I felt like I should write this because I feel like it should be written by a person who dealt with the tragedy of suicide. After all, I'm a person who dealt with two of these within different years.
In September of this year, my uncle would have been 49. He would have been a grandfather to six grandkids and a father to three kids along with being a brother, uncle and much more.
He was a NASCAR lover, horse rider and truck driver. He was someone who would give the shirt off his back for you.
When I last saw him, he was at the field days. I remember asking him, "what did you do to Aunt Jodi?"
His answer and the last thing he ever said to me was, "I fired her." I didn't know back then that the answer meant divorce.
Then, he came up to me, and I hugged him for the last time, all I could smell being cigarette smell and cologne.
I was only about seven or eight when he died, but I was old enough to know that he was the greatest man you could have ever known.
I survived something that was tragic to our family and something that made a big impact on us. But we all still tried to stick together.
The man meant the world to me, even though I didn't know what he was going through. Now I know it was depression and that was something he was hiding.
July 29, 2011, it happened again. This time, I lost my aunt when I was only 11 or 12.
When my aunt died, I was the closest one to her. She was my first best friend, and I trusted her more than anyone. She was my role model and is the only reason I'm going to medical school. I know that she would still be my best friend and a mother to two of her children.
My aunt had the brightest smile and an even bigger heart. We would talk for hours until she knew I was OK because that was her way of always letting me know that she loved me.
I hope she knows I loved her too.
But, here I am...alone and wishing I could have stopped her.
About seven years later, my head was not really in the mindset. I was going to college and had no idea what I was doing.
My depression, anxiety and everything that possibly could catch up with me did. The thoughts, memories, hurt, sadness — everything came back.
I didn't care about anything because my body and mind were in a dark place.
I would sit in a dark room alone and stare at the ceiling just to end up crying for no reason. I knew it ran in my family history, but I was praying to God it somehow wouldn't get to me.
But everything caught up, and there I was, trying to figure out what the f*ck I was going to do. So, I did the right thing for myself and went for a 72-hour evaluation to get help.
After two years, I got better. I now go to counseling and go to the grave sites to visit my family in heaven when I need it.
If you or someone you know is in the wrong mindset, call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them on their website to get help. That's what they are there for, so please do not be afraid to ask.