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JosephT

Life Partner/Soul Mate Of 11 Years Took Her Own Life

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JosephT   

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.

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JosephT   

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.  

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I completely agree and I understand. I also had to do the same, I know outward appearances can be deceiving. I have become a master at lying about being "ok". The hardest part was after it first happened and everyone kissed and hugged and said"call me if you ever need anything". 

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JosephT   

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&

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You poor things. My husband took his life 15 months ago and I understand all that you are going through. I don't like guns and we aren't allowed them InThe uk anyway but it doesn't stop a suicide being carried out. I have gradually, over the year, been giving my husbands things away. He was keen on helping the homeless so his clothes went to the shelter. Not all of them. My son and I kept a lot of stuff too. His shirts are still hanging in the wardrobe and I spray them with his aftershave every now and again and hold the arms close to me. I keep his ashes in the bedside drawer. I don't think it is morbid but I do feel that I want to still look after him even though that is all I have left now. Unbelievably you do move on from such a traumatic experience. Counselling is good and I found the following points invaluable to remember:

survivors of a suicide will ask:

why choose to end your life?

why could you not have come to me for help?

was your life so unbearable?

could I have done something to prevent it?

do you realise what you have done to us?

were you not aware of how much I'd miss you?

didnt you think about the pain you'd cause?

are you at peace now?

these are all the questions that we know we will never get answers to but we torment ourselves with. Along side these questions, there is some things the survivors of the suicide (us) need to remember:

it was NOT the survivors choice.

NO ONE is a sole influence on another's life.

suicidal thoughts are common with survivors.

anger, guilt, confusion and memory lapses are common responses.

it is normal for survivors to feel great anger towards the deceased.

setbacks are anticipated. Emotions can return like the tide.

survivors can feel overwhelmed by their feelings.

physical grief reactions are common amongst survivors.

I have typed these up because they were helpful to me. They are from a bereavement counsellor who studied suicide. I find that it helps me make sense of this very abnormal situation I find myself in. I hope that in some small way, they will be helpful to you.

Mist

 

 

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On 25/03/2017 at 0:36 AM, nicole maciura said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bambi88   
On ‎3‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 8:34 PM, JosephT said:

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.

Hi JosephT,

I lost my husband to suicide March 10th 2017. He was young, only 23 years old and May 14th would of been our one year anniversary although we've been together since 2014.

That note your partner left reminds me of the one my husband left. Well he left the first one on just a sticky note as I got in the house and a letter in his den. That's when I started to panic. All I would think of was NO NO NO NO. He let me know where I would be able to find his body. I thought the note was a joke but a sick joke and that wasn't like him. I did look but wasn't able to and ended up at my friend's place near the park he said he would be and she called the police. I'm glad I wasn't able to find him myself and that the police did. He said his mind wouldn't let him sleep and that he was sorry he couldn't take better care of me. Said he loved me since day one and said to take care of his mom. Mentioned to the boys (his best friends) to stay strong and be there for each other.

I didn't see it coming. He never told me he was bipolar and he wasn't on any meds. (Found that our after a close friend of his told me.) He was such a big personality and was always on the go, high energy, always kind, helping others, loved his critters (reptiles and bugs), adventurous, always had a big smile...I felt like he was the one carrying me and making things better for me. We were so close and he was very much loved by others. When he talked about his past (rarely) he mentioned at times he was depressed but I didn't know the severity of it and that it was an ongoing thing. Thought maybe it was more situational. I only knew about his bad relationship with his dad and how he felt sad about how he and his brother are no longer close because of the choices his brother made, he couldn't be around him. His only family was his mom who he was close to and his childhood friends. Only about 2 days before all this happened did he mention he's been feeling depressed again and that thoughts of suicide came up in his mind but he said it wasn't something he would actually do. I said we were a team and would get though this together and get help. I worked late the night before and prepped a smoothie for the next day as I worked early and so he came into the kitchen and said he will do the same. He told me to remind him we need to buy a tool for work the following day and that we will meet up after I'm done work to get it. The morning of, we both woke up early and got ready for work. I even packed him his lunch. We had plans for to go away for our one year anniversary, his best friends were getting married in the summer that he was so excited about...the list goes on about things we had planned. I even stepped down from my management early Feb this year so we can spend more time together as he had a good job and assured me we will be okay.

You are right that your partner wasn't herself. I still don't understand the thought process that leads up to someone taking their life and the kind of pain they were going through made it seem like taking their life was the only solution to making it go away, but the pain I'm feeling now might be similar to what they were going through. I'll never know.

I kept some of his clothes and gave everything away except for the bearded dragon he named Jack and other random stuff like his cell phone, the watch I bought him and his jewelry.

Feelings of loneliness and sadness are always with me no matter what I'm doing or who I'm with. I'm seeing a counselor and I'm back to work which helps me keep busy but every second of every day I am aware that my husband should be here with me and that tends to overshadow any moment of joy I feel these days. People ask if I'm okay and how I'm coping but I know I'm not okay. I'm not always sad but I'm not happy either. I am able to function because I have to and I'm back to work full time, making plans and trying to figure out my future so people think I'm doing very good but at the end of the day my husband isn't here and it makes me even more sad to know I will carry this weight forever in my heart. I hate how there is no way out of grief and no end to it.

I hope you are coping okay and that you find some peace in your heart some day.

 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:46 AM, Mist said:

You poor things. My husband took his life 15 months ago and I understand all that you are going through. I don't like guns and we aren't allowed them InThe uk anyway but it doesn't stop a suicide being carried out. I have gradually, over the year, been giving my husbands things away. He was keen on helping the homeless so his clothes went to the shelter. Not all of them. My son and I kept a lot of stuff too. His shirts are still hanging in the wardrobe and I spray them with his aftershave every now and again and hold the arms close to me. I keep his ashes in the bedside drawer. I don't think it is morbid but I do feel that I want to still look after him even though that is all I have left now. Unbelievably you do move on from such a traumatic experience. Counselling is good and I found the following points invaluable to remember:

survivors of a suicide will ask:

why choose to end your life?

why could you not have come to me for help?

was your life so unbearable?

could I have done something to prevent it?

do you realise what you have done to us?

were you not aware of how much I'd miss you?

didnt you think about the pain you'd cause?

are you at peace now?

these are all the questions that we know we will never get answers to but we torment ourselves with. Along side these questions, there is some things the survivors of the suicide (us) need to remember:

it was NOT the survivors choice.

NO ONE is a sole influence on another's life.

suicidal thoughts are common with survivors.

anger, guilt, confusion and memory lapses are common responses.

it is normal for survivors to feel great anger towards the deceased.

setbacks are anticipated. Emotions can return like the tide.

survivors can feel overwhelmed by their feelings.

physical grief reactions are common amongst survivors.

I have typed these up because they were helpful to me. They are from a bereavement counsellor who studied suicide. I find that it helps me make sense of this very abnormal situation I find myself in. I hope that in some small way, they will be helpful to you.

Mist

 

 

thank you

 

 

 

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