“I have to tell them, Brian.
I have to tell them this story, our story, your story. Tell them that for five years you fought and you fought hard. There is no denying how hard you tried. Doctors, counselors, medications, and battle after battle. I watched you fight your demons right in front of me. I have to tell them how you promised me you would never leave us. I am compelled to let them know how you calmed my fears even up to that very last week, that you wouldn’t harm yourself.
Brian, do you remember how I told you this would utterly destroy me?
Remember when I said I would never get past this if you left? How our kids needed every ounce of you? You knew how much we needed and loved you. I reminded you every single day. We laughed when I would say that you’re the fun one and they wouldn’t thrive with just me. Do you remember comforting me and telling me we would be stronger on the other side of this?
The world needs to know how brave it was you stayed for every painful breath.
Then something happened and it was just too much. What happened? You didn’t follow protocol, did you? With countless nights of research, my own education, and doctors, I KNEW what to look for. I knew the signs of suicide like that back of my hand. You knew I would do everything I could to stop you as I did so many times before. We had plans THAT day, Brian. I remember laughing on the way home with the kids saying how you probably burned the rice for dinner. We had made plans for the rest of our lives. You never stopped making plans for our future.
But you didn’t plan that moment, did you?
Because if you did, you would have known how it killed us too. You wouldn’t have done it. I know you wouldn’t have done that to yourself and especially us. When the kids and I found you, Brian, we died then too at that exact moment. Their innocence died right there with you on the pavement. The life we built was shattered. You never would have made that choice; your depression made it for you. You never would have done that. It’s not enough to trust yourself. It’s not enough to, Brian. I never would have left you that day… like every day before if I knew it was even possible.
They need to know how fast it all happened.
How quickly I left you on the phone working, laughing, and building a life, to coming home to find you drained of your soul. It was 52 minutes. 3,120 seconds that I want to get back. How the screams from our kids will forever echo in my mind. I hear their voices at night crying out for you.
They need to..
Hear our son, at only 10 years old, had to call 911. See their loved ones and children’s faces in ours. Hear how our four babies watched me drag your lifeless body from the truck to begin CPR.
The pain is never ending.
How I am drowning in grief that I can barely breathe. That I finally understand the immobilizing pain of not being able to get out of bed. How now I am fighting for my own life just as you fought for yours. Most of all, they need to hear you would have stayed if you knew this would be the outcome. That we will never get over you. Although your suffering is done, ours has only just begun.
They, the ones struggling with suicidal thoughts, even just one small thought, need to hear that it can take over in a second. Brian, they need to hear that you were not that one moment or your illness and neither are they. That no one is better off without them but only better BECAUSE of them. They need to hear one word, one word that I wish was the last I said to you that day before I left… STAY.
I will forever love you,
[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. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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