Every single day, somewhere around 100 Americans will take their own life. This means that there around 30,000 deaths in the United States each year from suicide alone. You can Google the statistics, the facts and the figures, and then you can go ahead and read about the suspected reasons that a person would decide to commit such a devastating, permanent act. They talk about how to get help, how no life is worthless, and then they list the phone numbers for the suicide hotlines as if calling a hotline is some sort of foolproof method to prevent someone from taking their own life.
But what they don't teach you about is the pain, the grief, and the heartbreak. They don't teach you how to live in the aftermath of the worst case scenario: a person you love committing suicide. The word "suicide" is taboo a lot of the time. In school, in church, in the mouths of the family members of the deceased. I'm tired of not talking about it. I'm tired of having to hold it in. There are a lot of things they don't tell you about losing a loved one to suicide. School taught me how to see the warning signs, school taught me how to try to get someone to reach out for help. But school didn't teach how to handle it once it has happened, only how to try to prevent it. But what happens if it is too late?
My momma once told me, "Life is for the living." But they don't teach you how hard it is to go on living when you've lost someone you love. They don't teach you how hard it is to continue breathing and feeling and existing on this Earth when you know that the one you love will no longer have that opportunity.
They don't teach you how to find the words to speak when someone asks you, "What is wrong? What has happened?" They don't teach you how you'll be fumbling over your words searching for the right letters to string together and explain that someone you love is no longer here anymore, and that the reason they are not here is on their own accord. And you aren't stumbling over your words because you are ashamed or because you are angry, but because you are just are just confused and cannot understand it yourself.
They don't teach you about the heaviness. They don't teach you how you will feel as if you will never be whole again. They don't teach you how to live with the ever present guilt that rests in your head and your heart when you wonder why, how, and what if. Why did this happen? How could I have prevented this? What if I had called just one last time?
They don't teach you about the strength required to carry on. They don't teach you that you'll see the strongest people you've ever known break down completely right in front of your eyes. How you will see your grandfather cry for the first time because he lost his only son. How you never thought something so terrible could happen, until it did, and how you have got to be strong enough to hold it together when your whole family is falling apart around you.
They don't always teach you that mental illnesses are real, life changing diseases.
My momma once told me that life is for the living, but living without a person that you love is the hardest thing in the world. Forever in our hearts, missing you endlessly.