If You Would Have Stayed 1 More Year: A Letter To My Boyfriend

If You Would Have Stayed 1 More Year: A Letter To My Boyfriend

An open letter to my boyfriend, whose story closed without a goodbye, but will encourage others to keep writing their own.
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On October 6, 2016 my best friend, my perspective of a perfect person, the brightest light in my life, my first love, my boyfriend, made the only choice he thought he had...

to take his own life at 16 years old.

For me, losing a loved one to suicide has made me wish I could stop time, or better yet, reverse it. But time does not stop for anyone or anything in this world, and looking back on a year with Austin vacant from my life, I realized that I have lived. Now, if you are thinking, “wow that’s great, she is living her life, she is getting better!”— not even close.

The guilt that surrounds a suicide survivor when they find themselves able to live and experience life without their loved one is like a sticky, dark cloud that latches to your back and does not let go.

How can you let yourself enjoy something that your loved one may have enjoyed if they would have just simply stayed?

Bystanders, the people who just want to help you, or even friends and family members commonly don’t understand the process of grieving a death by suicide. They might remind you that “God doesn’t give you anything that you can’t handle” or the biggest lie that “this will get better in time.”

Well, let me be the one to voice that while drowning in the loss of a loved one to suicide, with the most innocent mindset, you question why someone would even believe that God would do something so vicious as to take away your light, you ask why he would even let your loved one feel the demons inside of their head over and over and over again, and “better in time?” – I wish it were that simple.

Anyone who has suffered a loss knows that time does not heal a broken heart, it changes it.

With time approaching the one-year anniversary of his tragic death, I have been thinking a lot about how much one person can really accomplish in a year. Think about how many new people you may meet, how many pictures you might take, and the ways you could physically change in a year.

Though he and I were together for quite some time before my senior year and his junior year, this particular school year was the year that I had lived for less than a month and a half with him living, and over nine months without.

At 17 years old, I lost someone who I thought I would cheer on for two more years from the bleachers of the soccer field, watch graduate in red and white, find a career, buy (a few) more cars, get married, and start a family.

No matter what was to have become of our relationship, I still would be watching him live his life. His family would be there while he goes through all of life’s precious moments, but those moments that “would”, will never.

I will never watch him live his life again, and his family will never have the opportunity to watch him experience some of greatest gifts that life had to offer him.

Since I haven’t gotten to see, or speak to him in a year, I decided to write him a letter.

To anyone who is suffering from a mental illness, has thoughts of suicide, or has attempted suicide, please remember that you are never alone, and you are loved. Taking away your pain may only seem realistic by ending your life, but remember those that love you will carry the pain you leave behind forever.

You have so much more to live for, just think about what you can accomplish in one year.


To the loved one that left by choice,

This may seem like a silly exercise that a counselor might be encouraging me to try out, but it’s not. This is my choice to share the ending of your story, though I wish I could say "our" story. In this letter, my story starts the day that you were freed of your pain but passed much of it on to me.

I know that this was not your intention, you are the most selfless person I have ever met. Six days after you left, you would have turned 17 years old, but there was no cake and no party, just an empty room, and your scent.

Twenty-five days after you left, I tried to go out on Halloween, it was in the middle of a crowded room when I realized none of the faces at the party would be yours. Sometime after October, our volleyball team made it to state, something you said we would do, and my response was just a laugh.

Everyone was cheering and hugging their friends, but I didn’t have your arms to run to and admit that “you were right, again.”

Before Thanksgiving, I was accepted into both colleges that I applied for, but instead of running to your house to tell you the good news, I was running to your mom in hopes of putting smile on her face– none of us have seen it in a while. Thanksgiving was a blur, but you and I are both picky eaters so that's OK.

Eighty days after you left, I celebrated Christmas, my favorite holiday, but for some reason, it didn’t have the same cheer and spark as when I was a little kid. One-hundred and thirty-nine days after you left, I turned 18 years old. My friends and family threw me a giant surprise party, but it wasn’t really a surprise; it would have been if you were there.

One hundred and eighty-one days after you left, I had a minor surgery; you would have laughed and thought I was dying in pain, but I knew you weren’t going to be bringing me a get well gift.

Two hundred and fourteen days after you left, I went to my senior prom. I felt beautiful, and I know you would have thought so too. Two hundred and forty-eight days after you left, I graduated high school; I know you would have been jealous knowing you had one more year left.

Three hundred and eleven days after you left, I moved away to college, a place where there are no reminders of you on every block in town, 6 hours away from your gravestone, and 397.3 miles away from the last place I saw you.

Today has been 365 days since you left. Please don’t think I have forgotten about you. I won’t ever stop counting the days since you left. You are loved.

Always,

Elle

Cover Image Credit: Elle Sehorn

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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It's Time For Romance Movies To Start Portraying Love And Relationships More Accurately

It's 2019, get with the times.

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Currently, on TV and in the movies, many romance movies have the same storyline. If it's on Hallmark, two people fall in love and complete some kind of mission. If it's in the movies two people date/fall in love, something causes them to break up, then they get back together and everyone lives happily ever after.

The problem is that all of these plots are seriously unrealistic.

All of these movies and TV shows just inaccurately portray how a relationship works in real life. A real relationship takes a lot of work, time, and effort. Not everything is candy canes, unicorns, and comes so easily. There are so many other factors that people have to think about.

I really got into watching these romantic type movies when I started watching PG-13 movies. I would watch them and picture all my relationships going this way. But these movies painted the wrong picture of relationships. I'm not saying my boyfriend is a bad boyfriend at all, he is wonderful! But we both have learned it takes a lot of work, time, effort, and communication. These are things very few romance movies teach us.

Also, everyone expects things from their significant others from what they see in these movies. I was one of those people, but then real life hit. There are bills, jobs, and time management that you have to consider. This doesn't mean that my boyfriend and I don't go out, but we have to choose wisely for what we do and when we do it! We have also found fun things to do at home in place of going out in order to save money.

I understand that many people like to watch these programs and enjoy them. But there needs to be a change to accurately portray a relationship. Personally, I think this is why many young people's relationships don't last - they have watched this easy relationship develop and stay in a movie and they haven't seen what it is like in real life.

So, to those who produce these types of movies and shows, it's time that you start making things more realistic.

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