My Life As A Suicide Survivor

Trigger warning: Suicide, depression

I am a suicide survivor. Contrary to belief, it is not the definition for someone who tried to commit suicide and lived. It is someone who lost a loved one to suicide. I lost my other half. 3,013 days have passed since she passed, but it still feels like the first day. The heartbreak is still fresh. I still mourn and grieve her death. I accepted that I will be doing so for the rest of my life. Here is what I need to say:

My Dearest Ter Ter,

What happened? What happened to our world? To us? You were my whole world. I lost myself the day I lost you. I am a basket case. I cannot function. I am so devastated. It kills me how much I miss you. You just said “shooties” with your trademark shaka and left me. In the cold. In the dark. Alone. I am doing my best to pick up the broken pieces, but it is difficult because they’re sharp, like glass, and I end up cutting myself. I start with the bigger pieces first, then the smaller ones, but it is a challenge. I have done it a bajillion times before, only this time, it is different because you are not here to help me like you used to. Now, though, I am picking up pieces of me, you, us, and anything and everything in between. It is scary, frustrating, and exhausting.

I just spent the last hour in the GMC, crying, screaming, and punching and kicking the seats. How in the fucking world do you expect me to carry on? I am only 25. The prime of my life. Yours too. It was ours. We’re supposed to go wreaking havoc together, as usual, but you are gone and you are not coming back. No matter how hard I look for you. I am alone. I search the entire vicinity and I catch a glimpse or two of our memories. That’s it. No you. Suddenly, I am not standing so tall anymore. I am defeated. I feel awkward and self conscious standing there all alone, naked, exposed, defenseless, and dependent. I am now running blindly, pushing my way through the crowd, because I swear I just saw you. I heard your laugh. I would recognize that laugh anywhere. It was my favorite sound that you made. Out of instinct, I reach for your hand so we can walk in together, but all I feel is air or a hand that does not fit.

I’d do anything to see you again. You were supposed to be my maid of honor. We had plans. To have kids together and make them play with one another, as if they were dogs. I remember those days we’d joke about what kind of mothers we would become. I’ll never get to throw you a surprise baby shower. Bruce will never be able to hold his grandchild in his arms. Grandma will never be able to hold her great grandchild in her arms. I will never get to hold you nor your kids in my arms. We had so many plans, but life goes on. And those plans? I do not even want them anymore. Not without you.

106 days since you passed. Three months and 16 days. I know we made the mistake of going through phases where we would not talk or see each other for longer periods of time than that, but that was when we were young, dumb, selfish, high strung, insecure, and us. Admittedly, we missed each other during those times, thus, now that you are gone for good, it is completely expected that I miss you so much it kills me, and what is worse is that I am never going to be able to fill that void. You were fragile, but you put up an unremarkable front. Reaching you was deemed impossible, but you let me in, so I embraced it with open arms. In the very end, though, I failed to reach out. Those moments when I thought I had you completely and quickly fell away. Father TIme is one tricky dude. He popped up every time you were ready to spill your heart out to me completely. Then you avoided the issue so gracefully.

I believe that anyone who decides to end their life has a soul that is already gone. It has gone to our maker. This belief is the only way I can make sense of your suicide. Suicide. Ha. What a word. Such an ugly and taboo noun. Suicide is a different kind of death. Solely a straight bullseye shot to the heart. What is left? An empty shell of the bullet. Just like the lifeless body. The soul? It is already at rest. What do the ones left behind do? Grieve, mourn, wonder, try to carry on, and put the body to rest, but that is only the half of it. All of that is miserable, yet so easy compared to what is happening to the loved ones internally. The ones who cling onto the body, attempting to savor it by searching for the soul. For answers. It’s practically a matching game. A race against time, only that race has no time limit. That is the scariest part—not knowing how much time is left before the person is altogether gone.

The grief felt over a death caused by natural causes or physical illnesses is completely separate from the grief over a death caused by suicide, because the ugly truth about it is that it is no accident, terminal illness, or anything like that. Suicide is far from a clean, easy, quiet, and silent passing. It is the loudest sound—a cry for help, a lingering bitterness, a mark, anger, a wound that never heals, and a pain so deep that departing the world is the ONLY answer. The aftermath? The loved ones left behind end up feeling exactly the way the person who took their own life once did, only the survivors do not have a way out. Instead, they are always going to have an unsettling feeling, question themselves if they were a reason, and the burning question: “WHY?” and so much more.

Ter Ter, the feeling of losing you is such a deep, stinging, ever-growing pain. I have this huge gaping hole in my chest that only gets bigger as each day passes and it rips my heart out. I let all of me pour out onto the floor, staining the carpet red from the blood. It looks like a murder scence. A double homicide.

I put on a brave face, a smile, and a laugh here and there to keep anyone from suspecting that I am in unbearable pain. To hide that every single fucking day is the biggest challenge, but I know I have to—otherwise, I will not be able to survive. And every single day is too long. I STILL cry—either in the morning or when I am going to bed. My heart breaks all over again. I STILL wake up every single damn morning thinking, “Oh my gosh. Oh my fucking gosh. My other half is going. Suicide, nonetheless.”

My psychiatrist told me that it’s perfectly normal for me to mistake the faces in crowds for you. He told me that will happen more than I think. He is right. Even now, I still look for you. Even now, I take out my phone to call or text you whenever I see or hear something I know you would want to know so we can gossip or laugh about it. Then I’ll sadly put my phone away, because it hits me, HARD, that you are no longer here.

What am I going to do without you? I am barely getting by. I also developed trust issues because I am afraid to give someone my heart and have them just break it beyond the point of being able to piece it back together. I shut the world out to keep myself from getting hurt. In every single romantic relationship I had since you left, I NEVER ALLOW them in fully. I keep my guard up. I hate socializing. The rare occasions I do socialize, I leave myself out. I just sit by myself quietly, watching everything and everyone around me. In fact, I prefer to be alone. I learned to be independent and comfortable with just myself. I have trouble with small talk and opening up.

Despite all this, I was, am not, and never will be angry with you. You were in so much pain. You’re happy now. I can see it, so tell that voice inside your head to believe it. I know you’re in Heaven and having a blast, I also know you’re looking down on me. Even in death, you’re still here for me. How can I be upset with that? The only small comfort I hold onto is that I figured out “WHY?” I figured out “WHAT?” I figured out “WHO?” I fucking love you and miss you with every part of me. Do not ever forget that. And thank you for being in my life and giving me so many good memories. You are irreplaceable. We will reunite one of these days, but until then, I’ll see you in between dreams.