TO READ PART ONE OF “FINDING HAPPINESS IN LIFE, AFTER SUICIDE” CLICK HERE.
At first I didn’t really know what to do, what to feel or think. I was relieved they found his body and at least got him out of that place. I was also grateful that he chose to take himself away from our home. I was exhausted and in shock that it had actually come to pass. Feelings of guilt had overcome me, and deep concern. I couldn’t place where he would be up there and I didn’t want him to feel bad for his decisions now that he had a clear recollection of what he had done. I envisioned him looking down at all of us grieving; I hoped he didn’t hurt, just lots and lots of feelings running through me. At first I didn’t want to see his body… And really, I didn’t think I would be able to because of how he did it, but apparently it was possible. My dad made the dreaded phone calls to my husband’s family whom all lived out of town, and my parents notified all our family and friends. Soon after, people were flooding my doorway and my phone, in deep concern. The Relief Society Presidency (an organization for women in my church) was right on the spot with preparing the luncheon and asking questions I wasn’t really prepared to answer… nonetheless, they needed answers. Those were the first of many decisions that started making this situation more of a reality. I knew he was gone, but it didn’t really register. As the day went on, I started to feel a yearning to see his body, an instinct I guess, but I wasn’t expecting to feel it. I needed to see him for myself for reasons I wasn’t aware of at that moment, but nonetheless my body or spirit, something was giving me that nudge. It took them a good day to prepare him to the point that I could. It seemed like a day and night that never ended just pondering over everything and trying to process. By time the next morning came, I had a deep-deep yearning to see him, almost feeling agitated cause I couldn’t get to him soon enough.
My dad, aka “My Rock” prepared me outside the funeral home as to what to expect that morning when I went into that room. He had gone in before I got there. He also came in with me; I couldn’t have done it by myself. I needed his strength and protection through the whole process. That moment, when I finally got to see his body, probably the biggest reality that he was really gone was truly a pivotal moment of my life. And it was that moment I understood precisely why I needed that time with him. It was an out-pour of tears and pleading with him, much like I did on the phone the previous morning… “WHY?! I’m sorry you felt that was your only way out.” I touched his face, his hands, feet, and chest, those were healing moments to just be able to feel him. Amidst all the tears and pleas, a tender mercy was unfolding. Without me evening realizing, our spirits had connected and were conversing. Many answers I was seeking and those wrenching feelings of guilt that were imbedded in every ounce of my being, I was finding resolution to. It was the most healing and assuring, peaceful experience I had ever been through. While I walked in with so much uncertainty, pain and grief, I walked out that day with a peace beyond comprehension; still heavily burdened with grief, but with a greater understanding and greater peace. Feelings of guilt were completely wiped away and replaced with understanding, I had a greater comprehension for all that had come to pass, I knew it was nothing I could have prevented. I also felt a strong assurance that I preserved his life and kept him here perhaps longer than what might’ve been, and lastly, I knew that it was time to close this chapter of my life and move forward. I was also filled with an abundance of strength and energy, which helped me push along with all the difficult decisions that awaited me.
I felt deep sorrow for others cause I knew they would likely not be so privileged to have the same experience and blessing I just witnessed and received. I found myself trying to console others, I wanted everyone to have even a glimpse of it, but unfortunately, my words were not as healing as that of the spirit. Through the help of the Lord, family and friends, we put together a beautiful service and tribute to Josh. I was filled with even more peace as I could feel his undeniable appreciation, love and amazement for what we all put together on his behalf. I believe the congregation also left with a better understanding and a more settled heart as the right speakers were in place and topics were addressed. I was very prayerful about the service and witnessed yet another tender mercy as the service came to a conclusion.
Since I received my Patriarchal Blessing (an inspired blessing from church leaders that gives guidance and direction to help through life), when I was 16, I have had an unsettled twinge in my heart that this day would happen and likely when I was younger, with children. I’ve had a hard time reading my blessing through the years for this very reason. Though it did not directly come out and say “I would lose my husband”, it alluded to it somehow, and I knew. Along with my blessing, I had also felt several premonitions and experienced a dream that recurred three times throughout our marriage. I was standing right next to him as he was lying in his casket, being greeted by all our loved ones. The last one I dreamt was about six months prior to the incident. The picture that dream engrained in my memory was almost an exact replica of what actually transpired at his viewing. Though my mind vigorously fought the idea of this ever happening, my spirit knew. Just 12 days shy of my 30th birthday I was living precisely what I was being prepared for. I don’t believe suicide was what the Lord had planned for Josh, but I do believe as his life transpired, the Lord knew that could eventually be his outcome. Up to that point, that was the toughest week of my life. Such big decisions all to be made in a matter of an instance, for such a young mind and heart. I had just buried my son; I couldn’t believe I was experiencing this yet again, just 8 months later, with my husband.
As a single mother, little did I know that these deeply refining moments of my life were not yet over. After things had settled down from the week of the funeral, and I was finally able to have some quiet time to really ponder on what had taken place, another flood of concerns and worry overcame me. I was consumed with anxiety, an emotion I had never experienced before. I didn’t even know what it was that I was feeling, but it was entirely debilitating. The thought of hearing Preslee cry and knowing I had to take her out of her crib and care for her seemed impossible. I remember sitting up against the wall in my room just sobbing. I didn’t know how to handle that strong paralyzing feeling. Staying in bed seemed a much easier solution, it helped offset that heavy weight I was feeling in my chest, but with a baby and a job knocking at my door and all the pressure of providing Preslee as much stability as possible, easy wasn’t going to be an option. What a tender mercy it was to have her. We had been trying for a baby for over 5 years when we received the news that we were finally going to be parents; she couldn’t have come with better timing. She gave me immediate and demanding purpose; the Lord must’ve known I would need that.
My family stayed with me in my home for about a month after. They tried to get me to stay at their place cause it was becoming taxing on everyone, but I had this intense desire to keep things “in reality” as much as I could. If I had gone out to my parents place to stay for a bit, I would soon have to adjust to life in my own home. It was just easier to keep things real. After a month, I was actually ready to stay at home with just the two of us. My family was apprehensive about this, but I was certain. I knew the Lord would give me the strength to do it, and he did. It was yet another tender mercy. My prayers were answered instantaneously and I never once lost an ounce of sleep out of fear.
I also had the energy to get up at 5:00 with a friend of mine and go running. We put our babies in their strollers and off we went for three or four miles. Running was an avenue of release. I knew that I had to do it in the morning, cause my energy would be slim by time I got home from work. Driving was also very therapeutic to me. Taking trips to see friends and family from out of town to just get a breather worked wonders on my soul. Preslee would usually fall to sleep and it would allow me some undistracted time to just think and ponder. There were a lot of healing moments I came to while putting miles behind me, whether on foot or in a car. Good thing she won’t remember all those long strolls and drives in her car seat. She was such a good little traveler. That too was a tender mercy.
The Lord equipped me with all the right people, strategically placed in my path for specific purposes. Some I recognized right off, while others I didn’t understand until things were unfolding or even after. I call these people my “Earthly Anchors.” Individuals that helped to support me and keep me grounded in whichever capacity the Lord felt I needed along the way. My mom watched Preslee for me so I could work, my friend that would get up at the earliest of hours so I could run, two key friends that I knew I could talk to and be “real” about life with, people to visit, a knock at the door in perfect time, willing hands and big hearts to serve and help me in so many capacities. He knew just where I needed the help, before I even realized I needed it.
CLICK HERE TO READ PART 3 – “LEARNING TO PROCESS”.
Story written by: Kaycee
This Story was seen first on Real Imprints.