Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5 Years

On May 16, 2011, I got a call from Dale's mom in the early evening hours.  He had missed a doctor's appointment and she hadn't been able to reach him.  She told me that she thought it best if I stayed inside for the remainder of the night.  At this point, I hadn't spoken to Dale in over two weeks and the last time I had he was angry.  So angry.  With me.  So I took this advice from his mother with great heed.  Not only did I stay inside, I barricaded my front door with a table.  I had no idea what the situation was and didn't want to take any chances.

What I did know was that I was already on high alert and this day brought it up even higher.  It is hard to put into words what it is like to be with and to love someone who is suicidal.  There's no true relaxing.  There's always some tension, because you just never know.  You never know what you are going to see when you open that door.  You never know what words are going to be spoken on that telephone call.  Five years later, I can look back on my life and see that I was in a constant state of fear.  Fear of the unfathomable.  The unfathomable that became my reality.

I tried to treat this night as any other.  I took care of my son.  I made dinner.  I put him to bed.  I did the dishes.  I sat around and waited.  And waited.

Dale's sister was keeping me updated, but there was not much to report on.  They lived 5 hours away.  I could not have any contact with Dale.  Prayers and hope were all that I had while Dale's mom made the journey to what I can only describe as hell all alone to search for Dale.  They contacted his friends, but they hadn't heard from him.  He either didn't show up for work or he had the day off, so they hadn't heard from him.  Prayers and hope.  Prayers and hope.

Things weren't right. The day prior, Sunday the 15th, Dale was supposed to move in to his new apartment.  (I missed some events that happened between my last post and this one).  It was only a few blocks away from where our apartment was, where my son and I were living.  To this day, I am not for certain why the move never happened.  His parents were supposed to come that weekend to help him move.  I was told that the apartment ended up not being ready.  I gut tells me that Dale lied to his parents.  I think that he had made up his mind and there was no need to begin the daunting task of a move.

Shortly after 1:00 am on May 17th, I got a phone call from Dale's sister.  "Amy..." (pause that felt like infinity) "he's gone."  "No, Anne no."  We didn't speak much more than that.  If we did, I don't remember.  She had to go and wake up her father and tell him.  I called my sister.  I could barely speak.  The pause and hesitation in my own voice gave her a fear that I don't think ever escaped her. She thought that she was hearing my last breath, as I gasped for air and words.  In a voice that I could barely recognize as my own, I hoarsely told her.  He was gone.  Dale was gone.

And just like that everything fell silent.

I went to our son's room, hoping that his spirit would find us.  I didn't know what to do.  What do you do?  I couldn't comprehend what actually happened.  I wanted to wake up Ewan and just hold him.  But he was fast asleep and I just couldn't bear to wake him up.  He was so peaceful.  He was so innocent.  He was so unaware of the horror that just took place.  I didn't want to disturb that.  I wanted him to keep that for as long as he possibly could.  So instead, I laid on the floor in his room beside his crib.  I didn't cry.  I was too numb.

5 years ago... even the days match.  Tuesday, May 17, 2011... Dale left us.  Tuesday, May 17, 2016... I am writing and sharing my life, my breaths, my thoughts, my moments, my pain, my reality from five years ago.