For the sake of healing, and, I hope, for the sake of getting over myself, I have started compiling a list of regrets. The things I wish I hadn’t done, those I wish I had. It is a painful process but one I think is necessary, so that maybe I can quit analyzing why Isaac might have made this choice and begin to “just” grieve the loss of him. This seems to be the challenge for survivors of suicide–the more I read, I find that it isn’t “just me”.
The list is long. Shocking, right? (I have never been accused of being short on anything except height!)
And, fear not, I do plan to make a list of all I am proud of for doing, with regard to Isaac. It seems important to attempt some semblance of equanimity. I trust this list will also be long, but it isn’t a competition 😜 and of course, won’t change the outcome of Isaac’s death.
As I research suicide, time and again I come upon the idea/theory that each of us has our own individual capacity for brain pain– literally called “psychache”– and what one person can “endure”, is cause for loss or distortion of hope for another. It is as though the accumulation of hurts in each of us can only be measured in actions taken; the brain scans all coping mechanisms available and when it reaches its limits, locks onto the option to survive pain or surrender to it.
It is of course quite interesting to survive unfathomable pain– just as it is unfathomable that one cannot choose to endure any further pain. There is no judgement that I would make or that I ever want to engage with another on Isaac’s pain threshold being met. I am simply growing more and more aware that we are, each of us, in need of more love and more kindness than we can likely imagine. I cannot rewrite history, I cannot, though I feel at times I would sell my soul if I could.
What I CAN do is learn how to be more or less of the things I regret AND the things I am proud of.
And this is not nothing.