Path – This poem was written by a survivor profoundly affected by suicide and now accessing phone support
June and Vic
The Little Room
When you left me, you placed me in a little room. A sad room. A lonely room. A dark room. Hardly any light at all. Laughter and happiness didn’t belong there. Being there was my punishment for not loving you enough. Not seeing all the signs. For failing you. What kind of a husband was I ? …
The sun struggled to penetrate the tiny barred window to my little room. The angry graffiti on the walls in big red letters read ‘Why?’, ‘What if?’, ‘If only…’
I heard others outside my room. The normal ones. Life carried on for them. They laughed, they loved, they lived.
Life hardly moved in my little room. I thought if only I could understand this terrible thing that had happened, then everything might be okay—I must understand—I really must. I researched. I needed to know why. Why did she have to leave me that way? Did she suffer terribly at the end? How did I miss the signs? What if I’d loved her more?
Time passed—Slowly—Oh so slowly. The more I tried to understand why, the less I understood. And always that pain: oh how my heart ached. It’s true what they say—hearts can be broken!
Time slowly passed, and one day I noticed it was a little lighter in my room. The angry red graffiti seemed harder to read. Like it was fading. Occasionally I would leave the room, but I always returned. I didn’t belong outside. The room seemed familiar, my safe place. I belonged there—didn’t I?
The angry graffiti gradually faded. The ‘why’ had become a blur. ‘What if’ had nearly disappeared. ‘If only’ had become just a faded smudge of red colour. But some new letters started appearing on the inside of the door to my little room. But they were indistinct—I tried to trace their outline—what did they spell?
More time passed and my room seemed brighter. The sun seemed to penetrate the tiny window. When did those bars disappear? I didn’t even notice they had gone.
I ventured out more and more. My little room seemed less safe now. Sometimes I laughed and lived with the normal folk. How could I do that? Surely I did not deserve to live with the ‘normal’ people? I was flawed, wasn’t I?
Even more time passed, and my little room seemed much brighter now. I could feel the heat from the sun and the angry graffiti had all but gone. My room was better but I knew I didn’t belong in that little room any longer—I could even read the letters on the door to my room— ‘Acceptance’.
So I pushed that door open and walked out of my little room and I knew this was where I was meant to be. I knew that was where you, (my dear departed wife), would want me to be—not trapped in a small dark room. For you had been trapped in your own room, infinitely worse than mine, but sadly you were unable to escape yours and walk out into the light. You just didn’t know how.
On occasions I briefly return to my little room. Just briefly. But I know I don’t belong there any more and I know I will not stay. My place is with the ones that live, love and laugh.
And as I walk away from my little room I notice big bold graffiti on the walls. It reads ‘I am not perfect. I did my best’. And I know that you, my dear wife, also did your best. And I will always love you for that.
And I read those words and I smile—A sad smile.
Here is a poem from native American Indians about grief
On losing a husband…
The days without you are lonely,
The nights without you are cold,
But even though you are gone now
That burning passion will never grow old.
Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night ,
Just knowing that you are gone, but it makes
Me feel better knowing that you are peacefully at Home.
Your body lays at rest now,
It’s Harder than I thought,
Just knowing you are
Gone for good, and thinking it’s all my fault.
Time will have to take its course now,
For There’s nothing left to do.
Just always remember that I still care and that I will
Forever love you.
© Brittany Callahan
“Charlotte was and is the meaning and sunshine in our lives. Watching her despair and increasing torment the many months leading to her passing was terrible, but knowing that she in now out of pain, not a day goes by without us knowing how blessed we were having even the shortest of times with her in our lives, and feeling grateful that we can feel her pain now, instead of her.”
Personal Testimony of Support for Suffolk Sobs
After my husband died by suicide, my life totally changed. After the initial shock and dealing with all the formalities, the Police, The Coroners Department, The Inquest as well as local Press coverage, I had to come to terms with it all.
