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What Mornings Are Like Now After My Son Died by Suicide

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

It’s 6:00 a.m., and Finn is at my husband’s side of the bed. He wants to be let out. He knows it’s time for my husband to get up and go to work. I lie in bed, very aware of Finn and my husband making friendly banter. I wait to hear my husband open the kitchen door. I wonder, did he put Finn’s electric collar on? I always make sure it is hung on the door handle in plain sight. I wait to hear Finn’s feet on the kitchen floor again. Great, Finn is back in the house.

I settle back to sleep. Now it’s 8:00 a.m., time for my husband to leave for work. Will he close the door tight enough when he leaves through the garage that attaches to our house? I fear Finn will get loose again. Should I get up to check the door? This is the start of every morning for me.

This all began because Finn got loose from my husband over two years ago. It was 6:15 a.m. on a very cold winter morning. My husband was in a bathrobe and slippers calling for the dog. The yard was covered in four inches of snow. When I realized what was going on, I actually called 911. I was scared that Finn would get hit by a car, or my husband would get frostbite. But mostly, I was afraid of loss.

Luckily a police officer came. He called Finn and Finn went right over to him. He grabbed his collar. I made a batch of brownies, wrote a thank you note to drop off to the officer. Since this happened, an electric fence was put up by my son, Joe, and my husband.

I had never had anxiety until September 26, 2014. This was the date I lost my 17-year-old son, Matt, to suicide. It had been a regular day. Matt had gone to school that day. He came home his usual time. I arrived later. Matt was upstairs in his room and he called down and told me he had let Finn out. Little did I know, these would be the last words I would hear from him. Some time within the next 40 minutes, Matt took his life. I had called up to Matt, to make sure he was ready to leave for work. But when he didn’t answer, I went up and found him sitting on the floor of the closet. I was too late and even though I called 911, and they got his heart going, he died, three days later.

Because he had donor on his car license, we said yes to donating. I know that he has helped many through these donations. Now I struggle with the “would-a, could-a, should-a” syndrome as a work through this new journey in my life.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Thinkstock photo via Rasulovs

Originally published: June 20, 2017
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