Regret From the Worst Day



Writing Lesson #3:

I am supposed to pick one word out of six that speaks to me. The six words are treasure, regret, home, love, uncertainty and secret.

When I read this assignment yesterday, I had seen my counselor that morning, came home and took a nap. That is definitely NOT something to ever do again. I had horrific dreams that were beyond vivid of the one I loved finding other women and his protectors watching over him. Shortly after, with the dreams living so realistically in my mind, I read the next assignment. The word I pick is regret.

The reason I picked regret is not what you would think. When I was talking to my counselor, I recalled when I figured out the one I loved was going to commit suicide that fateful night in October.

I remembered contacting my friends at 11:00 at night and asking if they had heard from him. The wife said that the one I loved had asked her husband to meet him at a rental home I managed at that time. The husband had gone and sat outside, but when the one I loved didn’t appear, he left. I asked him to go back and I told him that I thought he had committed suicide. I remember thinking the husband was closer to the house and could probably get there quicker. I was also picking up his wife to head to the house as well.

The husband found his body as he was talking to his wife on the phone. I could hear him screaming the name of the one I loved while I was sitting beside her. When I arrived at the house, he met us outside and I said, “He’s dead, isn’t he? “ He nodded his head and I hugged him saying, “Stupid, stupid man” referring to the choice the one I loved had made.

Over time, especially that first year, I saw what finding his body did to my friend. I saw the role it played on the relationship between he and his wife in that he was struggling. I’m not saying anything bad about their marriage; I’m saying that I saw a part of him disappear.

It hit me so hard yesterday that I am responsible for this happening. It is totally my fault. Yes, the one I loved originally asked him to come, but I could have kept him from going back. I should have been the one to find him. This friend even cleaned up the place he found him the next day so that I wouldn’t have to take care of it. I know he did that without my asking him to do so, but if he hadn’t found him, that may not have been on his heart to take care of it for me.

He eventually tried to find a counselor to walk through everything he had running through his mind, but the one he found was horrible and didn’t help him at all.

I am filled with regret for having put him in this situation. We rarely do anything together anymore and I’m sure this plays a big part in it. It’s got to be way too hard to have that scene front and center in his mind again. I’m a trigger to a very bad memory that he shouldn’t even have.

While I know I wasn’t trying to pass this on to someone else and I was really trying to get someone to him as fast as possible, if I had thought, I would have called 911 and headed over there by myself. That memory should have been only for me to have to bear. I’m beyond thankful that I don’t have that memory, but that is totally selfish and I regret so, so much that I didn’t save my friends from this tragedy and horrible memory added to their marriage. I was wrong and I am beyond sorry about it.

~ Joanna Lynn

13 thoughts on “Regret From the Worst Day

  1. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Joanna.

    And the situation you described sounds absolutely harrowing. I can’t even imagine what any of that must be like. I can only hope that time will mend all wounds, and that one day you’ll be able to absolve yourself of your guilt.

  2. You followed your instincts at a terrible time. I look at this writing as an outsider and I see three people dealing with a tragedy, each trying their best. It’s easy to be harsh on ourselves, but if I had told this story to you, I hope you would judge me more kindly than you judge yourself. It’s easy to think what you might have done better after the event. If your friend had been in time to save your love, everything would have been different. I hope writing about this will help in some way. My thoughts are with you.

  3. Thanks. I would never make anyone feel badly for doing what I did. It was a quick, totally messed up situation decision where I couldn’t think clearly, especially realizing what I though for sure he had done in committing suicide. It was like a total out-of-body experience! Thanks so much for your kindness.

  4. I hope you find peace. You’re looking for answers, but sometimes there are no good answers except to live, to love, to be as kind as we can – not just to others but to ourselves too.

  5. Joanna, grief can tear relationships apart, but you are NOT responsible for what your friend found. Think of this: what IF he had gotten there in time? What if those extra minutes had been the difference? The only person, sadly, responsible for all this tragedy, and the aftermath, is your loved one. He set the darkness in motion. It was brave to tell this story, but BE BRAVE, because it may serve to guide someone else.

  6. Thank you so much for your kind words. I know you’re right and I’ve been assured that the couple involved have no bad feelings about it. It’s hard to process it all, but I hope by my processing some of it online, it can help someone else.

  7. We all do things that seem logical at the time, especially in an emergency. You are dealing with a tremendous loss and now you’re beating yourself up about something that you can’t change. I’m sure the husband does not in any way hold you responsible for what happened. He made a choice too. I hope you find peace and can move forward.

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