The overwhelming sadness that I felt yesterday still lingers this morning. It’s difficult to put into words the emotional roller coaster that death of a cherished person is to anyone left behind.
We’re left with so many unanswered questions and missing pieces to a puzzle that we can’t see the finished, completed piece of art. This is a time when I find myself needing to be surrounded by laughter and family.
I was very young when I experienced a thousand deaths of a suicide. When a person makes the decision, whether split second or planned to take their own life, they die once. The rest of us, die over and over trying to understand what happened. The moments of grief, anger, sadness, and disbelief replay over and over and sometimes hit you out of nowhere.
My uncle committed suicide when he was 24 years old in 1986. A week before my birthday. It changed my family, it changed me, and I’ll never forget that day when we got the phone call.
My son (1/3) lost a dear friend when he was in high school. My business partner in North Dakota lost his daughter to suicide. It was overwhelming the grief we all felt to have teenagers feel so lost that they end their lives.
November was a tough month all around. My uncle died very suddenly way too young of a heart attack. That’s not a phone call anyone wants to receive, especially before the holidays. My heart breaks for my aunt and cousins. I hope that we can all honor him at Christmas with memories of his laugh and amazing adventures. Once you take a breath and move forward as you are supposed to, sometimes you are knocked right back down.
Tuesday Morning, November 27, 2018, my daughter turned 16. It is a day, that will forever be one of my favorite days, but will now and forever bring sadness to my heart as well. We got the phone call at 7 a.m. We found out that one of our employees was gone. The room spun and the reality that we had to tell our entire company that one of our own was dead. It was too much to process at that moment, but the truth was, we needed to be prepared to tell an entire department that he was gone. How do you as a person, company, professional move forward? You do it the best you can. We ALL had breakdown moments. I went back into my text messages and found the conversations between he and I. I truly cherished him. Some of the struggles he had were big and he, and I talked a lot about them. He knew I’d never pull a punch and thanked me for telling him to “Pull your head out of your ass and get your shit together.” His smile and overall happy demeanor made me appreciate him even more. I’ve seen him in a bad mood, I’ve watched his blood pressure go up, visibly watched the red rise on his face. He was just that passionate about life. He called me superwoman and his last text to me said, “Wear your damn cape tomorrow woman!”.
I think that’s why my heart hurts so much right now. I feel a void in my life, and I’m not even his family. As I stood in the funeral home yesterday, in a back corner because of my issues with crowds, I watched all of my employees, over 40 present and past employees, owners, my friends react with sheer disbelief that we were standing there for him. I stood there watching these people who are my extended family cry, laugh and remember him. My boss said at one point; it was overwhelming seeing so many young people at a funeral. It was so real, the mix of people in that building was unbelievable. If Tyler did anything, it was he brought everyone together.
I have been in low points in my life where I have thought life would be more comfortable if I weren’t around. I’ve felt that emptiness. What I will say about it though, I am a God Fearing Jesus Loving woman, and I have so much hope in my life for a brighter future. That is what I hold onto to keep going. I hold onto the sun rising on a better day. There is nothing to fear in this life when you hold onto the hope that there is a God who loves you beyond comprehension. The battle is only in your mind. There is spiritual warfare going on out there. He prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Guard your mind, your heart and always know that there is always an answer. Hope, Grace, and Love are yours.
I needed to get it off my chest and say that even though we all have our personal opinions of others and their lives, none of us know what kind of battles anyone has going on in their mind. Be kind to each other, reach out to that friend who pops in your head. Show love and compassion to everyone you meet. Always know that I’m here for you, to listen or to give a place of refuge. “Never, Never, Never Give Up.” ~Winston Churchill