Warning: This post may contain triggers. Mourning a Loss a Year Later. Please, if you are struggling with your thoughts, if you or someone you know suffers from mental illness…stop reading. Jeni, that means you. Please know that I say this because I love you. I do not take suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, cutting, or anything else like that lightly. It is not funny and it should not be ignored.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
I had to get two wisdom teeth pulled out the other day. For some reason, I have a horrible fear of the dentist. Today was no different. Luckily, I went in praying and having people pray for me. I slathered on my “Joy” blend of essential oil. Frankly, I smelled the joint up.
As the dentist came in, he was sporting a tie-dyed scrub cap, and his eyes were smiling. I quickly informed him that I would rather get a pap smear or birthing a child without drugs than be in this chair.
He laughed. I didn’t. Honestly, I was dead serious. As he was numbing my mouth, I closed my eyes and began wringing my feet like some people wring their hands. I had already kicked my shoes off because barefoot is how I am 98% of the time.
Luckily, I felt NOTHING. I felt something, but as soon as I said, “I feel that,” the dentist stopped and numbed me more. It took 5 minutes, and I was done. I left that office on cloud nine and drooling.
Then the numbing medicine wore off, and it hurt. One tooth hurt, the other didn’t, but it was no fun. I came home, took my meds, and went home. My friend was watching the kids, and she gave me the go-ahead to go upstairs. I did just that.
The Next Day
Sadly, I wasn’t much better. My jaw ached so badly. I had a migraine, and life was not sweet to me. So thankful that my #2 kid was here to handle the kids, and they just let me sleep.
Big Daddy handled supper, and the kids did their chores. If something went wrong, no one told me. They all just took it like a boss. One thing I can say about pain meds is that I know I would be hard-pressed to be an addict.
Now, I do have an addictive personality, but pain meds make me:
- Meaner than a snake.
- They don’t help.
- They make my stomach hurt.
- I can’t sleep.
- I cry over anything and everything.
Those are not good combinations.
Doing My Thing
I was on edge, probably more than I should be, because I didn’t feel well. To take my mind off my face, I decided to serve another family. One thing I love to do is cook. I love to cook for others and be the hands and feet of Jesus when someone may not feel like cooking.
A young couple at church just welcomed their fourth blessing. I didn’t know this family, but they were new to the church and community. I wanted to serve them, so I did. There was a plan, and I executed it. However, I did have Big Daddy drive me because I wanted the company and someone to carry the food.
It was a blessed moment to see this sweet family.
On the Way Home
This family lived close to where Big Daddy and I lived for 12 years. We drove back roads and then decided to go and drive by our old house. We reveled at the changes in the area, yet the sameness that we remember. Many of our “neighbors” have moved on, but the core people were still there.
In getting back to our house, we had to travel a road I did not enjoy traveling. On the one hand, I had a friend that lived close by, but she had recently moved. On the other hand, I had lost a friend on that road due to the choice of suicide.
As we drew closer to these two homes, which are incredibly close together, I began having flashes. Flashlights, images, words, thoughts, and feelings all encompassed my brain and body. I could feel myself getting warm, knowing I was fixing to jump into the great abyss.
Going Down the Hole
For the next day and several days after that, I could not function. I did not get out of bed much. My husband found me sitting on my closet floor, having a breakdown. I could not get some things out of my mind. Then, the “What If” syndrome started. I know I scare him when I get like that, but I cannot stop the flood.
He would come to sit on the bed, hug me and ask me what he could do to help. I would say that I didn’t know. Nothing could erase those things, and I was not okay. It has been almost a year since that happened.
A Sweet Release
After days of struggling that following Sunday night, I finally made a phone call. I called my friend’s mom. She is struggling, and I cannot imagine the day in and day out of what all she goes through. Her mind, her heart, her emotions, yet I called. I could keep it together.
Then, she said, “hello.”
Once she said “hello,” I was done. I know I scared her because I could not form a word. My cry was so guttural and animalistic. She kept asking me what was wrong, and all I could say was I couldn’t get her eyes out of my head.
We cried together. Mainly, Donna just listened to me cry. She said that I had never mourned this loss. I went straight into “how can I help” mode. A year later, I am mourning, and I am mourning hard.
What Makes Me Smile
She asked me a question. “What memories do you have about LA that make you smile?” Through my tears, I said, “bats and boxed hair dye.” At that moment, my friend BURST out laughing through her tears. I started laughing, and I recounted the story of the night she tried to drown me while coloring my hair. How Big Daddy told her she could NEVER come over and color my hair again (this happened often). Then, as she left my house at midnight, the bats dive-bombed her hair.
We were chatting under the security light. LA had bleach blonde hair. The bats came swooping out of nowhere. It was the funniest scene in the history of ever. Her screaming, swatting bats, and I doubled over laughing with maroon hair.
The Next Day
I ordered a small stuffed bat. When it came in, I put it in my curio cabinet. Around its neck, I have the necklace that my friend had made for me. I have wrapped that necklace around the bat’s neck. This simple act creates calmness in me and peace. I will miss her every day, but I know that she knows Jesus because I was there when she asked Him into her heart. She is with Him, and one day I will see her again.
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