I’ve dreaded this moment for 5 years… the moment my daughter wanted to know the truth about her dad. I’ve never lied, but always left it at “his brain was sick.” Today, I made the choice to answer all of her questions and explain everything to the best of my ability. She asked very intelligent questions. She processed and rationalized the information. She was proud that we are doing what we can to raise awareness and help others. She worked through it, and is already back to singing and dancing around the house. That wasn’t so bad. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders and another huge step in the grief process is behind me.
With recent news of a popular you-tuber being accused of trying to profit from suicide, I felt the need to discuss a few things. First, I do not know what was in his mind at the time. I cannot judge what his actual reasoning was behind posting such a video. I believe he is human and quite possibly had a major lapse in judgement. I know he did post about suicide prevention. Whether that was from guilt, trying to look better in the situation, or to actually make a difference, I truly don’t know. I do know that I believe it was in poor taste to post something of that nature. He is wildly known and loved by a very young community. I don’t feel this was something appropriate for his target audience. For the man whom was deceased, he too, is human. He probably had a family. He may have made a mistake in a dark moment. He may have been mentally ill. He certainly was not thinking of the people in his life seeing him that way on the internet.
Now, one can say I’m doing the same thing. I’m putting my husbands and my life out there publicly for everyone to see. I am selling a book. Here’s the difference, I know my intentions are good. I know I’m not trying to win a popularity contest. I know I’m not trying to “get rich” off someone’s life and death. I’m honoring my husband for the man he was in life, not how he died. I’m fighting to end the stigma surrounding suicide. I’m working to save someone else from the pain I endured. I’m setting out to be the voice for those who no longer have one. I’m hoping for my story to help someone else get through their trauma. I’m sharing my story to be real, and honest about how this affects people’s lives. Yes, I am asking for donations toward the project. Publishing this book is expensive and if I were rolling in extra money, I wouldn’t bat an eye at spending the money for the greater good. Reality is, I don’t have the extra money hanging around. So I’m asking for help, to get my story out there, for me, for you, for Alex, and anyone else it could positively impact. My goal is to break even, and if all my hard work ends up helping my daughter and I become more financially secure, so be it. I’d love to be “famous” for making a difference in the world. I’d love to be a woman who makes the people around her proud. I’d love to live a life inspiring others. I’m not looking for traditional “fame and fortune.”
This all started with an outlet for me to help with the grieving process and became so much more. I now know how many are affected by suicide, young widowhood, trauma etc. I want to make a difference. This is my purpose.
2018 is going to be amazing!
I’ve struggled a bit over the past few days with the “dreaded sad-iversary” approaching. I know making it 5 years doesn’t really change anything. I’m the same person living the same life I was yesterday. I know I want to remember the happy times and celebrate his life, not mourn his death. I know depression doesn’t solve anything. I know anxiety doesn’t get me anywhere. I know I want to enjoy life and not let the past interfere. Still, my mind plays tricks on me, and at times I let it. I was certainly on edge the past few days. I know my life is beautiful, even though not exactly what I pictured. I know that all things come in time and I’m doing great! Still, I let some of my “expectations of life” bother me. The feelings came, I recognized them, and did my best to let them pass. I was determined to enjoy New Years. And I did! I was surrounded by loved ones, in my pajamas, laughing, playing, and enjoying the evening for what it was.
Again, I will say… 2018 is going to be amazing! My book will be published. I’ll have a greater impact to help others. I’m equipped with all the tools I need to work toward the exact life I want. My daughter is growing and thriving. I have an amazing relationship. I have a roof over my head. I have friends and family surrounding me. I’m sure there will be difficult moments. I know it will have ups and downs. And, I know I’m prepared.
I hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve and are ready to take on another year, growing and changing for the best we can be!
NEED HELP! Which subtitle do you like best? (You can suggest something else too)
1. Navigating life as a young widow and single mother after losing my husband to suicide.
2. A journal of my life after losing my husband to suicide. Follow me as I navigate my new life as a young widow and single mother.
3. A journal of my life after losing the love of my life to suicide. This is my journey after suddenly becoming a young widow and single mother.
