Friday, March 5, 2010
It's with a very heavy heart that I write about my recent family loss. I have to admit that I am not one to get super into the whole resolution-ness that is the New Year. But I felt myself getting really excited for 2010. Maybe it's because that year symbolizes the end of an Era (in my mind) and the beginning of a new Era with a clean slate. But whatever the case I felt genuinely ecstatic & optimistic about the possibilities of 2010.
On the flip side my little sister (24 years old) lost all of her hope. She chose to end her life on January 19th, 2010 by jumping off the Coronado bridge in San Diego. No one in my family saw this coming. My sister never mentioned suicide. She had her fair share of problems but she would never talk about them and if you tried to go there she would just tell you to go f*** off. As she told me often. Suffice it to say that we were not close. But that wasn't from lack of trying on my part. I always felt like she hated me. But I think she was just really unhappy and lost. For a brief period when I moved back home (San Diego) in June 2009. We got along. She seemed like she was in a genuinely good place. She was with a man that she loved, running a childcare program at her local YMCA and she had just moved into a new apartment in Pacific Beach/Mission Beach (I can never tell them apart). So for 2 months I almost had the relationship with my sister that I had always wanted. Then her drinking got the best of her and all the pieces of her life started to crumble. So many people have asked me "What happened"? The truth is none of us will ever know what was really going through her head that day. But my answer is that it wasn't any one thing. But a combination of all the areas of ones life that takes a hit when you use alcohol or drugs as your coping skill.
For the last couple months both of my parents were on edge. Always waiting for that other hat to drop or the phone to ring. Heather was in a really bad place. She reached out for help a couple times. But she couldn't really get past the starting point. In the end I think thats what did it. The work just seemed too big for her and she didn't know how to just take it piece by piece, day by day. For anyone out there thinking about taking my sisters path...DON'T. Theres a reason why they call the remaining family members "survivors". A suicidal death hurts in a cruel way that a normal loss doesn't. Speaking for myself there's a whole lot of shock going on (even post funeral). But the loss stays with you. Its the 1st thing you think about in the morning and your last thought at night. I cry at the most random things. It would actually be funny if it was so horrible.You really feel like there's a hole in your chest. But I might possibly have the strongest support system that anyone could ever ask for. From the time I found out to post funeral I had various friends and family staying with me (day and night). Longtime friends that I hadn't seen in years drove/flew other states to attend the funeral. Post funeral I get text messages every day to make sure that I'm STILL doing okay. I am okay.
I really believe that my sister is watching over me and once in a while I wish she would show her face (so I could punch her). I know she knew that I wouldn't let this get the best of me or my parents. (By the way I have the best parents that anyone could ask for. They were together until we were out of the house and they had the drugs, suicide and sex talks with us.) We were their number 1# priority. If anything I feel like I have to live enough for the both of us now. If you are depressed or thinking of choosing this messed up path please call 1-800-273-TALK for help.