Friday, September 14, 2018

Living With Suicide Loss, Day 25

It's been 25 days since Zuka passed away. How can 25 days have passed already, it still feels like yesterday, time passes differently, times makes no sense anymore. Without going into too much detail at this time, Zuka was maybe 4 feet from me when he died, he was in my bedroom and I was in my bedroom bathroom, he was just outside the door. Maybe one day I will be ready to talk about the events of that day openly but not today.

The first night was of course unimaginably horrible, I screamed, howled, cried, made noise I didn't know humanely possible. I was in shock, in complete disbelief. No, No, this didn't just happen, my brain refused to believe the fact that he was gone. Even as they carried his covered body out of my house, while people held me and prayed. No, that just couldn't be, that couldn't be my baby. I kept screaming "No ZUKA! NO ZUKA! this isn't real!" My whole neighborhood must have heard me.

I can't even tell you about the next few days, I remember not being able to eat. Each time I tried I would get sick immediately after. I barely slept and when I did fall asleep I had these horrible nightmares which made me wish I hadn't. My doctor gave me something to help me cope and help me sleep but again sleeping wasn't a peaceful rest for me, it was just as traumatic, if not more ,than being awake.  Loud noises scared me and I jumped and got nervous, had panic attacks. This has not gone away.

I didn't want to be alive, I wanted to be with Zuka but I COULD NOT put my daughter, husband and family through the pain that I was feeling. I would not do that to them and that kept me going. Kept me swimming, just trying to keep my head above water. My love for them was greater than my pain.

The days went by, people brought us food, I couldn't cook. I barely showered, I really didn't care about anything but missing Zuka. I answered Facebook messages and texts but I must have been in a daze because later I didn't even remember reading them or responding. We went to visit a friend that first week, after one night there I thought I had been there four nights. I could hardly believe them when they told me it had been only one night. I thought it was a cruel joke. I couldn't think clearly, words came out wrong, when I got upset I would stutter and my body would shake. I sat outside in 90+ degree weather smoking cigarettes (an old bad habit I picked back up) and people kept asking if I was hot but it was like my body wasn't regulating temperature.

I threw myself into making plans for his memorial and celebration of life here in Florida. I barely slept, I spent every moment planning the details, I told myself that I just had to focus on making everything perfect for Zuka. It was my duty and it had to be done, no matter how sick or tired I felt.

I remember the day it turned into a deep sense of emptiness and loneliness, I woke up from a nap I didn't want to take and these sense of emptiness and loneliness was overwhelming, I felt like I had nothing left. It was a switch from feeling sad about Zuka to a deeper sense of depression. It was one of the most horrible feelings I have ever felt. That day I decided that I needed help. I started calling counselors and admitted on social media to friends and family that I was not okay.

25 days, I have cried every day. After getting through both memorials the reality started to set in that he isn't coming back.  I feel so angry, angry at nothing, angry at everything, I hold it inside. I have never been angry at Zuka because if he was feeling anything close to what I am feeling, I understand but I wish more than anything that he would have found a different way, he would have thought about a different way to cope. I feel emptiness. I worry these feelings will never go away. I smile and try to laugh but I am not happy, I worry I will never feel happiness again.

I feel numb sometimes, like I can't possibly feel anymore. The first time I got a tattoo it hurt really bad and then suddenly it went numb, like my body was like "That's enough, I'm not feeling this anymore" sometimes I feel like that. I lay in Zuka's bed and just do nothing. I have never been able to do nothing, I have to have like 3 things going at once. Even when I am home, the tv is going, I'm talking and chatting and checking facebook. For the first time I sit in numbness and do nothing. I don't find any pleasure in television, I have tried to read or watch a movie. Everything is dull and food doesn't even taste the same since he is gone. Life is not the same. It never will be.

Without my husband, my daughter, my family and friends, even support from people I don't know I never would have made it 25 days. Especially the couple of friends that have been through the same loss, they helped me realize I am not going insane and what I am feeling and changes I am going through are my new "normal." I would text a certain friend and tell her what I was doing or feeling, and ask "have a lost my mind yet?" and she would assure me that I had not. That helped me stay grounded.

I haven't done my hair, put on makeup or cared what I look like since Zuka passed away. So many things just seem trivial or I don't have the energy to do them. I get tired fast, sometimes from doing nothing at all. Grieving takes a lot of work and energy. I spend a lot of time in Zuka's room. I have gone through his things and cried. I know I can't keep everything, I can't keep his room like this forever but I am not ready to change anything. I don't know what to do with his clothes. I have tattooed my body with his memory, I wear an urn around my neck every day, I wear the ring I bought in his memory. I sleep with his t-shirt beside me. He is constantly on my mind. I can barely think about anything else. The only other thing that consumes me right now is how can I make a difference in the lives of others in his memory. He cared so deeply for others and I want to honor his memory by devoting my time making a difference. This spring I will finish my bachelors in mental health and human services and somehow I will use this pain to make a difference, even if it's just one life.

I cannot describe to you the pain and emotions I have felt in the past 25 days. There are no words. I don't say this to make you feel sorry for me but maybe one person will read this and think, "wow, I could never put my family through that!" To those people, please understand....People care about you more than you will ever realize. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, please seek help! You are not a burden! You matter! 

You're never alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you are struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide


  1. Thank you for this Jen. I know it took a lot of courage to put your feelinfs out in the open and I hope you know I love n care about you guy's.

  2. You sweet mama. Wrapping my arms around you and your family. I haven't lost a child of my own, but I did comfort a dying 17 year old boy who had been stabbed. He was my daughter's friend and I had known him for years. My heart shattered that day and it will never be the same. A lot of what you're going through is exactly how I felt. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, constantly in a state of anxiety. I am so sorry you're dealing with this.