What I want you to know about having your mother attempt suicide

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Anonymous

When I got the call that my mother had been rushed to the hospital, suicide was the furthest thing from my mind. Heart Attack? Pulmonary Embolism? Anurism? All far more plausible than it being intentional.

I remember feeling like the world was spinning out of control. I wanted so badly to wake up from this horrible nightmare, to get another call while I was in my panicked drive two states away that it was all some big misunderstanding…

But as I stood there in front of my mother who was intubated and listened to doctors talk about permanent brain damage and say things like “we’ll know more when she wakes up,” I knew that this was no nightmare. This was reality now.

When she woke up and couldn't remember my name, I used every ounce of strength I had to smile and say, “That’s okay, you’re going to be okay, I’m right here,” while inside I was shaking uncontrollably and scared.

As the days progressed and healing began, there were so many questions I wanted to ask… So many answers that I wanted more from... Why? Did I cross your mind when you decided it wasn’t worth it anymore? What about your grandchildren? Did you look at their pictures when you said we’d be better off without you? How long did you plan it? Did you know you wanted to die for days? Weeks? Months? How much had I overlooked? What did I miss…

Depression is an illness that allows people to walk along the edge of a cliff, hoping day to day that they don’t fall off…It just happened that on this day, my mom fell off.

As she gets better and tries to put it all behind her, I have to be honest…I have a hard time putting it behind me. Every call, I wonder if it will be my last. Every time I hear her tell me she’s "doing so well now," I wonder if she’s lying to me. Every family event, I can’t help but be curious if she knows she would have missed this. Every day. Every picture. Every moment.

I’m not angry…not even a little bit. But I’m always scared.

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