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The Truth About Grief.

The cold truth about grief + suicide is that I’ll never heal the way the world or you want me to.

You are uncomfortable with death. You’re even more uncomfortable with my grief. Add in my grief from a loss due to suicide and it makes you visibly squirm. I can physically see your discomfort.

The last thing you want is my sad all over you. You don’t know what to do with me, my words or my grief, so you pawn me off on someone that has had the same thing happen to them. I know you want to ask me questions... and not just any questions, the hard questions. You want to be nosy. You want to know the intricate details of the when, where, how and why. You want those gory details because it’s like an entertaining scary movie to you. Only for me, it’s not a scary story. It’s reality. And it’s not entertaining.

Maybe you want to know so you can gossip about me, him, or our situation and talk amongst yourselves and how “you’re so glad that you’re not living that kind of life”. I can actually understand that in a way. But I also wonder if you know how truly shallow that is? To want to know the details of someone else’s hardships so you can make yourself feel better about your life or your misfortunes.

But I know the questions and thoughts that cross your mind... let me guess, do they sound a little like this?

How did your brother kill himself? Who was the first one there to find him?

How selfish was he that he took his own life... what a coward.

Was it messy? As in blood... was there blood?

I feel sorry for the person who had to clean up that mess...

Did he use a gun?

Did he hang himself?

Did he swallow a bunch of pills?

What kind of man does that to his kids?

Maybe if his family would have treated him better he wouldn’t have done this to you...

Are they hiding the guns and pills from you... are you just as messed up?

And here’s what I want to tell you...

He shot himself in the chest.

The first person to see him was one of his closest friends... in the garage, with the door screwed shut. His Jeep was running. His tractor was running. He was chain smoking cigarettes, and no... he never smoked before. He despised it actually.

He wasn’t selfish, nor a coward.

Can you imagine pointing a gun to your chest?

Do you even know the amount of bravery it takes to actually follow through with that, to pull the trigger and end your life?

It actually wasn’t messy. A lot of was contained, surprisingly.

He used a gun; a shot-gun if you want all the details.

The kind of man that ends his life is someone who is hurting so deeply that we can’t even fathom. There aren’t anymore moments of clarity for him where he can see, feel and accept love. He’s clouded. I loved him the best way I knew how. I would have sat beside him through anything, and I did... more times than you know. This wasn’t his first attempt with suicide. His first attempt was when he was 18. I was 14. I watched him hold a gun to his head, crying frantically, asking me “How? How will this get any better?”

No, no one is hiding guns or pills from me. I don’t have the mental illness he struggled with.

Now that you know everything and the details that you deem important, how do you feel? Did I satisfy your need and want to know what happened to him. Will you go run and share and gossip among your friends? Does the disaster that is my life make you feel better about yours? Now do you see how shallow this all is?

Your questions and the way you can’t handle sadness make me want to disconnect from people even further... as if that’s possible. It hurts me further that you can’t just sit with me in my sadness. Please stop trying to find the right words. Stop telling me that I’m in your prayers... do you really prayer for me or is that just the popular thing to say when you aren’t comfortable with the sadness and grief?

What no one knows about suicide and grief is how it leaves you a hollow shell of a person. It strips away your identity, your character, your moral compass. It takes, and takes and takes. When you think there’s nothing else to give, it takes even more.

It’s relentless. Persistent. Ruthless. Uncompromising.

I won’t heal the way you want me to because I’m not you... and that’s ok.


the after sierra.


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