How Losing A Loved One To Suicide Completely Transformed My Life

Cassidy Kelley
Cassidy Kelley

Suicide sucks. There’s no other way to describe it.

It is the creation of so many unanswered questions.

It is dark and painful and all consuming.

It is destructive, heart breaking, gut wrenching.

It has the power to stop time, and in the exact same moment evoke a desire to move ahead.

It divides families and unites them.

It brings waves of emotions and numbness.

It forces a whirlwind of actions and nothingness.

It is harsh; it is confusing; it is horrific but it is life changing.

Through losing a loved one to suicide, my life changed; our lives changed and I found myself.

Writing those words feels unnatural, uncomfortable, selfish. They don’t feel right, and my delete key has been hit more times than not. But they need to be said. “I lost a loved one and through her leaving she gave me the gift of my own life”

We were once on a similar path. Both hurting; stuck; lost, turning to self harm for answers, a white flag we waved, surrendering to the battle inside. We both had been there. We had both tried to navigate our way home. I thought we were almost there. And then she left.

Just like that, in a moment, she was gone. We lost her.

The fight became to much for to long. And the pain was so immensely all consuming. I had never felt heartbreak to this extent. I couldn’t see how life could continue, how the seconds kept moving, how the sun rose again.

I felt as if I would wake from the nightmare soon. It was too painful to be real. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t want to.

But seeing her, knowing she was gone, something about it felt so wrong. A life had ended. And the thought of continuing to do the same, to follow her path, felt wrong. I wish I could explain it more clearly, to find the right words, but I knew in that moment things had to change.

It began with a single promise. A promise to her that never again would I inflict harm on my body. Never again would I wave my white flag, Never again would I surrender. I had no idea how, but I knew I had to. I owed her that much.

Once I began to heal, and allowed myself to feel the weight of losing her, I began to see life through a new lense.

I realized the pain I felt was so immense because the love I had for her was so deep. I had experienced such a love that losing her felt like my world stopped turning. I was grateful. I was so thankful I experienced a love like that. I was grateful I had memories I could keep. I was grateful I had the chance to have the love she gave me. I was grateful for her. I realized the intensity of my pain reflected the intensity of my love. And I found gratitude.

I realised life is unexpected, we never know what is coming next. A thought that motivated me to live my life as I wanted and not let it just float by. It motivated me to stop being a circumstance of my life, and take the reigns back. I stopped wasting days in bed, depressed, and started living. I had to do this. I found perspective.

I realised what was important and what wasn’t. What would once consume my energy and mind, I let go of. Those arguments, the people I couldn’t change, the times I couldn’t get back- I let them go. I focussed my energy on what I loved, and the people I loved. I chose to accept that I couldn’t control and embrace my life for what it was. I found responsibility.

I realised the impact my self destruction was having on my family. Seeing the otherside of suicide tore my heart open. I saw the potential outcome my life could have on the ones I loved most. Through losing her, I saw what losing me may be like. And I wasn’t prepared for that anymore.

Through losing her, I found I needed me.

As I have gone on, I realized I never really lost her.

She is not here, in the beautiful shell I knew her as, but she is still here.

I feel her hugs everytime I say something uplifting to myself

I see her smile everytime I close my eyes

I feel her love everytime I walk outside, I smell the trees, I see the ocean, I feel the wind

I hear her voice, her laugh, her words, everytime i dream of her

I know she is here.

And when things become hard, and I’m in search of strength I can’t find, I pause- take a breath, close my eyes and smile because I know she is with me.

She is my reason. The reason I am living the life I have now. She was my wake up call, the reality check I needed. And whilst this feels wrong to write, and hard to say, she gave me the gift of my life when she left and I will forever be grateful.

Through losing her, we all learnt something.

Her life served the world, she has left her mark on this earth and brought love to lives that needed it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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