This morning I woke up and was unexpectedly very teary. I’ve had a great week, I’ve been on holidays, started studying again, enjoyed some really happy moments with family and friend and feel like I’m in a good place. Yet here they were, the sadness and the anger, paying me an unwelcome and un-invited visit.
Then I remembered, this coming Wednesday would have been my husband’s 37th birthday. I knew it was coming, I’ve planned how I’ll spend the day, I was feeling ok about it all until suddenly, I wasn’t.
It will be the third that I’ve had to mark without him and it has started feeling like the people around me will start to forget what an important day this is. I’ve mentioned to a few ‘it’s Dan’s birthday on Wednesday’ and the reply has been ‘oh wow, gee that’s come around quickly’ or ‘that’s right, I’d forgotten it was coming up’ and not much more. How very different to the first and even the second, when people asked if I was ok, what I was planning to do and if they could do anything to help make it easier, like being with me on the day. It’s as if they assume I’m ok now and the day will pass without too much fuss or bother.
As I was laying in bed, pondering all of this, my phone beeped with a text message from a good friend who I met through my husband. They’d gone to school together and had been as close as bother and sister. When he passed away she was an incredible support to me and we’ve now become close also.
She knew Dan’s birthday was coming up and had been thinking of him too this morning. I called her back and let my tears flow, knowing she would always be ok with with however raw I needed to be. I confessed that I was sad that people might be starting to forget and she assured me she wasn’t – and none of their friendship group were either.
We spoke about how it still feels surreal that he’s not here. I told her about a conversation I’d had that week with a new friend I’d made, where I told him the story of my husband. As I’d shared the details… I was married but he’d passed away when I was 33 and he was 34… we were newlyweds, only married six weeks prior… he’d been recently diagnosed with depression and his medication caused a psychotic episode that prompted him to take his life… I’d seen the shock register on this new friend’s face. Each layer of the story sounding more and more bizarre and unreal.
It still felt unreal. I’ve told our story hundreds of times by now. I have it down pat and know it intimately. However telling it again to someone new, and watching them react to the sadness of it, always makes it real again. This wasn’t the plot of some ridiculous day-time tv drama, this actually happened. And it happened to me. It’s MY story. It’s woven into the fabric of my life, forever shaping me.
Each time I tell it, as if it’s an abstract tale of woe, to then realise that this is actually what happened to Dan, well, it hits home again.
The process of disbelief can still register, even now. How did this happen? How could he have reached such a tragic place without me noticing? How could he have honestly believed this was the best and only option? How could he have written me that last goodbye, knowing it would devastate me but thinking it was still the only way?
Depression is such a cruel disease. I’m still feeling the ripple effect of the impact it has made in my life and I guess I should expect to do so until my own time comes.
It robbed my darling of so much. I hate depression. Today I’m sad and I miss him and I’m angry that I couldn’t spend this weekend shopping for the perfect gift that would light up his eyes and bring on that cheeky grin that I’d give anything to see again.