Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let's Talk About Suicide & Tobey Grey Fundraiser


{With my dad on my wedding day}

It’s been two years, five weeks, and two days since I lost my father to suicide.  As each day passes, it doesn't get any easier to comprehend.  How could this happen in my family?  My dad was such a happy man, or so I thought?  Losing a loved one is hard, especially when it happens unexpectedly.   But when you lose someone to suicide, not only are you sad, but you have a thousand emotions running through your head.  One minute you’re heartbroken and in disbelief, the next you’re angry.  How could he do this, and just leave like that?  The next you’re confused, then you become sad for him, then sad for yourself, and the cycle repeats.  You don’t know how to feel.  Didn't he love me enough to stay around?  Didn't he want to meet his grand kids?  Should I have called more? If I had told him just one more time that I loved him, would it have made a difference?  It will never get easier to believe that he took his own life.  It does, however, get easier to talk about.

When I first got the call that my father had committed suicide, I was in disbelief.  It still is hard to process today.  When I told people that my father had passed away, besides my closest friends, I didn't share the fact that it was a suicide.  If people asked, I just told them he was sick (which wasn't a total lie, as people who commit suicide are sick with a depression or a pain they believe will never go away).  I didn't tell them because I was so confused.  How do you explain something to someone when you don’t understand yourself?  I also did not want those who had never met my father to judge him, because that’s what I did.  I judged people who committed suicide, as selfish and unstable. And I will admit, for a while I thought my Dad was selfish and took the easy way out.  But the fact of the matter is that anyone who can take their life like that, is indeed sick.  They have a depression or some illness that eats at them every day, which makes it unbearable for them to live, even to the point they think others will be better off without them.  It took me a while to understand this.  It was really the passing of Robin Williams recently, which opened up discussions about suicide that made me listen, and understand to some extent, the illness that someone has who is suicidal.  Talking about it has finally helped me start to heal. 

Seeing how being open about my family’s tragedy has helped, I realized that suicide is something that needs to be talked about.  I didn't talk about it for two years, and I held in all of my emotions.  I let the hurt, the anger, the confusion, and the sadness eat at me for too long.  I started blogging which became an escape for me, but it wasn't enough.  I needed to talk about it.  Now, I am asking for you to do the same.  

While I took to blogging to heal, my sister, Liza, took to running, and she is now running in the 2015 Boston Marathon to raise money for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP).   An organization that not only helps those with suicidal tendencies, but also those who have lost someone to suicide.  Together with my favorite store, Tobey Grey, we are hosting an event to raise money for her run.  It will be a night of previewing and shopping all the new spring merchandise, drinks, raffles, and bringing awareness to suicide.  It’s time our community starts talking about it so we can save more lives.  I don’t know if my father could have been saved, as he was a loving and unselfish man who was stubborn enough to not put his burden on anyone else, especially his children, but there are so many people that can be saved knowing that help is out there.  So let’s start talking!

Please join us next Thursday from 7-9pm at Tobey Grey in Newton Center, MA  (details below).  Whether you want to shop for some new spring clothes, have a drink, or just say hello, all are welcome.  If you’re unable to attend but still want to help, you can donate by purchasing a ticket for $26 (one dollar for every mile Liza runs in the Boston Marathon) as the full ticket price goes to the AFSP.



{You can purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sips-and-fashion-tips-boston-marathon-fundraiser-tickets-15948186455}

You can also read my sister, Liza Pauquette's, story here: https://www.crowdrise.com/AmericanSuicidePreventionBoston2015/fundraiser/lizapauquette

Everyday I'm healing from losing my father.  The thing that will never heal is now knowing how much pain he was in, as it breaks my heart everyday.  Lets help others heal from that pain.  Hope to see you all there!

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