A few weeks ago my fiance lost his brother to suicide. There was no sign, no warning, and no note. Through the waves of grief, anger, confusion, and exhaustion, there have been glimpses of and reminders that there is a life beyond the hurt.
During this difficult time, our friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers have been exceptional in offering us support, both practical and emotional. We are lucky in that during our hard times – which admittedly, there aren’t many of – our lives are made faceable by the people we surround ourselves with.
It’s important that I assert it’s completely okay not to know what to say to a person who’s lost someone to suicide. In fact, neither my fiance nor I know what to say about it other than it’s devastating. I’d take it a step further by laughing nervously and saying it’s “fucked up”- which, let’s face it, no-one can say it isn’t.
Those who haven’t known what to say when I’ve given them news of this tragedy have still come through for us in ways I’m grateful for. They’ve continued to message, share offbeat BuzzFeed quizzes- Yes, turns out discovering what my inner potato* is DOES make me smile- and show us that we’re on their minds.
What I’m trying to say is, not everything is okay ALL of the time. It may seem like I’m stating the obvious but whenever I scroll through my social media feeds, my iPhone photo albums, and glance at the many framed pictures of my fiance and I in our home, I am reminded of the wonderful life we have created for ourselves; full of fun, laughter, and the people we care about. As much as this happiness is a part of our lives, so is the horrendous grief over losing my partner’s brother.
I wish this hadn’t happened but some things can’t be reversed or undone. I wish I knew how to help my fiance through what is most certainly the toughest time of his entire life, but all I can do is be present, listen, comfort him, and keep our home life ticking over as it had been- before his world was turned upside down.
I wish more men were less afraid, less proud, and less brainwashed into thinking they can’t show emotion, can’t seek help, can’t admit they can’t cope.
I wish more men would fight for their right to show their true emotions, through good times and bad, and not just agree that they should be able to when a woman raises the issue on their behalf because no good woman would ever judge them for it.
*For the record, my inner potato is “Couch Potato.”