4. Learning to live again as a young widow and single mom after losing my husband to suicide.
It’s true. I’m turning this all into a book. I could say that I finally kicked myself in the butt and followed through with it. That’s not true. When Alexa started Kindergarten, it was assumed I would have a little more free time. My dad commented that I should take that time, and finish my book. I didn’t. Every day still seemed to be so crazy! I have a business. I have a job. I’m getting certified in life coaching. I have clients. I have a house to care for. I have school events. The list goes on… Somehow it didn’t seem like I had more time!
Just a few weeks ago, I was invited to a networking event. My friend (and coach) walked me right up to someone and introduced us. “I had hoped you would meet! She can help you publish your book!” My book? I was thrown into the exact place I needed to be. Now is the time…
I opened the saved document titled “book” (so original right?) and was amazed to find I hadn’t worked on it since 2014! In the last few weeks, I have spent every “free” moment reading, writing, and piecing everything together. It’s done! Sort of… The words are written. Now comes everything else! The wheels are turning, and the final book is coming. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands!
It has been 2 years (and three days) since the last post. It’s not to say that I didn’t have anything left to say, or wanted to stop writing. That’s just the way it turned out. There is so much to say. I have FINALLY put it all together and worked hard on my book! It’s time to make the dream a reality. I could certainly use some help. Click the book cover to check out my Indegogo page and pre-order!
Let me start out by saying that life is good and I am happy. I’ve been working so hard lately and so proud of my achievements. I have a beautiful new home, an amazing man and family by my side and some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I’m so extraordinarily thankful for everything I have.
With that being said, December is hard. Being so happy in my new life, does not erase the pain, the trauma, and the memories of my old life. It’s a dent that can never truly be fixed. Each day that comes closer to “the day” seems to get just a little bit harder. The anxiety is harder to ignore and i “just keep swimming” toward it. I don’t want to rush through the holidays, but then again, I really want to rush through the holidays. I am torn between loving the Christmas decorations and feeling as though they mock me, driving by, reminding me of that night. Everything is just a tiny bit harder this month. All in all.. I WILL make Christmas a good experience this year, even if just for the kids in my life. It’s not about me.. It’s about them.
I posted something on Facebook recently regarding my feelings on guns. It was in regards to a child being shot by a “paranoid” man, legally carrying a gun. I know that no one can truly understand the thoughts in my head, but I thought this summed it up well: Nothing is black and white…there are so many grey areas. I lost someone I love because someone mentally unstable legally owned guns. Now this family did too. Let me be clear, I do not blame the gun and do not believe everyone needs to be disarmed… However guns are not toys and often fall into the wrong hands. They have serious repercussions and maybe we need to stop the gun “argument” and try to see both sides.
To elaborate: I fully understand that owning/carrying a gun is 100% a personal choice and a legal right. I do not think we should lose that right. I understand that the experiences people have in their lives mold their opinion on things. My personal opinion is as follows: The sole purpose of a gun is to inflict harm. You can argue that it is for protection, but it protects you by inflicting harm. I spent months hearing the “guns are safe” speech from Alex, and in the end, that gun (and his unknown mental instability) took him away from me. Therefore, I do not welcome them in my home. Really, I felt this way before his death. (Due to another negative experience as a child. But that’s a story for another time.) It only reinforced those feelings. It takes a split second for something to go wrong and I was never willing to take that risk especially with children in the house.
I have PTSD. I am not crazy. I am not irrational. I can take whatever comes at me and deal with it how I must. I do not expect people to change their views for me. However, I do expect mutual respect.
I took Alexa to Alex’s grave yesterday to decorate for Christmas. I know that so many see this as completely heartbreaking and awful, but it is different for us. This is normal. This is my life. This is all that she knows. She has no memory of him, therefore cannot be hurt by it. I feel that it is appropriate to teach her of his existence, and the respect that we show at his grave. I teach her the basics, and what I feel a 3 year old can understand. She asks some questions, and then goes back to her day.
It is almost 1 year since I have smoked a cigarette. Some of these “December days” really make me want to give up.. But I’m strong enough.. I may eat some extra chocolate… But I’ll be okay.
