Twenty-Three Years Later

Warning – Suicide of a spouse, handgun use

Twenty-three years ago this month, I was a young soldier stationed at Fort Irwin, California. I had just turned twenty-five and thought I could I do anything. Life was as comfortable and complete as a soldier’s life could be. Tony, my husband of just over a year, was also stationed with me. When we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I thought we would have children and grow old together. As I write this now, I did not get that long life with him, nor did we have any children.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1998, Tony shot himself in front me approximately 5:30 pm. Hours before, he was removed from a key role at his company, and he could not deal with that loss. I cannot tell you what was happening in his heart or his mind. When I look back, I can only give you my thoughts and my perspective of that day because he is gone.  His loss from this world is the one piece of my grief I cannot reconcile.  I have spent years crying and screaming.  I have been angry and mean.  I have been alone and with others.  Through it all, I still cannot get over the finality of suicide. 

My poor Tony thought so little of himself that he felt killing himself was the only way to fix what was wrong in the world.  My heart is still breaking for him as I think of this.  I often wish I could have been a better wife to him.  One who was more mature and understanding.  Unfortunately, it took surviving Tony’s suicide to make me a more compassionate and emotionally mature partner.  Everything I could not give to Tony, I have been able to be and give to my partner, Robert.   I used to feel guilt that I contributed to Tony’s suicide and did nothing to help him.  I know better now.

 I thank him now.  Because of him, I am so much better, twenty-three years later. 

#Suicide #Grief #Forgiveness #Gratitude #Compassion #Depression #LifeAfterSuicide


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