by Jan McDaniel
When I lost my husband to suicide, my life broke into a million pieces. The destruction was complete and absolute. I was left in the coldest darkness I had ever known, the aftermath of suicide. I lived in this world for a while, but gradually I began to gather up the pieces and try to reassemble them into something that made sense.
I would never be able to work this puzzle so that my life was the way it had been before. A huge piece was missing entirely and could not be reclaimed. How in the world, I asked myself, could I rebuild? The only life I knew was gone.
I did have motivation. My children were young adults at the time. It just wasn’t fair that their lives must begin with such tragedy as the loss of their father. At their ages, I had experienced the most wonderful part of my life. My motherly instincts kicked in. Somehow I had to fix this.
Wanting something, even desperately, does not make it so. I determined to live. That was the first step. Not for me, but for them. I resigned myself to unhappiness. But then something happened.
I met others who had lost loved ones to suicide. I read their words of encouragement, of hope. I could see they were living, not just existing. I did not believe that could happen for me, but I was curious.