Everything comes down to, I’ll get through anything. I always do.
After almost 5 years in my house, it was time to move on…
Even now, staring at the screen, there are so many thoughts and emotions to go with this change that I don’t even know where to begin.
First, it’s exciting. I’m starting a new life with someone in a new home. Buying a house was truly a pain in the ass, but worth it. The house is beautiful and amazing and we so excited to be a “new family.”
But here are some thoughts about the old house… This was the last place Alex lived and the place he died. This is Alexa’s first home and first room. There are so many happy and awful memories here… It’s bittersweet to leave it all behind. (Even if only moving up the street lol.)
For my long term readers, you know what happened… You remember the shocking days after… Trying to put all the pieces together and finding out just how many guns he had. I never knew about them, yet found them hidden all over my house. I thought for years this was long behind me, but it happened again. One of the final things to move out of the house was “his” desk… And guess what? There was a gun hidden under the drawer. How did I never know that? I had a rush of anger and embarrassment in front of those helping me move. How many times had I used that desk? All I can say is WTF? Really??? This shit is still happening?! I… Just…. Can’t! I really thought that there was nothing I could be angry about at this point… But clearly I can.
Again, my long-term readers know my story and know that I don’t hide from it… The good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent… I put it all out there. Almost three years has passed and, until today, Alex’s “mess” remained. Part of me is ashamed that I didn’t take care of it previously, but it is what it is. In the beginning, I couldn’t bring myself to do it… A rug covered it and there it stayed, basically “forgotten about.” It’s gone now, and I sit here not really knowing how I feel about it… When it comes to suicide, loved ones are left to figuratively and literally clean up your mess… Think about that… Really let that sink in. I would like to think that cleaning up his “literal” mess is the end of cleaning up any other messes related to this dent in my life.
For so long I kept saying that my life was not what I wanted and not what I chose… I chose the life I have now.. I can finally say that… And it’s exactly what I want.
It’s amazing how life works. I don’t know any other way to describe it….Things have been great. Life was going so well. I was very much enjoying life on our own. I love being a mom and love my busy crazy life with all of my crazy endeavors. But life has a way of throwing curveballs and I suddenly went from single mom, to building a new wonderful life with someone. I am truly getting my second chance at a family and I can’t put into words how this feels. Alex swept me off my feet and we instantly knew that this was it… Ya know what? It can happen twice. I used to scream at (what I imagined to be) Alex that after what he did to me, he owed me and needed to fix my life. The months I spent single this time really made me a happier, stronger person, completely comfortable with myself. I needed that, and now I believe that, when I was ready, he sent me the life I was eventually looking for. (Even if I didn’t believe I quite wanted it yet.) In the meantime, I’ve done so much!
I walked 18 miles overnight, through Boston, in freaking monsoon, in Alex’s memory and raised $2,200 for Suicide Prevention. No matter what, this is a huge part of me, and I will never stop.
I became a director with Jewelry in Candles and went to their first ever conference. It was a quick crazy weekend trip and it was just so amazing! The energy there was indescribable! I worked hard and am proud to a part of it.
Everything happens for a reason… The good, the bad, the indifferent… And in the darkest moments of life, keep going! It WILL get better. Live every moment to the fullest! I know I am…
Even two years later, things come up that never cease to amaze me. Alex was obviously the computer guy in the house. That was his job, that’s what he knew. I know enough to get by but never really had to learn major stuff. If anything went wrong with my computer I would call for him to look at it (after restarting it first lol.) I do not know how to do a lot of admin things and do not know passwords to many things. When it comes to “our” Mac, I know how to use photoshop and that’s about it. We each had our own login, but I hardly ever use mine. Photoshop is on his login and it has stayed that way. Thankfully that is one password that I did know.
Today, I needed Photoshop and I needed a photo from my email. I logged into his account and opened my email. Somehow I never noticed the toolbars across the top where he had bookmarked pages. When it comes to “curiosity killed the cat,” I’m always the cat. I just can’t help it.
I clicked on “my sites.” I shouldn’t be surprised and at this point nothing should anger me anymore but it did! Really? This is all he cared about…