Read Krista’s full back story here.
“The days are hard and that’s even an understatement. They’re so busy, ya know? Four kids, sports, work, a household to run… that’ll do it to you. I’m constantly busy. Then the nights come. Ugh, I dread the evenings. The nights are so lonely. When the house is quiet, and the last baby goes to bed. The aching grows. This used to be the favorite part of our day. Now I have to force myself to sit downstairs, alone.
This was our time together. This is where we would go over our day. Where I wouldn’t be just a mom anymore, but your best friend, a lover, the girl you fell in love with. You would remind me I’m not the failure I feel. I’m not the damaged goods I’ve been told I am. This is where you would bring me gently back from the world beating me down. I miss you speaking God’s truth to my heart. I miss the way you loved me. I miss the honor of being your wife. I miss… you. Just you.
How we laughed and were always joking. We talked about each one of the kids. Their quarks and which one we worried about the most. How we couldn’t wait to see how they were going to change the world. This was the time we would both admit we didn’t know what we were doing too. How were we going to keep up this charade of being ‘adults’? And who trusted us with four kids and a house? This is where we found beauty in the chaos. Together. We created this beautiful messy life, together.
Now I literally have to set a timer and make myself stay downstairs. Like a child forced into timeout. I’m forced to accept this reality. Even walking up the steps to bed is painful. I remember every night I would race you up because still in my 30s, I was afraid of the dark. A fear you would exploit as you would turn off the lights and hide. Man, how we were kids raising kids!
Fast forward to what the experts calls the ‘separation anxiety phase’. Sounds pleasant enough, right? I would just call it ‘hell’, but the word ‘phase’ puts an official seal on it, I guess. This is where for the past 19 years you were an every single day part of my life. This is where I accept there will be a time that my days without you will outnumber my days with you.
This is where the painful process of ‘two becoming one’ is ripped from my body. From my soul. From my heart. This moment is where I bring my dreams to the cross where they must die. Again, and again. Where the beautiful dance of marriage is unraveled day by day. Where my ring finger feels oh so heavy and so light at the same time. This is where I not only miss you, but I’m left to figure out who I am without half of me.
Like an amputee, you’re cut from my body over and over. The phantom pains of the life we had is gnawing at me. Half of me is missing. I’m learning how to walk and talk again. How to function now without you still.
You aren’t really here sitting with me. I want to pretend you’re in the other room, so I’ll even call your name. I want to taste it on my lips again. I call out for you and again my heart sinks when there is no response. Just silence. A silence that is deafening. I never knew silence could be so painfully loud.
Here it goes. The memories flood in. The good, bad, and the ugly. I’m left with thinking why did I ever complain about you leaving dirty laundry everywhere? Man, what I would give to find a trail of dirty clothes leading to your hamper. You never did understand that dirty clothes go IN the hamper, did you? I want that back. I want you back. I want it all back.
But, let’s be honest here too. You were already gone way before you were gone. I missed you when you were sitting right next to me. I longed for your laughter more than I longed for air. I was desperate to hear your voice. Days would turn into weeks of feeling alone. Even when you were here, you weren’t. For years I would miss you for hours, days, weeks, and months on end.
Depression stole your smile. Depression stole your energy. Depression stole your sense of humor. It stole your joy for life. It stole you from me. From us.
You fought though. You fought so hard. But then you got so tired of fighting. I fought for you when you were done fighting for yourself. I fought for every appointment. I fought every reason you said you were ‘fine’. I fought to make you breathe when you were already gone. The scars on my knees are a painful reminder of how I wouldn’t accept defeat with your last breath.
I know you didn’t want this. You didn’t want this for us. The pain. This isn’t the outcome you would have chosen for yourself or our babies. But your brain said we would be better off. The one organ you tried to reason with was the one organ that was so sick.
So here I am to set the record straight for anyone considering suicide. For anyone thinking ‘they’re better off without me.’ It’s a lie. A flat out lie. Make the decision to get help. Make the decision to tell someone you’re wanting to harm yourself. Make the decision to fight. And keep making it! Every single day. Even every single minute if you must. It’s not a fix-all. One appointment or one conversation may not do it. But have it anyways. Then have the next one. It’s a battle. You’re battling for your life. For the lives of those you love. You are breathing for a reason. Don’t stop. Keep living. Fight. Keep fighting. And fight some more! We need you. Stay!
Please, if you’re struggling with your mental health or suicidal thoughts, tell someone.”
[If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help is out there. You are not alone.]
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Krista Berge, 34, of Fort Meyers, Florida. You can follow her journey on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read Krista’s full back story here:
‘You promised you’d never leave us. We had plans THAT day. Our son, at 10 years old, had to call 911.’: Wife says although her late husband’s suffering is done, theirs has ‘only just begun’ after his suicide
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