There was a note. She did at least leave us that.
Were there answers? No. Just page after page of rambling rage. Her words cut me like a knife, wounds so deep they will never heal. Actually the lack of words specifically for me, hurt the most. Only her sister by blood… ouch.
I read that note at least 100 times in the days after. I was looking for more. More of her, more of a reason… I just needed more.
Then I stopped. Stopped torturing myself, stopped looking for answers from the words of a madwoman, stopped needing to hold onto the last thing she held onto. I put that note in envelope, put that envelope at the bottom box and put that box in my closet.
I know it’s there.
And every year on the anniversary of her death (I hate that we refer to it as an anniversary. As if I would want to celebrate.) I go into my closet, pull out the box, dig to the bottom and find the envelope that holds those precious papers that she last touched.
I allow myself to read her rage. To try and feel what she may have felt. To understand how she believed there was not another way. I have a good cry… a really good, ugly, need to take a shower because no amount of tissues will clean up this amount of tears cry.
Then I place that note back in the envelope, the envelope in the bottom of the box and the box back in the closet. Where it will remain for another year.
It is my last ritual with my sister. One I never imagined. But it is ours and I will continue to cherish it.
The aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide is messy. It never gets easier. There are never answers, only more questions.
In crisis? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255. There is always hope and help is just a phone call away.