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About JosephT

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    27 Jan 2017

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  1. My situation is similar if you read my blog entry. It's been two months and a couple of days for me. Although her depression was being treated, I think there was some instability due to a recent medication change that obviously didn't end well. She did not drink. I am also constantly second-guessing myself because of the 11 years of being together and then the move-out, to give each other some time and space to work through things and attend relationship counseling. I feel like the move-out was the beginning of the end, but I also wonder if the exact same outcome could have happened at our house if we were still living together, since I was at work when she did it and the med change was going to happen anyway, regardless. I will never know the answer to that and she also took other answers with her, as well. Yes, so few people in our immediate orbit understand a suicide death and what all goes with it. I suppose in some way that's good because it means there aren't enough people killing themselves in the world for at least one person in our life to understand, but it sure makes going through this much harder, I can attest to that. It is going to take years to reach a new normal for me. For you as well. I'm just glad I made it through the first month, because honestly, and I don't want to alarm anyone reading this, but all I wanted to do was join her. I took my guns to a friend's house. I don't know if I'll ever go back and get them. I guess when I trust myself. I'm not going to push it. I'm sorry for his family's reaction to this. Fortunately, I haven't experienced the same. I also want some magic formula to fix all of it. I want to wake up in the morning and look around and realize that life is still good and that we are getting the relationship back on track as intended. That I just had a nightmare and none of it was real. After 2 months, I pretty much know that's not going to happen. I miss her terribly too. Beyond words. Even when the relationship wasn't going so hot, we were always best friends.
  2. I have the blanket that contains, probably, most of her blood dried. Packed in a box when I was clearing her townhouse. It is in my garage. The rest of her blood went on the carpet and in her clothes. I thought people would think I was morbid for keeping it, so I have told no one. It was the blanket she always used on the couch when surfing the net on her laptop. Like a security blanket. That's how I remember it. I'll deal with it later when I have the wherewithal. When I unpack it all. Maybe I need to see it to remind me, I don't know. The funeral home wondered if I wanted her clothes. No, I have enough stuff already. I also have the personal effects (glasses, rings, bracelets, etc.) she was wearing when I found her and they took her away. She was such a gentle soul. I cannot imagine her being a person that would shoot herself, let alone twice. I didn't even know that part until I saw the death certificate. This is her FindAGrave entry: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=shields&GSfn=Laurie&GSmn=helen&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=177051897&df=all&
  3. Outward appearances can be deceiving. I don't feel very amazing and I don't feel very strong; I hope telling my story helps someone other than myself. I feel like I am hanging on by a thread some days. I have taken all the guns and ammo out of my house and over to a friend's. I don't trust myself around them, so I'm erring on the side of safety. Honestly, my take on it all is a lot like yours - I'd probably opt to join her if I didn't already know the indescribable pain it causes for survivors. I couldn't do that to my family and friends or even to our dogs. She was an amazing person and this outcome is such a terrible waste of a great human being.
  4. My life partner and soul mate of 11 years took her own life on 27 Jan 17. She had suffered from depression (and was receiving treatment for it) for over 25 years. She had moved out five months prior, into her own place, so we could give each other what we were calling "time and space" to work out issues and undergo relationship counseling. All was going well, so I thought. We spent time with each other during the week after work and all day on the weekends. Doing things and going places, just like when we lived together. We had plans; to go to several festivals and shows in the area (tickets purchased), to go to a mountain town retreat (reservations made) to celebrate our birthdays in April (which are two days apart), etc. We were planning her move back in, on Aug 17 when her lease expired (or relationship counseling was complete, whichever came first). We were going to get engaged and then married. After a year back in our house, we were going to buy a larger, newer house. I guess what I'm trying to get across here, is that everything was looking up for us. She mentioned that she was undergoing a medication change not too long before this. I wasn't alarmed, as they've changed her meds before and it was uneventful. The Monday prior to her taking her life, I met her in the emergency room at the local hospital; she had been transported there after calling 911 for an anxiety attack. After a few hours there, she was stabilized and given meds and I took her home. The next day, she transported herself to the local Crisis Recovery Center (mental health acute services). She was not having an attack as the day before, just following-up on the emergency room visit. I was maintaining phone or FB message contact with her throughout because we live on opposite ends of town. She transported herself back home from the center uneventfully. We maintained contact over phone or messenger until the day before she took her life, never indicating she was in crisis. On Friday, I went to check on her because she wasn't replying to my messages or voicemails on Thursday night. I discovered her body, with her three dogs running around the apartment. I knew something was off when her big dog came to the door and Laurie wasn't in-tow. She always held him back at the door. She shot herself in the chest and in the head with a .380. It was a gun I had bought her. One of two she owned. We were avid shooters and concealed carry holders. A note was left on her laptop and documented in the police report where she said that her meds were no longer working, that she is not "her" and wants "her" back. That her mind no longer works and that she feels frozen. She went on to say that she now has no interest in the things in life she enjoys and that even her three dogs, who were with her, don't even bring her comfort now and that she can't get herself to do anything with them. She also says "What the hell is wrong with me, why can't I fix it?" She indicates that she knows she needs to call 911 and that it's brave for seeking help and it's not being a loser or being weak and that doing nothing is actually being a coward. Her last words in the note were "This has to stop". After reading the note, I can't help but believe things went downhill fast for her on that day and that somewhere after her moment of lucidity where she mentioned that she knew the right thing to do was to call 911, she lost the ability to reach out. Maybe it's just speculation, I don't know. I also have to believe she wasn't herself and she would never want to inflict this much pain on everyone she loved and that loved her. So, I'm here with her three dogs (they were ours together, she just had them at her place), helping her 89 year old father, 83 year old step-mom, 51 year old sister, and two twenty-something kids get through all this. And they are helping me. All the ceremony and pomp has passed. Friends and relatives long gone on planes and in cars. We're down to the brass tacks of estate settlement now. I feel empty, without direction and lonely (although I am not alone, I have my family and hers, but there's a difference). We had so much planned and to live for. It really feels like it came out of left field. She never mentioned suicide in a way that favored it. In fact, she abhorred it. Her younger brother committed suicide with his wife several years back and she had to help her father clean up the mess. Literally, figuratively, and legally. He had been angry at his boss and just life in general, she said. I'm going to a support group and one-on-one counseling is next. I wanted to try the group first. If I could leave a lesson here on this blog, it would be to learn as much about depression and anxiety as you can if someone you love suffers from it. Know the signs. Keep your ears open about med changes. Just be nosy and ask questions. Sure, there will be awkward moments. Right now I'd trade a million awkward moments to have this woman back on earth with me. Also, if someone is going through something in the mental health realm, try to separate them from their guns. I've been reading that the possibility of suicide doubles when there is immediate access to firearms. Mostly because of the impulsive nature of many suicides. Another awkward moment I should have had, but didn't. Peace be with everyone. Have a good night. Tell everyone you love them every day. Tomorrow is promised to no one.