Ever since Mark died people have been compelled to share their thoughts on the events of that day and what I should do to rebuild the rest of my life. The list could fill pages but below is the highlight reel of the things that have been said to me in the last six months:
Why do you think he killed himself?
You’re not staying in the house, are you?
You have to wait a full year before you make any decisions.
So life insurance for suicide? Does it pay out?
When you start cleaning his stuff out I’d like to have something of his.
Do you think he smoked some bad pot that morning?
Just stay busy.
You should go to a suicide support group.
You should go to therapy.
You seem like you’re doing fine. I don’t think you need therapy.
Are your kids in therapy? I think they should be.
I saw somebody started a GoFundMe for you. Don’t you have any money?
I know Mark stopped drinking a few years ago. Did he start up again?
You should exercise.
Don’t walk outside now. With all the snow and ice you might fall and the last thing your kids need is to have to take care of you.
Mark Fisher can go fuck himself.
I know you said it was suicide but I think it was an accident.
We thought about going to the funeral but we’d have to cancel our plans.
You definitely didn’t seem like yourself at the funeral but not in an inappropriate sort of way.
I’m so pissed off at him.
I know you said you don’t know when he left the house but what time do you think he left the house?
Oh, you’re still sad? I thought by now you would be better.
Do you have a financial advisor?
You should interview at least three financial advisors before you pick one.
Don’t invest in the stock market.
You should invest in the stock market.
Just think happy thoughts.
Are you going to go on social security?
You shouldn’t go on social security yet.
That fucking coward.
I have an uncle who has experienced more tragedy in his life than anyone I know. Now in his eighties, his health is compromised in too many ways to list. Decades ago, he and his wife were coming home from seeing a movie and were hit by a drunk driver. She was seven months pregnant with twins. The accident caused her to go into labor, both baby girls were delivered but did not survive. They would have three more children after that and he would sit by the bedside of his 12 year old daughter as she died from a heart ailment. One of his sons would be diagnosed with the same disease and would get a heart transplant. He would die at the age of 19. How my uncle has endured these losses is a boots-on-the-ground kind of miracle and God knows I am paying close attention to those kind of people. After Mark died he called me and as the conversation was ending he said, “Honey, I sure loved the two of you together.”
It was a profoundly beautiful thing to say because more than anything I loved us together too. What someone like my uncle knows is that the only thing necessary to bring in the midst of someone’s darkest days is light. No advice, no questions, no commentary, no anger. Just a sliver of light, and when you know that person has walked through fire to place it in your hand and curl your fingers around, it you believe them when they tell you that one day you will be okay.
As for the other stuff, you will desperately try to let those things go for the sake of your own mental health and the memory of your husband. A man who lost his way not his love.