“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference”
Exactly one year ago today I had just finished getting out of a boot camp class and noticed that I had over 20 missed calls and text messages that read “where are you?” “Call me now.” immediately began to worry. As I was looking through text messages my phone rings and it was my oldest sister.
She says, “Mija, where are you?”
I answer, “at the gym what’s going on?”
Sister: I need you to come to my mom’s house right now. ( I can hear her crying)
Me: What’s wrong? What happened to my mom?
Then my brother gets on the phone and says, “mom is fine just come over here right now please”
I call my husband crying, I knew something was wrong. I asked him to investigate. He calls me back a few short minutes and reassured me that my mom is ok but that I have to go to her house right now.
I drove frantically to her house which seemed to take forever. Upon my arrival I see all of my siblings there, even my sister from Temecula was down here. I scan the room for my mom, she’s fine, I inhale a deep breath of relief. I ask “What’s going on?” and brother says take a seat by my mom. I sit down next to her and then he says, “Tony’s Dead.”
I felt like someone had taken all the air out of my lungs and immediately begin to cry. I knew at that moment that he had taken his own life. I call my niece to get more details but she can hardly speak because she is sobbing. She mentions to look it up in the internet and at first I thought “they don’t cover suicides on the news” I start googling and read what was being said. I’m in disbelief. It was a murder-suicide. There is too much of the story to cover but that day November 21st, 2012 the day before thanksgiving my nephew took his life along with the life of his best-friend.
He was just 22 years old. A father of two beautiful daughters. A U.S. Army Soldier. He had just moved into a new apartment and had just passed his highway patrol exam. Everything was looking up for him and out of no where, this happens. It has been a year of whys? and what ifs? There are so many unanswered questions. So many tears. I cry and I scream but no matter what NOTHING will bring him back.
Both families STILL wonder exactly what happened that day and there are just answers that we will never get.
I pray for him, I pray for his soul A LOT. It is the most complex grief I have ever had to deal with, not only because he took his life but because he took the life of someone else as well. Today, marks a year that both men have been gone. Both very young and both fathers. My heart aches for both families.
On the anniversary of their death I have accepted that I will never know what happened that day between both men. I have to stop asking my nephew for forgiveness because in all reality no one knew his pains and troubles that he hid so well. I have learned to let go of the anger and of the fear of what people may say about him. Most importantly I have learned that my life must go on and that the pain will always linger but day by day it will be a pain that subsides.
“The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or erased. It can only be accepted.” -anonymous
I miss him and love him. I wish I would have had the chance to see him grow as a father and as a kick ass Highway Patrol Officer but for now my peace comes from knowing he is no longer fighting his emotional demons.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression and/or has thoughts about suicide please get help. It is ok to ask for help.
Here are a few links to refer to. There are people out there that care for you and love you and would be devastated if you were gone. Please, PLEASE do not chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Suicide hotline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Suicide hotline for Veterans: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org/
Yellow Ribbon Program: http://www.yellowribbon.org/
You Matter to Me: http://umtr2me.org/