A few months after Anthony’s passing, on what would have been our 11 year wedding anniversary, I wrote a post about making him a promise to help him to undue the damage his death by Suicide caused.
The promise was a tool discussed by Jeffery Jackson in his Survivors of Suicide (SOS) handbook. This book has been a lifeline for me this past year. You may find it beneficial too. SOS can be found here.
I’ve woken up everyday since with intention and mindfulness (most days with tears too) as how I can take small steps towards keeping that promise.
Determining what and how exactly I would do to full fill this promise has been difficult, admittedly. There are days I am so exhausted from grief and managing life that I would sooner crawl into bed and cry and binge watch Netflix. But the promise is there and it is what carries me forward with his love.
It’s been a year and two days since he died. May 16, 2017. On D Day, ironically enough, I spent the day curled up in bed, or head hung in a toilet praying the violent flu that had taken over would stop. I’m wondering if it was a blessing in disguise that I slept through 502pm.
That evening, I mustered enough energy to take my daughter and I to a park near our old house. She picked the park as it was one of the last days we spent together as a family. We took her there to teach her to ride her two wheel bike, and our cat, Cooper followed us to mock our efforts I’m sure!
We climbed the top of the grassy, yellow spotted hill and released balloons with handwritten notes attached to the strings. I watched her eyes chase the balloons and I sighed with both sadness, relief and a sense of accomplishment.
Another small step towards undoing the damage done. Allowing the children the chance to grieve and experience joy each in their own way, time and with their own creativity. My eldest decided not to come. Instead, he watched episodes of a show they used to watch together and got ready for work.
We are all grieving differently. We are all surviving. We are all here together.
This promise has been instrumental in my healing and in forgiving him and myself. There are days however I still get panicked and stuck at the realization I will never see him, hug him, hear him or smell him again. But I remember my promise to him, breathe and take the next step forward.
There are many things I have yet to do in order to keep my promise; the harder messy stuff will have to wait until I’m stronger. But I have made progress.
Though small and simple, the ways I’m working towards undoing the damage caused by Bipolar and his death by Suicide also includes this blog, sharing our story, sharing mental health resources, talking about HIM everyday with the kids so we can remember Anthony and not Bipolar.
I have practiced mindfulness and have recently been working on forgiving myself and him for his death by Suicide. I have been focusing on self care for me and teaching the children about self care as well so we can continue to tell our story and remember the life that was forever ours.
I hope he would be proud.
Please remember, if you feel alone, hopeless and helpless it is ok. These are just feelings and you are not alone. If you are thinking of Suicide please ask for help. Reach out. Please. Click Here For international hotlines.