Why do I hurt so much? Why am I in so much pain? Why do I feel so guilty? And how Chris, how do I keep living my life with so much pain and so much guilt? Since you’ve died…I have been asking myself these questions every single day. I have never felt so much pain and so much guilt…ever. And unfortunately, I’ve dealt with death before, but none of those deaths, have compared to this.

It was 3 months ago that I lost a friend unexpectedly due to a serious infection that spread to his brain. His decline was rapid and sudden, and he had to be taken off-life support. Years ago, I had another friend who died in a car accident and one of my best friend’s dad died from cancer and this list goes on. Whether the loss was expected, or a tragic accident, it still caused immense pain and heartache… but none of them felt as terrible as this and I think it’s because you chose to die, and they didn’t.

Your suicide has changed me. It’s changed how I think, how I feel, and how I live. Currently, I’m living in constant pain and guilt. I feel torn apart from the inside out. My body is exhausted; physically and emotionally. My heart hurts, physically hurts. It throbs, and it aches, and it feels like someone is trying to rip it out of my chest. My stomach is tied into a knot. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep and at times I can’t even breath. My eyes burn, from crying all the time…sobbing… uncontrollably. I’m constantly drowning in my own tears and it feels like I’ll never be able to stop. My skin feels cold and bare. It longs to feel your skin and to hug you again. And everything else just feels numb. All of these feelings, are layers of pain. Pain that I’ve never felt before.

I also, have never felt so much guilt, or regret before. I feel like I failed you. Like I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t help you when I should have. The guilt I feel from this takes my gut, turns it, and twists it, and tears me apart even more. It causes my heart to ache more than ever, and my mind continues to race. The guilt reminds me of all the things I think I did wrong…and the things I think I should have done differently. I knew you were sad. I knew you were lonely. I knew you struggled with depression… and because of that, after we broke-up, I still promised you that I’d be there for you. I told you to reach out to me when you needed a friend. But when you’d text me or call me and tell me you needed company, when you told me you were lonely…I turned you down. I thought I was ready to be your friend…but I wasn’t. I was scared of getting hurt again and I didn’t want to get hurt anymore. I just couldn’t do it. And I feel so guilty, for being selfish and protecting myself. Did you know that Chris? That I felt so guilty? And I’m so sorry. I broke my promise to you, and I wasn’t there for you when you needed me.

Now I just keep replaying those messages and phone calls over-and-over in my head. What if I would have agreed to see you when you asked? Would you have still done it? What if we hadn’t broken up? Would you have still done it? And Why? Why did you kill yourself when I was finally on my way to come see you? We had just spoke on the phone and talked about our plans for the evening. You asked me to come over…and then something happened. What was going on in your head after our phone call? What were you feeling? What made you do it? Did I do something wrong? Were you mad that I chose to have dinner with my sister first? Did I not respond to your text fast enough? Did I not call you back fast enough? Or did any of that even matter?

All the “What if’s?” The “Why’s?” Those are questions that just continue to haunt me because I know I’ll never get those answers. And your mom, your sisters, your family, and your friends, they all have their own questions…their own guilt. We like to think that if we would have done something differently. That maybe you’d still be here. That maybe we could have saved you. But that’s not the case. You had already made your decision, and not I, nor anyone else could have changed your mind. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty…and the decision was yours to make. But I wish it wasn’t. I wish you could still be here because I miss you like crazy.

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