The Suicide Letter
Today (October 6th) marks the eighth year of my husband’s suicide and it just so happens that I came across a copy of his suicide letter a couple of days ago. Just seeing his writing again caused an ache and sickness in my stomach. I read it again, but it’s not the first time I’ve done so. Every time I have read it has been both heartbreaking and revealing. This read-through probably hurt the most. I think it’s because, after seeing the suicide scene in the play, I was more tuned in to the complete lack of hope he was feeling. My husband held no hope for…anything. After reading his letter this time, it was clear to me that, on that day, he had his plan in place and nothing and no one could have stopped him.
That was a huge revelation for me. I have so often wondered if it would have made a difference if I had called him out on telling our youngest he could “do better” with his hug before he left that night. I also wondered if he would have had a little hope if I had not said, “Prove it,” after he said, “I’m sorry,”. But on that day, I think it was over for him regardless of what was said or done. There is some freedom in that knowledge. There’s still a part of me that wonders if I’d said and done things differently while I was hurting (after discovering the first affair that I knew about) right before he died, if he might have chosen to live. I’ll never know.
But I hurt for him. He had so much that could have been wonderful in his life if he had only not made the choices he did. We could have had a great marriage with a future together. We had been best friends since high school. I thought he cared for me. I thought I held a special place in his heart. In the end, I guess I did. I held the part of his heart he used to make his affairs and other choices possible. He needed a cover story to keep up appearances. I was evidently a good choice because he knew all my buttons to push to make me shut down so I didn’t call and interrupt what he wanted to do. He also knew what I desperately wanted and needed to make me feel loved or appreciated for a time only to have him tear me down at any given moment. I know for a fact that this was his game. I found proof of it in his own writing from counseling he had received and he told me in his letter that he knew he had abused me mentally. Finding the counseling questionnaire with this proof about destroyed me. How could someone be so cruel? I’m not even sure he knew the answer to that question.
So Many Bad Choices
When reading the letter this time, I fully understood some of his comments he’d made about being in too deep and spiraling out of control, making bad choices to cover up bad choices. There was so much more going on in his life than I’ve probably even discovered. I know of a few things that would have had huge consequences, but he was evidently on the way to making or had already made some bad decisions I was not aware of. He couldn’t face the consequences because, as he said, he was “not a strong man as he pretended to be.” Appearances were everything to him. If major consequences were to actually happen, that would destroy the façade. That would take away the only way he knew how to live. I’m not sure he could have handled it.
I can’t imagine living life this way. I couldn’t function. He clearly couldn’t either. This is hard. I feel this deep pit of sadness and like my heart is in pieces, but I still can’t even imagine what it feels like to have a complete lack of hope. The saddest part about it is that he knew true Hope. He grew up in churches hearing and knowing Jesus and His love (which he mentioned in his letter) and, yet, the only way He could fully come to Jesus for help was to confess all His sins right before dying. He wrote that he had done this, he knew he was loved and about Jesus’ Amazing Grace (he even said he was singing the song when he was writing). But he didn’t see that Jesus’ grace could have helped him through everything coming his way and give him a second chance. But he didn’t know how to live genuinely and, so, he chose to die. He chose the coward’s way (his words, but I agree).
I’m Sorry to Say…
I’m going to be honest here, which will probably upset some and they will think less of me, but I want to be real. I want those who have lived with abuse and/or suicide to hear that they’re not alone. They may feel this very same way and I think it’s probably normal human feelings. So here I go: There are many times where I have been angry when I think about my husband being with Jesus, with joy, freedom and perfect Love when I am dying inside. He couldn’t handle the consequences, so he left them for me and others to clean up. He left two little boys (at the time of his death) with such a terrible weight to carry and he’s in paradise. It brings so many tears to think about this, but — I wouldn’t want him to be anywhere else. I can’t even think of him not being with Jesus. I wish I could stop feeling the anger, but I haven’t been able to do so yet.
So I start year eight of this journey. I know I have to finally work through everything to find some peace and understanding, instead of just pushing things away, but it is excruciating. I don’t know how to process these feelings, but I can’t keep living like this either. I would really value your prayers. Thanks.
Have you ever been at a place where you’ve not processed something to healing and the pain wouldn’t go away? How did you work through it all?
~ Joanna Lynn