Right now your brain is lying to you. Your brain is telling you that if you leave, everyone will be better off, everyone will happier. This is fundamentally untrue. It is, in fact, the opposite of the truth. If you leave, your exit will cause a nuclear bomb to explode into the lives of everyone who loves you. You will not get rid of the pain you feel you will simply pass it on to the people you love you.
The scale of the explosion will be directly proportionate to the amount of the love that that person had for you. So, you will hurt the ones who loved you the most, the worst. It is accepted by psychologists that the trauma of being a suicide survivor is equivalent to being a concentration camp survivor. That trauma is multiplied exponentially if you leave your loved one to find your dead body.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife, who is always smiling and is always positive, will come home from work, will open the door of the flat you shared with her and find your dead body hanging waiting for her. In that moment, in one foul swoop, you will destroy her innocence and she will never be the same.
She will be all alone when she finds you and she will be so scared because hanging is a violent death and your corpse looks like something out of a horror movie to her. Initially, she will not even be able to process what she is looking at. It is too shocking to her and it is too scary. But when she realises, she will have no idea what to do and she will just start screaming.
The neighbours will hear her screams and they will come to help her. Your wife will try to do CPR even though she basically has no clue how to do it. She will be scared to touch you because you look so horrible. Your wife will have to witness paramedics pretending to try and resuscitate you. They will keep telling her they are giving you “really good chest compressions”. This is bullshit and she knows it. She is a Cardiologist’s wife after all. You have told her before that the only way of saving someone who has had a cardiac arrest outside hospital is with a defibrillator. The paramedics will not use a defibrillator on you because you are dead and she knows it and they know it too. But she will have to watch the charade.
If you kill yourself, after you die your flat will be flooded with police officers who will ask YOUR wife, who is in shock, questions. Everything will be a blur to her and all she will focus on is how many people are coming into their flat, with its white carpets, with their dirty shoes on. She will be unable to process anything. To her, this situation cannot possibly be real, so she will focus on the fact that now the flat is dirty and needs to be cleaned. This will be the start of the first stage of her grief: denial that you are dead and that you are never coming back.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will inform YOUR siblings- in law by WhatsApp message that she has found you hanging. They will initially think this is some kind of sick joke. They will hope it is a joke, but instead they will come up to London on a Friday night and see your dead body lying on the floor of the kitchen. It is the first time that any of them have seen a dead body and it is your body. The body of somebody they really loved. The body of a 31-year-old who shouldn’t be dead.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife, who knows nothing of darkness and has never thought about suicide before in her whole life, will think about slitting her wrists right there and then in the kitchen with your dead body. She will ask to be left alone with you and she will open the kitchen drawer and run her finger down a knife and wonder whether it is sharp enough. She will feel like she is Sleeping Beauty walking towards the poisoned spinning needle because that is how compelling the thought is to her that if you are dead she should be dead too. It will feel logical to her. The only thing that will prevents her from trying to kill herself with that knife, is that she worries about who will arrange your funeral if she is gone too? She sees it as her responsibility, as your wife.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will lie on top of your dead body until you go cold because she doesn’t want anyone to take you away from her. She doesn’t want you to go somewhere that she cannot go. She will finally let the undertakers take you away after the undertakers tell her that if she doesn’t let them take you away you will start to decay. She doesn’t want you to rot so she will allow them to take you away, her younger brother will have to hold her so that she doesn’t see you leave the flat in a body bag.
If your kill yourself, YOUR wife will go into such a state of shock that the paramedics will suggest she should be sedated. She will refuse this and she will experience night terrors (nightmares that happen when you are still awake) that night for the first time in her life.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife, will spend the next two weeks of her life trying to ensure that you have the best coffin and funeral and she will go searching, with her siblings, for the most attractive cemetery for you. She is a millennial and all her friends are getting married and having babies and she is organising a funeral for her husband.
She shouldn’t know how to arrange a funeral, but she does now. She will try to arrange the best funeral she possibly can. Even in your death, she wants you to have the best of everything and she is so desperate to make you proud of her.
If you kill yourself, one Christian pastor will refuse to give a speech at your funeral because he feels that he cannot say that you are heaven because you committed suicide. This will add to YOUR wife’s anguish because she will now have to come to terms with the fact that some Christians genuinely believe that you are now in Hell.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will spend hours in the funeral parlour, saying goodbye to you. She will cry and cry and cry and ask you how you could have left her, how you could have possibly thought that she was going to be OK without you. She will find the idea of you being buried and leaving her forever unbearable. For the first time in her life, life will feel like a punishment. She will never understand why she got dealt such an awful hand in life and she will question whether she somehow deserves this.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will think about flinging herself into your grave at the funeral, but she will realise if she does that, she will just probably break a few bones and survive and look ridiculous and crazy so after reflecting on it, she decides not to do that. Her younger brother grips her arm, whilst your coffin is lowered into the ground, just to make sure she doesn’t jump. She will cry as your coffin is buried and her sobs will sound like a wounded animal.