I was very lucky to have support from family, friends and neighbours and colleagues but found that there was no support from ‘other’ sources – professionals who seemed to take the attitude that it was bereavement – get the first year over and then it would be fine!’ But, it wasn’t.
Yes, there are the stages of grief, but they didn’t seem to move forward. I couldn’t deny that it had happened – there was too much documentary evidence and quite a bit publicised. I did have in particular the guilt. I felt isolated, it was different to any previous loss – my fathers’ death for instance.
My son-in-law found out about SOBS – about 8 months after my husband’s death. Speaking to Suzy was such a relief – it was someone who actually understood how I felt and what it was like. I attended my first meeting with 1 of my daughters about 2 weeks later. Yes I was apprehensive, but I found that I/we weren’t alone – that sadly just in our local area – there are/were others who had been/were going through the same experience.
Since that meeting nearly 2 years ago now I have had the most amazing support. Yes I have good days and bad days, but I now know that there is someone that I can talk too and that I am not alone. Each case is individual but we sadly do have 1 common factor – that someone who we loved died by suicide. No one judges you or jumps to conclusions – we are there to listen and support each other.
I now know some really amazing people who except for the death of my husband I wouldn’t have met. But they probably the nicest people that you could ever wish to meet.
Helen Melhuish, 2015.
Just imagine for a moment that you are trapped by a huge gang of wicked and sadistic captures.
You believe 100% that there is no chance of escape – ever – ever! Even a brief look at any one of
the gang sends shivers down your spine, adrenaline rushing through your body, absolute terror into
your heart. You know that they are going to harm you, to hurt you in some way, but you have no
idea when or how. Every moment you follow the orders they give as you tremble all over your
body. Have you said something wrong? Did you say something the wrong way? Did they
misunderstand what you meant and now you’ll pay the price? You wonder over and over in your
mind, “is this the moment they set upon you?” Fear pounds your brain when you hear your name
called by one of the unscrupulous leaders. Terror races through your veins causing your heart to
beat so hard that you can hear it beating inside your head. The sweat pouring from your brow as
you struggle to breath from the shear panic inside. You feel like you are suffocating, like your heart
is going to explode, like your stomach is being minced from the inside.
You know without doubt that you are worthless, pathetic, the lowest form of life. You know that
you’re a disgrace to your family, a burden to your friends, that you blight society. No-wonder they
want to harm you so badly, torment you for their pleasure, and punish you for ever daring to exist.
At night you lay there unable to sleep, like you’re waiting in purgatory for that one voice to call you
to your demise… and why shouldn’t they? You are not fit to be part of the human race.
You hear their loud voices laughing like an evil chant. Are they talking about you? Are they
planning ways to torture you – ways to trick you into thinking you may actually be safe only to rip
you apart the moment your back it turned?
The utter despair rages war on every ounce of your being. As you lay there you know that your life
is over already, that this is your everyday, your tomorrow, your forever. You know that you are
trapped, that you are totally helpless and completely at the mercy of people whose sole purpose is
to thrive on the misery of others.
The sadness in your soul darkens every minute of your existence. Your spirit crushed beyond repair.
You will not escape! There is nothing you can do! You know that every day will lead to more
terror, more torment, and more torture of your mind as the uncertainty destroys your spirit and
quashes every bit of hope you ever had of help, of being free again.
Then it suddenly becomes clear. You feel calm. You know how to get away – how to end the slow
and terrifying annihilation of the very fabric that made you the person you once were. There is a
way to escape. You do know how to be free – the one way to make sure that they cannot hurt you.
After all, your life is already over so why are you living in this hell? You can end it now. There is no
point in being alive… is there?
Welcome to the world of mental illness. How do you think you would fare if you were captured?
Understanding is the start of helping sufferers. It is as much an illness as any other. It is very real.
It can be crippling. It can be terminal! Don’t you think it’s time the world accepted these facts?
Please give help where you can. Even a tiny gesture can make a massive difference.
©2016 – Adam Hunter – Feel free share