I’m not really in the right mindset right now to write a full blog. Things were going so well the past few days.
But Thursday night, I found the body of a dear friend and neighbor who had committed suicide.
I won’t share the details, but I was taken to the hospital later that night for my own anxiety and stress reaction.
There are some things a human should never see, and I was given some medication so that I don’t see anything when I sleep.
Her name was Nancy, and I had written about her on here before. She was the neighbor who I introduced scrapbooking a few months ago, and literally every night, she came over to scrapbook about her family. she created several pages and two books for friends and family for Christmas, and with my encouragement, she journaled some very emotional things in there, sharing with her loved ones her feelings. I knew she was suffering from depression and mental illness, and I knew she was getting treatment. My goal was just to open my house for her as a beacon of hope, and scrapbooking seemed to bring her a little joy.
She was with us watching American Idol her last night here on Earth, and it was a very normal evening. She had become a part of our household and she put Miss C to bed that night, with Miss C giving her a hug and a kiss. I walked Nancy to her home and we had a very long conversation about her illness and the treatment she had gotten earlier in the week. I had a feeling something was “off” with her, but I promised to check up on her. The next day, I went to work but called her and when I couldn’t get a hold of her, came home. My intuition told me not to go over to her house alone, and after I had settled Miss C in and prepared dinner, another neighbor called me, concerned about Nancy.
That’s when we together went to her house and made the discovery.
The past few days have been a blur. I am surrounded by many, many loving people. A crisis action team came to speak to the neighbors, as we are very close-knit on our cul-de-sac. My pastor came with me to the hospital that first night and again to my house to talk with my other neighbors. I truly believe things happen for a reason, and I am convinced that people come into your lives for different reasons. I think there is a reason I was the last to see Nancy and the first to find her, and hopefully, I will be able to provide answers to her family in Michigan, who are absolutely distraught.
But because of the hours of scrapbooking Nancy and I spent together, the conversations over the photos … I think I may be able to help them provide what I can, and hopefully quieten their pain.
I am going to be okay. The medicine they gave me is none-addicting (I was adament about that) and it has helped me sleep. I am coming to terms with what I saw, and I know this is going to be a long, long process.
And I’ve learned that in one way or another, we all have some experience with mental illness, either suffering it ourselves or watching others around us. It’s truly a disease, and not a mood disorder. Nancy really did fight for her life, but I feel the disease ate away her hope. She lost her hope and there was nothing I – or anyone – could do or say to bring that hope back into her spirit.
There are many lessons here, but the ones I’d like to share are: if you are hurting, seek help and don’t be ashamed.
You are never a burden and people do want to help.