A Year

I don’t go onto Facebook often. A few hours ago, I did. Right at the top of my news feed I saw a post from my aunt, that knocked the breath right out of me. It felt as though someone had just stabbed me through the heart. The post was “Dearest brother, it’s been a year since you left us. We still miss you every day, and you’ll forever live on in our hearts.”

It’s been a year since one of my uncles ended his life. Right now it seems like just yesterday. I haven’t thought about him much since then, and the moments I did, I’d feel a sharp stab of pain that would only last a few minutes. I wanted to cry. I wanted to grieve, but my mind didn’t want that. It would just shut down. Exactly one year later, it’s finally hit me in full force. I’ve been crying for what feels like hours. The pain is unbearable, but I have no choice but to bear it.

I didn’t even go to his funeral. It was in another city and I couldn’t afford the plane ticket. A part of me also didn’t want to go. But now I regret it. I wish I could have said goodbye.

A few years ago, he started drinking heavily. Every time he would phone me, he was so drunk I could barely make out what he was saying.

The last time I saw him, I didn’t even recognize him. He didn’t look at all like the uncle I had known. Where was the strong man who used to make me laugh with his silly antics? The man who always called me his “little monkey”. I was angry with him that day. I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d ever see him.

A week before he succeeded, he had attempted suicide, but his ex-wife found him in time. After that, I just had this feeling in my gut that he would try again. And I was right. The evening before that day, he phoned me. But I didn’t answer. And I don’t even know why. What if he was reaching out, and answering that phone call would have made a difference? Instead, I just ignored him. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think about it much this past year. Guilt. Once again, I had let someone I loved, down. And once again, I failed at being there for someone I loved, in their last moments.

I wish I could go back in time. But I can’t. And no amount of wishing can change that.

So tonight I’m feeling what I haven’t allowed myself to feel.

I miss him, and wish he was still here.

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22 thoughts on “A Year

  1. My condolences, Rayne. My experience with people who make calls while they are intoxicated is that they often don’t even remember the phone calls. Your uncle sounds like he was on a road with only one destination. A shame he lost himself and you lost the uncle who you knew when you were very young.

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  2. So sorry Rayne. It sounds like you were there for your uncle, he called you a lot and you must have meant a lot to him. Grief is so hard and complicated and takes a long time. I know it’s hard to stay away from the what-if’s and if only’s. Sending you love and peace ❤

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  3. This is in no way your fault, and you are not to blame. And feeling angry with him, then or now, is to be expected. It’s good that you are grieving , let yourself feel all the feelings – they will start to shift a little over time…it’s good to have people that you allow to be important, and to be missed, even though it’s so painful….big hugs x

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  4. I am so, so, sorry for your loss Rayne. Its hard at times to answer the phone when people are in need, even if we love them. In the week my sister died I drove quite close by the care home she was in to go shopping. I felt very guilty in the following weeks but then I remembered all the times I was there for her. If your uncle was drinking he was in a lot of pain, and that is hard for everyone to know and to feel as well that you might have been able to make a difference, I know that feeling so well. You loved your Uncle and I am sure he knew that and I am sure he loved you too. Big hug and tenderness to you. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  5. Feeling this kind of regret is very painful and gripping. I do understand that even when you know it was not your fault, your emotions don’t always match. I am so sorry for your loss! Hugs!

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  6. The guilt involved in the grieving process of a suicide is an entity all of its own. I’m not going to tell you not to feel guilty because I know its a useless thing to say. My mom committed suicide so I know the type of grief. Its endless. But the intensity of the pain does become more bearable with time. Whether its the healing process or a matter of we just become used to the pain, I don’t know. My heart is with you. Grieve in whatever way brings you some kind of release and peace xx

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  7. Alcoholics, as much as we love them, are harmful and hurtful. Perhaps you didn’t answer the phone because you felt you needed to protect yourself. It was never a rejection of him, merely a necessary protection of yourself. That perspective might help to ease the guilt? Because you are not responsible for anyone else’s actions. Remember that. And I’m afraid, the only people we can rescue from harms way, are ourselves. Not anyone else. Rayne I’m really sorry. This is a powerful pain. I’ll be thinking of you

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    1. This makes so much sense. I know I’m not really responsible for his actions, but it’s hard to convince my emotions of that. They have a life of their own. Thank you so much for your support. It means so much to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My condolences Rayne😘 My thoughts and prayers are with you. I understand what you must feel even though I don’t know. It’s very sad but you didn’t have anything to do with it one way or another please let go of that as it will only hurt you deeper. I feel if someone is going to do something they will and you can’t do anything about it. Be well my friend ❤️💋

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  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandparents to suicide and I still feel so guilty. I talked to them the day before it happened, but I had to cut the call short for work. I told my Nana I’d call her back the next afternoon and I forgot. That night, they died. I will always blame myself. I know that it doesn’t accomplish anything and that maybe there was nothing I could do, but that’s part of being a suicide loss survivor, I guess. 😦 Sending you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m sorry for your loss as well. It’s so hard. Logically, we know there’s nothing we actually could have done, but it certainly doesn’t feel like that most of the time. Sending a huge hug your way. ❤

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