These are a few things that you might not have considered, which will be a part of the inevitable ripple effect of deciding to kill yourself.
1. Eventually, someone will find your body.
Depending on how you choose to take your life, they might find you looking like you…only pale, cold and possibly stiff, depending on how much time passed before they find you.
If you opt for a violent method, whoever it is that finds you, will forever have the image of the violence you inflicted upon yourself, etched in their memory, forever. This might be a stranger, but it might be someone who has known you most of your life and loves you. They will never be the same.
2. Someone will have to pry the weapon out of your hand, if that’s how you choose to leave.
It might be an older law enforcement person, who has a child just about your age. He will struggle with that image of you, and it will prompt him to call his child and tell them how much he loves them and never wants to lose them. He will never be the same.
3. Someone is going to have to tell the people that love you.
Even if you think you don’t have anyone that loves you, there will be someone that receives this news and it will shake them to their very core. They will never be the same.
4. Someone will have to remove your body from where ever it is that you chose to do this.
If it was your vehicle and the method you chose was violent, someone will have to clean the vehicle. This might be a random stranger at an auto shop, who has been hired by the insurance company.
It might be your wife, because she felt what you had done was so deeply personal and tragic that she was the only possible person to do this…for you. Someone will clean you up also. It might be your mother who does this…for you.
She will wipe your face, like she did so many times when you were growing up. Her tears will drop onto your face as she holds you and talks to you, kissing your lips and your eyes. She will never be the same.
5.Disbelief, fear and unendurable sadness will be profoundly present in those you’ve left behind as they try to comfort themselves and the ones closest to you.
And there will be those that refuse to comfort or be comforted because they are so hurt and angry, they cannot allow it for fear they could not endure. They will never be the same.
6. Some of those closest to you will become physically ill from the unbearable heaviness of losing you.
Your wife will walk into a room, at a funeral home, and you will be lying there on a cold, hard table. She might climb up on the table to get as close to you as possible, so she can hold you, kiss you and very quietly whisper the song that she sometimes used to softly sing to you in bed at night, as you held her.
She will beg God to wake her up from what is surely a nightmare because there is no way you could have done this to her. You loved her. The funeral home employees might give her your clothes in a garbage bag. Someone will speak at your funeral. They will have to find words that matter; words that they believe to be the truth about you.
They will pick songs that were meaningful to you. They will try to say something that makes sense, but none of it will. It might be your wife who does this…for you. She will never be the same.
7. If you have pets, they will miss you and look for you, for months and months in all the places where they used to sit, nearby as you piddled on something in your shop or around the house.
They will never be the same.
When the people who love you and miss you, so desperately, hear them, it will cause them to gasp for breath and burst into tears. This could happen anywhere at any time. When your wife crawls into bed each night, she will write to you in the journal a friend gave to her for that purpose, telling you how much she misses you and all the reasons why.
She will write to you every night. And after she turns out the light, instead of snuggling into your arms, she will carefully place your pillow in the bed trying to fill the space where you slept next to her, holding her. She will place the box that holds your ashes next to her and rest her cheek on it pretending it’s your cheek.
She will kiss the box that is damp with her tears, three times, just like you always kissed her goodnight and repeat the same thing she has always said to you, ”Night baby, sweet dreams. I love you”.
9. All the people who love you will struggle daily with what feels like the very clear reassurance that they were so insignificant in your life that you could do this to them.
This will haunt them every single day and they will wonder if that could possibly be true. They will crumble under the relentless regret that they must have let you down. They must have.
10. You may leave a note.
You may say something like “please understand.” You need to know now, that no one will ever understand…ever. Not ever. No one will ever be the same.
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Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum