I intensely and personally felt your mental anguish. After 2 years of depression, anger, and guilt I finally sought counseling and was able to move on, albeit with a forever nagging guilt about not being able to see the red flags and do something — anything — to intercede. You summed it up correctly–being a suicide survivor is hell, and anyone who commits suicide is not only killing themselves, but the very people who love them the most. Only the death of their loved ones is like a slow torture of pain as they live with the guilt and the emptiness.
Thank you, I’m sorry for both your losses, I cant even imagine. I will be writing another blog hopefully in the next few days. My goal is to bring awareness to suicide and its aftermath.
Lisa Nolder says
Dear Wendy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing what others cannot. And that is, the reality of a loved one lost to suicide. I respect you so much for giving him the last right of dignity and honor that he deserved. You and your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers over the next six months. Another prayer will be that you will continue to find the strength to forge ahead and make an impact that will save lives, and offer hope to survivors of suicide. And may God himself make the way and provide all that you need to continue your mission. One day… When you are reunited with him, you will be able to embrace him once again. No man or woman on this earth knows the last moments between one who takes her own life, and their Creator. But I DO know that Jesus himself understand, because he gave Himself to the cross… May you dwell in the shadow of the Almighty until then, girlfriend…
Thank you for your support, I will not lie, it is not an easy story to tell, but if it saves even one life it will be worth all the pain. I believe my journey from here is to bring awareness to suicide and the after math. Yes, I will see my husband again, but I still have the Lord’s work to do here.