Is it ok to write about this? I’m asking myself that question — almost afraid to ask anyone else for fear their shock might escape. And I would hear their shush that this should be private. Because it is so unspeakable.
Is it ok to write about it? And expose such a gaping but multi-layered wound to the world’s scrutiny? My husband is dead. One week ago he ended his life. He chose to leave this world. And our three children. And me. And any hope of our family. Now I’m facing his choice after so many years of living and loving and moving and working and creating and answering and questioning and accepting and raging with him in this struggle. A struggle that made me hate him. And love him. And pressure him. And comfort him. Years of relearning and protecting and coping. Of being so proud of his effort. And so frustrated by his continued battle. At times with laughter and hope and the stretching of our faith. At times with silence and disappointment and stubbornness. All in a sea of thinking and thinking. So much thinking. Now his struggle is done. And mine is born again with a much larger and more daunting face.
Even as I write these things, I know it’s so much more complicated than what I can articulate. What I already recognize I’ll never know is so very much more complicated than anything I can say in these early moments. I’ve always used writing as a window to help me fling open the realities in my own soul. So that I could look at them. In some sort of logical way and glean some kind of larger truth or pattern. Now, in these days of realities that seem to defy any logic, I wonder. Am I able to write them? Do I have the courage to turn the screw in what I know will unplug a whole well of thoughts and emotions and realities and maybe truths? Can I give myself permission to embrace stigma and shame and sorrow to write these stories? I don’t know beyond today, but I do know one thing.
Our healing begins with this: We are alive. WE ARE ALIVE. And each day that we choose this precious life we’ve been given is a victory. Simply choosing to experience this life in whatever painful or joyous or even unspeakable way it presents itself may be the only victory I experience today. Just waking up and choosing to move may be my day’s only victory. But, I’ll take it. I’LL TAKE IT. And use it as fuel to claim the next one. Until that which I know without question is true replaces the doubts. Until I conquer each demon that dominates my thinking. Until I peel away each and every layer of all these complicated emotions. Until I see them surpassed with new joy and new hope and new living. Until the very best I know of this kind and gentle man called Mike rises to the surface to live in our memories. Until we laugh and run and leap and shout and sing. Until I KNOW. And believe. And embrace this one profound fact: WE ARE ALIVE.