The definition of “suicide survivor” is not someone who attempted suicide and survived. It actually refers to people who lost a loved one to suicide.
I am a suicide survivor.
On November 1st, 2015, at around 12:15 a.m., my other half decided to silently and sneakily leave this planet by hanging herself from the big bushy tall mango tree in the front yard of her house. We LOVED that tree. Mango season meant ice cold fresh squeezed mango juice, home made pickled mangoes, and picking off the ripe ones directly off the tree and eating them. They were so sweet, juicy, and fresh. There was also a tree house built into it where we would often climb in there and smoke weed and spend hours just being high and laughing inside.
My other half was the BEST. She was loyal, tough, fierce, over protective, blunt, funny, fun, lovable, loving, maternal, responsible, intelligent, crass, clever, hardworking, creative, smart, gorgeous, and perverted. She was also a fucking badass.
She and I were opposites. She needed to have everything planned out, while I just sat back and went with the flow. She was super messy, as to where, I am a neat freak. Her favorite color was black, while I preferred white. She was the tough one and I was the sensitive one. She questioned everything while I just took everyone’s word and was understanding.
She had this sixth sense about me whenever I needed or wanted someone. I wouldn’t have to say or do anything and she’d just roll up at my house, let herself in, find me in my house, tell me to get ready to go out, and the two of us would wreak havoc together and do random things while really really really stoned. It was ALWAYS a BLAST. It was NEVER a dull moment. It was the two of us. Us against the world.
It was her boyfriend that found her. He told me she still had a pulse, but she flat lined in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. He also told me that he has no memory of how he got her out of the noose which I completely understand. I asked him what grandma and dad did and he told me grandma just stood on the porch, with her right arm grabbing the railing, in complete shock. I can picture that so vividly because that’s exactly the stance she’d always be in whenever my other half and I were leaving the house or coming home. Her dad was freaking out and calling 911.
When I first found out she passed, I was in shock for I don’t know how long. All I remember is waking up one morning and immediately started crying hysterically, being in so much pain. I NEVER felt such heartache before. All the heartbreaks I had over some dumb guy, was NOTHING compared to the heartbreak I experienced from losing my other half. I had and still have this HUGE GAPING HOLE in my chest. The first two years after my other half went away, the hole just kept getting BIGGER and BIGGER EVERY DAMN DAY. I spent about a year, locked up in my room, crying 24/7, isolating myself, and just mourning, grieving, and missing her. I did go out here and there, but I would never be able to last for more than two hours because I’d see or hear something that reminded me of my other half, and out of habit, I’d whip out my cellular to call/text her about it, then, remember that she wasn’t going to answer back ever again, and start crying. And once I started crying, I could NOT stop and I would just cry harder as time went on, so whenever I was in public and started crying, I IMMEDIATELY left and went straight home.
I know all the reasons why my other half decided to end her life. I also know that it was premeditated. I stuck by her from the very beginning from when she slowly started spiraling down to her very tragic ending. She was always the one protecting me and comforting me and lifting me back up from rock bottom, so when she started her demise and started confiding in me and asking me for help, I was thrilled, overjoyed, and excited. I could FINALLY return the favor and be there for the person who was my entire world. I did everything I possibly could do in my power to help her. She KNEW DAMN SURE that I would move mountains and the whole solar system for her. All she had to do was ask.
I NEVER felt ANY ANGER towards my other half for taking her own life. She was in SO MUCH pain and unhappy, so I understood completely. I also never blamed myself or felt like I failed her. It was ultimately HER decision to pull the plug on her own life, not mine. I know that there was nothing I could’ve said or done to change her mind.
I accepted the fact that I am going to mourn and grieve my other half’s death for the rest of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her or miss her. I STILL cry over her being gone. I STILL take out my cellular to call/text her whenever I see/hear something that I know she’ll find funny or is relevant to her/us. Our pictures are STILL up in my room. I STILL have all the clothes I inherited from her closet and wear them. I STILL use and keep everything she ever gave me. I STILL send her text messages and emails when I’m really missing her. She’s STILL in my “Contacts” and listed as one of my “Favorites”.
Her family arranged a private viewing. I was invited of course. I remember as soon as I got to the entrance of the chapel, I froze because I could see my other half just lying on the table, with her eyes closed, flowers surrounding her, and not moving. I thought, “Come one! Wake up! This is just some sick joke, right?! I know you’re not dead! The prank is going too far now! Just get up right now!” Except, she didn’t get up because she was really gone. I started crying as soon as I took my first step inside the chapel. I brought a rose for her because she hated them and I wanted to give it to her as joke. When I went up to put the rose on her, I also kissed her on the forehead. She was so cold. I NEVER felt such coldness before. That made me start crying hysterically because it FINALLY hit me that she REALLY WAS, in fact, gone and NEVER coming back.
The pain I felt and STILL feel made me NEVER want to attempt suicide EVER AGAIN. I did not want to put my loved ones through the same pain as I am experiencing. And a parent should NEVER have to bury their child. I learned the hard way that suicide is NEVER the answer and the aftermath is painstaking, chaotic, and ugly. It leaves people with complicated questions that they can never ask, feelings of guilt, blaming others for what happened, people taking advantage of those who are especially vulnerable and in deep extreme grief and pain, hearing “I’m so sorry for your loss” so many times that it stays imprinted in your thoughts for fucking months, being looked at with sympathy and pity by everyone, and leaves everyone asking “why?”
Pain changes a person and most of the time, they change negatively. They become bitter, angry, vengeful, hateful, and guarded. They also lost sight of themselves and are unable to recognize themselves anymore, making them behave unnaturally and feel alone, lost, and incredibly insecure. For myself, instead of turning in that direction, I decided to use it positively. I now know that one of my reasons for being born is to carry out my other half’s spirit alive and with me in everything that I do and everywhere I go. In honoring her memory, I go to high schools and share my experience as a suicide survivor. I mostly speak to seniors. I pray to God that at least ONE student heard me and that I saved their life. I try to make each talk different, so I don’t sound monotone, bore my audience, or make it seem fake or routine. I don’t want to become complacent. My goal is to get every single student to understand how serious suicide is and that it’s NEVER the answer and to turn to the resources available to them when they are feeling like taking their own lives.
I’m going to imitate a PSA message now – “If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal urges, please get help immediately.” I’m serious. Please stay. Don’t go. The world NEEDS you. I NEED you.