**Possible Trigger Warning:
This post discusses the day after one of the worst days of my life, learning about the suicide of a close friend. I will provide resources at the end of this post for anyone who needs them. **
The Aftermath of a Horrible Day
People write and talk about getting through the worst days of your life, but what about the day after? That’s the day in which the shock is still in your mind, your heart still hurts, and you’re still crying like you have an unending supply of tears. I guess people think that the day after is when you start putting yourself back together, but it really isn’t that easy. You can’t just push a button inside yourself and move forward, which would be great. It just isn’t possible, however.
Waking Up to Grief
My day after was September 3, 2015. I went to sleep the night before crying and incredibly drunk. Seven shots of Fireball will do that to you. Amazingly, though, I woke up not feeling a single effect of that. (I probably should have seen that as a not so great sign, but at that point, I was trying to function, not realize I had a drinking problem. That’s later.)
Somehow, I was able to get my kids off to school and got back into bed and cried some more. I stayed in bed most of the day. My friends were texting and Facebook messaging me throughout the day to see how I was doing. Many of them knew how much Jake and I cared about each other and that this was not going to be an easy time for me.
At the time, all I really cared about was seeing Jake’s brothers. At one point, all of us had worked together and become great friends. Jordan, the younger brother, was in terrible shape, considering the previous night’s events, and I just wanted to talk to him and give him a hug. I’d already talked to Josh, and he would later be my human GPS to get to the funeral home. My mind was way too scattered to follow my phone’s GPS.
I eventually got out of bed and got dressed. Everything was in slow motion and it was like this wasn’t really my life. I felt like I was in a very bad dream that I couldn’t wake up from. During my half hour drive to Indiana, I played all the music I could think of that reminded me of everything I had lost.
While I was at the visitation, I finally met Jake’s mother. She’s a very sweet woman, and I wish I had met her under totally different circumstances, but it’s just not the way things went. I also got to see his two adorable kids, but from a distance. I did get to talk to Jordan and we had a conversation that still sits with me to this day. Some of our friends from work sat with me for a while and tried to make me laugh, and that helped a lot.
Things went seriously downhill when some of my closest work friends turned on me right there at the funeral home, and that’s the worst time to turn on someone. There were text messages and things said that hurt a lot, but thankfully I have been able to move past it. I’ll let Taylor Swift describe that situation.
There is a bright side to this story. I made a new friend that day! After meeting Jake’s mother, I was sitting on a couch, trying to put my head back together and a blond woman walked up to me. It turns out this woman was Jake’s cousin Sara, and his brothers had told her about me.
She introduced herself to me and we have been friends ever since. We talk everyday and our daughters are best friends. Lily is a couple years older than her daughter Bella, but they don’t care. They’re both really talkative and love their sleepovers. I couldn’t have gotten through losing Jake without Sara. She’s a great friend and has told me a lot of stories from when he and his brothers were kids.
How Do You Move Forward?
What do you do the day after your life as you know it shatters?
- Take care of yourself. Lots of self care.
- Cry. It’s okay to cry. I cried so much that my eyes hurt.
- Remember who your friends are. I don’t know how many times I have told Sara that friendship is everything.
- Let your friends and family help you out, if you need it.
- Find a way to cope- something healthy. I don’t recommend drinking. This could get really bad. Try prayer, if that’s your thing, writing, something creative, exercise (light, because you may not feel like doing a lot), etc.
I haven’t attempted, but I have lost friends, and uncle and my dad is an attempt survivor. So are two of my childhood friends. This is a topic that can’t be ignored and needs to be discussed.
This was written in the perspective of a suicide loss survivor, which is something I never thought I would be. Nobody does. Losing my uncle and friends, especially Jake, has changed me and the way I see the world forever.
800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Hotline *this is the same phone number for veterans, please press 1*
800-442-4673 National Youth Crisis Hotline
Text CONNECT to 741741