To be a Survivor

People always say that losing a loved one is the hardest thing in the world to go through, especially when it was fast and unexpected. Like a car accident or a drive by, but its not..

The hardest thing is being a survivor of a suicide, and not even your own, because then you would at least know what was happening in your own head. No the hardest thing is being the person left behind, the one who cared so much and tried to stop it all and failed. Its harder because you replay that moment in your head for your entire life time. Wondering what went wrong and trying to figure out the little things you could have changed that might have saved him.

You spend every moment of every day trying not to go back to that dark place, to the place you only were able to escape the last time by a fluke.

I’ve worked so hard to live my life to the fullest, and not for me but for the people who I have lost to their own hand. A man who I loved and my cousin that I was just getting to know. Years apart in age, but only a year apart in death. Both taken from me way to soon.

Most of the time my battle is trying to find out whether or not I should scream at the top of my lungs at the sky for them leaving me. Or, if I should just curl up in a ball and cry because I don’t know how else to get the words out of my mouth other than in a heart wrenching sob.

You see this man, the one I loved so much he took a lot away when he left, and yet he gave me so much. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am without everything happening like it did. I also don’t know where I would be if it didn’t happen. You see he impacted me the most, I was on the phone with him when it all happened, calling 9-1-1 and driving there was the worst feeling in the world because I knew that I was too late even though I tried so hard not to be…

The sound of a gun shot still haunts me today. Any loud noise reminds me of that day and I will never be the same..

My cousin now, I didn’t know her very well. I knew her enough to know she had a brilliant mind for only being 13. Yet she fell, victimized by those around her. I know what it was like to be a 13-year-old in middle school. To not have friends or be the weird kid. Yet she wasn’t any of those things, she was popular and friends with almost everyone. It makes me wonder what happened to her to cause this to happen.

Thinking about the possibilities makes me sick. She was 13.. and she was taken too soon.

Both people were so different and yet they both were losses that wrecked me. It is because of those losses that I struggle now. But my struggle has led me to being able to help others who are going through things similar to what I did.

For me being a survivor means doing everything to keep others surviving as well, so that no more lives need to be taken.

I may have bad days where all I do is cry and shake and scream, but it’s the good days when I can save a life and help someone who make all my pain worth it.

Now I know many will say that the pain that those I have lost were in was greater than the pain I feel now. I won’t disagree from that but I do question it. Are the survivors any less in pain than those who took their own lives? No, but it is the survivor’s job to do exactly that, survive. So that others may see a person be triumphant over their own struggles, so maybe one day we won’t need survivors because eventually everyone will want to stay and live.

Until then, as a survivor I’m fighting to be okay for not only them but for myself and all those around me. We as survivors are the first line of defense against those dark thoughts that others fight so many battles with, because we know what it’s like to fight those battles, and what it means to lose.

This means staying up with someone at 3am bawling because you know crying helps and just having someone there makes it okay. It means speeding at 90 miles and hour in a 50 to get to someone’s house to try to save a life. It means being able to spot the signs on someone else before they have even made up their mind, because looking back you saw the signs and didn’t realize what they were. Now you know and now you can stop it, only wishing that you had known back then what you know now.

We fight, so that they don’t have to. That is what it means to be a survivor.

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