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What I've Learned Since My Mother's Suicide

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The call came 10 years ago on Aug. 29, 2008. My stepdad’s anguish-filled voice repeated the words that my mom was no longer here. I remember calling my aunt and then my therapist. I’m pretty sure my therapist saved my life that day.

My mom died by suicide. I believe her disease of addiction convinced her she wasn’t needed or wanted and that somehow we’d be better off without her. If addiction was a thing, I’d punch it for spreading so many lies.

I have written about surviving suicide and that I don’t believe it is a selfish act but instead one of a person trying to be free from their insurmountable pain. Ten years later, I still miss my mom and still believe that to be true. She couldn’t see any other way out, and that kills me. She’s the reason I share my story, in hopes of getting people to think differently about how we address addiction and suicidal ideation.

When you lose someone to suicide it’s sometimes hard to think of anything but how they left this world, so I challenge myself daily to remember all the ways my mom lived. She was so much more than the disease that took her. She was my best friend, the greatest cook and baker, the biggest lover of animals and she devoured anything related to Stephen King. She was and still is a bright light on some of my darkest days.

I’m hopeful by sharing our stories and having a community where we can see we’re not all alone, it will help us all cope and survive. I think the main lesson I’ve learned from my mom’s life and death is that people truly need other people. We can’t go through this life alone. It is that aloneness that can do us in.

To my Mighty community I want to say, remember your loved ones. Let them be lights for you and let’s continue to be lights for each other.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: September 5, 2018
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