Last week, a friend's husband committed suicide. Out of the blue. Shocked everyone. Their first child, a daughter, is only 12 weeks old.
After I heard the news and picked my jaw up from the floor, it brought back all kinds of feelings. After Henry was born, and I was deep in the fog of hormonal changes and a nasty case of the baby blues, I had griping fear. Fear that something would happen to my husband while he was traveling for work, and I'd be left to not only raise Henry by myself, but I'd also be left without an income.
This wasn't just a typical worry or a passing thought as my husband left for business trips. This was a looming sense of doom that hung over me for days before he left. I would shake in fear for his well-being in bed in the mornings before his flight would take off.
"What on earth will I do if I lose him?! How will I pay the bills? Who will help me with Henry? Who will teach Henry things a mother can't teach a son?"
These questions cycled through my head for the first three or so months of Henry's life.
In my irrational fear of impending doom, I never considered suicide. I only thought about plane crashes and car wrecks. Never once did my hormonal mind venture to consider suicide.
I suppose I thought I'd be able to tell if Kirk wasn't happy, or there was something deeply awry with his mental state. But that isn't always the case. Mental illness is a tricky, complex beast. Some are very private with their emotions, and can lead seemingly normal lives while trapped in the deepest, darkest hell of their own minds.
|Learning to manage my fear after Henry was born|
Kirk was away on business when I heard the news about my friend's husband. And all those fears of death and the confusion of "what I would do?" came back, full force, with the added element of suicide. "What would I do if my husband killed himself? It wasn't a natural accident, but he actually killed himself and left me and Henry on our own?"
I was saved from having to answer that question. I was spared from having to answer any of my darkest questions, or confront any of my deep-seeded fears. And I am so extremely grateful for that. Hug your loved ones a little tighter and kiss them a little longer tonight.