Friday, February 6, 2015

Left Behind

A little over 9 years ago I went back to Nebraska and spent the holidays with my family.  My older brother was getting married soon after the New Year so I stayed a little longer than usual.  One afternoon I had this tremendous urge to go to my grandmother's grave.  I hadn't been in years.  This was my grandmother who committed suicide when I was 9... it felt like I had to go... to move forward somehow.

So, that afternoon I went to Walmart and bought some plastic flowers and drove to the cemetery.  I only knew the area she was buried in and not sure where she was exactly.  I remember going there with a babysitter once and we had the hardest time finding her.  I figured I would look around a little and if I couldn't find her I would just leave.

As soon as I drove into the cemetery I fell into this flashback.  I was driving thru the cemetery as the 9 year old... sitting in the back of the van.  Taking a right turn... then a left... and parking.  As I got out of the car and walked down an isle I imagined the dream I had the night before she died.  I was standing in front of a grave in a gray dress.  I saw the moment my mom drove us away from school and told us my grandma died.  I saw me sitting on my dad's lap in my grandparent's kitchen as I found out she killed herself.  I saw the moment my cousins and I thought she was in a garbage bag hidden behind some gun cases.  The moment my teacher told me my grandmother was stupid for killing herself... the moment when my cousins and I thought she was alive in her casket.  I went thru every moment from the dream the night before to the moment I was standing at her grave at her funeral.  It was like I was 9 years old again.

Not completely sure where I was I came to and looked down.  I was at her grave... The grave said I was there the day she died.  It was about 3:15 or so... which would of been the time I would of gotten out of school and into my mom's car to drive to my grandma's house... the moment my mom told me she died.

I stopped for a moment and then said, "I forgive you grandma... keep an eye on me because I'm going to fly."

Quite interesting because in all my treatment I never blamed her... I blamed myself for not being there... not telling her how much I loved her... helping her see that she was loved and needed.

It felt so good... I left the cemetery with a weight lifted... a smile on my face and the feeling I could accomplish anything.

I always call myself a left behind of suicide.  Being a left behind has made me look at life differently somehow... I knew what it was like to be left behind so I could never go thru with my suicidal thoughts and leave someone behind thinking that they could of done something... could of changed my life.  I was never meant to save my grandma... I was meant to experience loss, grief and love so that I could get myself thru my own demons.

Here is a song I wrote about my grandma's suicide... what it felt like to me... what it meant to me.

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