Many who read Planet Grief have lost a loved one to suicide and whilst I have spoken personally and in depth to some of them, I can’t pretend to have any true insight into the complexity of feelings which surround someone taking their own life, although as I have written about in my book (and skimmed over in the blog), my husband’s first wife died of complications following a suicide attempt.
I think it is telling that Ann’s first sentence of her story says that she feels guilty about telling her story because her husband, Yan, ‘chose to throw his life away’. Ann, you have nothing, NOTHING to feel guilty about in recounting your story of love, loss, anger, regrets and bewilderment. Thank you.
I often feel guilty of telling ‘my story’ as my husband chose to throw his life away, whilst many many people lose their loved ones through illness or tragedies, but here goes!
My husband, Yan, aged 47, left our house at 8am on Tuesday 5th May 2015, to go to work. Little did I know, this would be the last time I saw or spoke to him. During that morning we had a small text row, which I ceased as I was too busy in work. Looking back on this conversation, my husband was unusually argumentative which was totally out of character!
When I left work, I tried to call him, no answer, his workmates said he was out on a job (which later was revealed Yan had told them to say this). He didn’t return home and the next day, when his boss informed me he had not turned in for work (again totally out of character), I reported him missing! For 4 long days, my family and children camped out in our home, waiting and waiting for news that he had been found alive licking his wounds! Torturous long days whereby I sat holding his pictures, pleading with him in my head to return home. On Saturday afternoon 9th May, my new life was about to begin. A policeman, feeling awkward, knocked to tell me that Yan had been found by a dog walker, in remote woods, not far from where he worked. He had hanged himself. Not in the way everyone assumes, he was found in a sitting position, with a photograph of our 8 year old little girl, Mollie. It had rained all week and hence no dog walkways had used the woods until the Sat. My husband had almost certainly been there since the Tuesday and in my mind, I know he must of done this act in the early hours of the Wed, which was my eldest sons 27th birthday. Yan left notes for his mother, his boss, for my eldest daughter (his stepdaughter) and Mollie. Not one for me, why? No rhyme or reason for him taking his own life except in his words he ‘couldn’t cope with life in general’. His ex partner who he had been with for 19 years before me, told me she thinks he always had it in him!!! Well blow me, in 10 years together, I had not one single clue! Yes we had an up and down marriage, anybody who doesn’t admit that, is either lying or living in cloud cuckoo land, but for the last 18 months, we had hardly a crossed word, in fact it was the best 18 months of my whole 45 years of life!
My family urge me to be angry with him but how can I be. If that was the only way for his troubled mind to get peace then I have to accept that. My anger is aimed at his mother and sister, who from day one disliked me (although this has only just come to light), they blame me. His mother has said she wished he had never split from his ex. That obviously means she wished Mollie wasn’t here. She has accused me of all sorts of things, which I know is totally untrue and so does Yan in heaven. She is where my anger lays. I know she feels guilty for the way she treated her son when he was younger, I know deep down, she feels to blame and it is easier to heave the blame onto me, rather than admitting it. She has now said she never wants to see Mollie again, as all she sees when she looks at her, is me! Funny really, as Mollie is the double of Yan, in every way! Which gives me strength in itself!
My grief, well yes obviously I grieve. Not every second of every day, but I grieve for what he has left behind, Mollie. My grief is for her as she will miss out on so much, having him around. He was a wonderful husband but he was a wonderful Dad. They did everything together. She draped from his neck (ironically). They had a wonderful relationship. So, my grief is for Mollie, not for myself. It’s not fair that she has to spend the rest of her life without him, that she can’t make him proud (in life), that she can’t build Lego with him or fly a kite with him or dig out the pumpkin this Halloween, or celebrate her birthday with him wrapping the presents with so much cello tape, they would fall about in laughter.
My grief is when I look at her and see how brave she is, she just gets on with life.
My grief is not and will never be for myself but for our darling little angel, Mollie xx