Him. Surviving a Suicide
It’s been ten months and he’s still on my mind everyday. There are moments where I’m at peace and I accept the reality of his passing. I put on a brave face and smile or at least try to enjoy what’s around me, but the dull heaviness and void in my heart restricts my thoughts and actions to a degree of no return. That deep ache from the missing part of me haunts my everyday like a demon lurking in the corner waiting to take over. It’s always there. I don’t feel broken anymore, more just like I don’t know the person looking back at me in the mirror. I’ve lost myself in wake of losing Jesse.
I’m working on forgiving myself for my wrongdoings and will continue to do so until the day I die. I would have done a thousand things differently as I know many people who loved him feel the same. I would have at least made it known to him how much I loved him. How much I enjoyed hearing his voice. How funny I thought he was. How safe I felt in his arms. I ask him for strength everyday and now it’s time to find it. It’s time to relish in the memories we had together, but it’s also time to start creating new happy memories... A task much harder than I thought possible.
I’m reminded of him everywhere I go, even in the most foreign of lands. When I’m near the sea is when I feel the closest to him. Maybe that’s because he is Torres Strait Islander and that’s where they believe the spirits go or maybe because when we swam in the sea the smile on his face stretched from ear to ear.
When I see a beautiful night sky all my mind reverts back to is seeing the most incredible star lit sky while sitting on our balcony in Melbourne. His hair. His beautiful skin. His cheeks. His eyes. Those deep mysterious eyes that used to look at me like I was the most beautiful girl in the world and the love of his life. I miss that look.
Part of me feels like I made a mistake leaving Australia. I believe that if I never left he would still be here and that feeling will never cease to exist, but all the what if’s and should haves are what I’m trying to relinquish from my mind. Hindsight is always 20/20 in these situations and I’m slowly adjusting to my new reality.
I know he wants me to be happy, but I still feel bad. I’m trying to let it go and allow myself to breathe easy again, but it’s harder than it looks. Guilt is a tricky mind game. I just want to know he’s okay. I worry about him and he’s not even here. I worry about what he thinks of me now that he can see into my soul from the spirit world. I talk to him like he’s still alive because part of me hopes I can rewind time and go back to when we were happy. I feel like I let him down. I shouldn’t blame myself, but it’s impossible not to. When someone you love decides to not live anymore blaming yourself is a given. It’s natural, yet self destructive. I wasn’t there for him when he needed me and I am still completely stuck on him. Sometimes my mind convinces me that I’m not enough and I’m the reason he’s dead, but then I have to remind myself that these harmful thoughts are not what he would want for me.
He’s around, somewhere in the spirit world and he’s guiding certain people in and out of my life. I went scuba diving in the Andaman Islands and my diving partner opened up about their childhood and past. They had tried to commit suicide and they told me about their struggle without me even mentioning Jesse. It was crazy to hear it from their point of view. When it was my turn to speak I mustered through tears about JB. They made it clear that he was going to do it with or without me. That he broke up with me and pushed me away to protect me. It was the only solution to ending the unfathomable pain he endured everyday. This person reiterated that if I don’t stop blaming myself the pain will continue to fester until it eats me alive. I need to take it day by day, but in the end I need to let go and move on.
The next time I went diving I was partnered up with an Australian woman who also lost her boyfriend to suicide when she was twenty seven. Now what are the chances of that?! Honestly, calling this a simple coincidence would be an injustice to the situation. When we were in deep conversation about surviving suicide a bird happened to shit on me right when I said Jesse’s name... That’s when I looked up at the sky with a big smile on my face and thanked him for reminding me that he’s listening. It was nice to see how happy this lady was in the present day, married with kids living a beautiful life. That morning I woke up feeling really down, but talking to her helped me through the day. Although I was reminded for the thousandth time that losing him will affect me forever just as her loss affects her to this day, I know it will be okay. The impact of losing someone to suicide brands the heart forever.
I had a breakthrough while in Sri Lanka... Well not a break through more of just a break from the pain. I went out with my friends and danced the night away for eight hours until the wee hours of the morning. By the end of the night it was my friend Lexy, myself and about thirty local Sri Lankan surfers cutting a rug to some amazing house music.
I was laughing and having more fun than I have in a very long time. I found myself that night starting conversations with strangers. Walking up to them and saying whatever random thing came to my mind. I was making people laugh. I felt a little part of the old Carly come back. It was a very strange feeling because that same morning as I watched the sunrise on the beach I realized how much I missed that part of me. It was a bizarre feeling. I felt happy, but so sad. I felt relieved, but guilty.
That sunrise was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I cried because I knew it had to be Jesse saying it’s okay. It’s okay to miss him, it’s okay to cry, but it’s also okay to have fun. He left this world because he thought it would be easier for all of us. He was wrong, but he wouldn’t want me to sit here and dwell on his absence. That night in Sri Lanka was the first night I let go. The pain diminished momentarily. I lived in the moment and I enjoyed it.
In less than a week’s time after my “break” the loneliness hit really hard on my fourth day in the Philippines. This country is a honeymoon destination full of couples everywhere. Even the locals are aware of this and the first thing they ask you is, “Where is your boyfriend or where is your partner? Why are you alone?” A constant reminder that I am once again alone. Trying to find someone to travel with was harder than I thought and I wasn’t feeling myself. I cried while driving my motorbike around Panglao in the midst of trying to find something to do and I asked for him to help me. I asked him to show me a sign. Please show me he’s around, watching out for me while helping reassure me that I am doing the right thing. That night a massive rainbow appeared during one of the most colorful sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was what I needed to turn a bad day into a good day.
There are good days and there are bad days, they come and go and it’s important for me to remind myself it’s normal to feel this way. I’m not crazy if I have really high highs and really low lows. It’s all apart of the healing process.
I feel him in the sea.
I see him in the sky.
I hear him through the birds.
I smell him in the flowers.
I taste him in my tears.
I imagine him wrapping his arms around me each time I lay in bed.
He will live forever in me.