But what she doesn’t know if that this is only the start of her agony that is only just beginning. Planning the funeral, writing your eulogy, speaking to everyone at the funeral kept her busy. The reality will hit after the funeral that this is a nightmare that she will never wake up from.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will not sleep for more than 4 hours a night for 2.5 years. Your same wife who loved sleeping and used to sleep like a baby for 8 hours a night will have chronic insomnia that she has to take benzodiazepines for, because without this she will go for days without sleeping even one minute. She will be so sleep-deprived that she will start to fantasise about sleeping. In fact, she will wish every day that she was in a coma and could wake up in five years’ time because life is unbearably painful to her. She will only let go of this “fantasy” when she realises that to be in a coma, she would have to suffer some form of brain damage.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will lose so much weight in the year after your death that size 6 (UK) clothes will be baggy on her, she will have no boobs and no butt left whatsoever. Her face will also be totally gaunt, like a witch and every time she tries to force a smile a million wrinkles will appear that were never there before.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife’s hair will fall out. Her beautiful, thick waist length hair will become stringy and short. It will take 3 years for it to grow back fully.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will have night sweats for a year, that is, she will wake up every morning in a freezing cold puddle of sweat. This is what the trauma of finding your dead body will do to her.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife, who was so independent, will not be able to bear to be left in a house on her own because she is genuinely terrified that if she is alone, dead hanging people are going to jump of cupboards, be in the bathroom, wardrobe, anywhere dark waiting for her. She will feel terrified. She will know this isn’t rational but she has already found one dead body unexpectedly, who is to say that it won’t happen again?
If you kill yourself, every second of every day for more than a year your suicide will swirl around her mind 24/7, whatever she is doing, whoever she is talking to, it will always be there tormenting her. For a long time, she will imagine that if she can solve the puzzle, if she can understand why you killed yourself, then she can bring you back. She won’t be able to focus on anything except the fact that you killed yourself.
She will be unable to watch television for months. Anything happy, anything about love, anything about having children will provoke a physical pain in her chest so sharp that she will feel as if she is dying. She will watch Fast and Furious 8 and spend the rest of the evening after watching the film curled in a corner at her parents’ house crying her eyes out because Vin Diesel’s character becomes a dad and you will never ever get to be one.
If you kill yourself, your wife will torment herself every second of every single day, analysing every single thing you said to her in the months before you died, trying to work out for the millionth time whether there was something she missed. She will be so angry at herself, that she could have been so stupid that she didn’t see this coming.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will be so convinced that this is her fault, that she fundamentally failed as a wife that she will want to die. She will think about it and plan ways that she could kill herself. Thankfully, these are just thoughts because she conjures up these plans whilst lying in her bed which is where she spends most of her time for the first 6 months after your death. She doesn’t have any energy to go anywhere.
If you kill yourself, YOUR wife will question whether you ever loved her and whether she even knew you. She will need all of her and your friends to tell her over and over again that of course you loved her. Even believing you really did love her doesn’t make it any better because then she truly believes that she could and should have saved you and that she failed. That thought will return to haunt her over and over again.
If you kill yourself, you will steal an innocence from YOUR wife that can never be replaced. She will be afraid of happiness, afraid that if she is happy again it will be taken away too. You will introduce her to a darkness that she has never experienced before. It is your darkness not hers.
If you kill yourself, somehow YOUR wife will survive. She will be one of the “lucky ones”. She will survive because she is a fighter and she will fight for happiness and for her life harder than she has fought for anything in her whole life. However, the fact that she somehow manages to survive and every achievement in her life, will not be because of you, they will be in spite of you.
Thousands of suicide survivors all around the world will not be so lucky. The suicides of their loved ones will cause them to kill themselves, will cause them to suffer with mental illness, will cause them to lose their homes and their jobs and their happiness and joy in life. This is the antithesis of everyone being better off without the suicide victim. You may be in peace but they won’t be.
If you kill yourself, you will always be the person that hurt her the most and that will be something you can never take back and you can never make right.
Is that really what you want? YOUR wife, and everyone who loves you deserves better and so do YOU.
Get some professional help please! Do everything you can to stay. Things can and will get better if you fight hard enough… speak to your wife, she loves you so, so much and she would do anything in the world to help you.
5 thoughts on “Dear suicidal person/ the letter I wish I could go back in time and send to my late husband”
So much of this resonates with me! thank you for taking the time, the effort, the anguish and pain it took to write this letter. How i wish to God that our husbands had read this. Bless you. Thank you.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting Laura! I know. The most tragic thing is the permanency of their decisions. Bless you too.
So true and so much more.
How much he is loved by everyone.
How much i miss him and talk to him Everyday!!
Life will never be the same. Everyone has bad and good days but we have them together if you live.
Wow girl, I couldn’t have said that better myself. What this does do though is let me know all my feelings are real. I give you so much credit for writing that all down. This needs to be shared everywhere. Thank you for writing this❤️
Thank you Candy for reading and commenting! It helps me so much to keep writing when I read these comments!