Please pass me a fork, so I can stab you with it.

In times of devastation the warm embrace of true family and friends gets you through the hellishy long yet rapid fire blur of days. You’re vulnerable. Raw. You can’t hide your emotions, no mask can cover this pain. Your body can’t even regulate temperature, you sweat hot and cold. Exhaustion cuts to the core.

It’s easy to be set off. Especially during that awful afternoon where people come by for the funeral viewing. I didn’t want to look at my mom’s body without her spirit, so just finding a place to stand in the room was difficult. I was off to the side until I couldn’t escape when someone kept asking me – “Why’d she do it?”

How the fuck do I know? Since then we’ve all done our own “psychological autopsy” (learning lots of new terms, I wish I was still blissfully unaware of). I think retirement and being betrayed by a young woman who pretended to care about her, but was using her as a pawn as she planned to take as much from my brother as she could, bruised my mom’s heart and gave her too much time to mull things over.

A consult with a pharmacist revealed that my mom should have never been put on a combination of prozac and the anti-anxiety drug buspar without weekly psychological oversight. We learned those drugs together can be toxic and cause an “extreme serotonin event” in the brain. My mom was trying to find counseling, but her family practitioner gave her the drugs without requiring it and it was difficult for my mom to find a psychologist or psychiatrist who accepted Medicare.

She was not in her right mind in that impulsive moment when she took her own life. The drugs had also caused nausea, sleeplessness and weight loss that wore her out more. That I know. I wish I had known more before.

Long story short – at the funeral home of a suicide say – “I’m sorry” – don’t ask for details unless you are close to the family member and they want to share. And realize there may be no logical reason that this occurred. Depression is a dark beast and our easily prescribed “just take a happy pill” medical system can do more harm than good in attempts to tame it.

Rumors keep spreading in the small town I am from – like she planned this ahead of time and paid all her bills 3 months in advance (nothing was paid, there was a full fridge and an $800 propane delivery + she and my Aunt Joan were planning to start exercise classes) and some have said her boyfriend had broken up with her (he had DEFINITELY not, he is heartbroken).

What is true is that a mentally abusive relationship in the past took a toll on her self-esteem as well. Packing up her house, I found a horrible letter where that person e-mailed her “to get your butt down here and start using your backbone for something other than holding your boobs up.” Yeah. Nice guy.

And speaking of that, when someone tells you that they are home because their mom died, leave them alone! Some asshole at the local bar – The Roadhouse – fixated on me. I was there with family and some of my mom’s friends when he kept approaching. I thought he was a son of one of my mom’s friend’s so I was polite.

Then he comes up to me when I am at the bar ordering another much needed drink and says: “How about a one off?” (meaning “you wanna go fuck?”)

I don’t remember my response. Red and black flashed before me and he’s lucky there wasn’t a fork in reach, because he deserved to be stabbed. And I’ve got plenty of hurt and anger to go around for some time.

I Want My Mom Back – wrestling with the “what-if-only’s.”

I’m never gonna get it. Why’d my mom do this to me? I know she did it to herself, but it feels like she did it to me, to us. Her loving family, her close friends and her boyfriend.

The best advice I got was from a high school friend of my mom’s who lost her son to suicide as well. She said: “You will never understand – that darkness – they were in. And there’s a hole. It gets better. But there’s always a hole.”

I keep thinking “my mom shot her head off” over and over and over. Conversations about how we could still have open casket because “her facial features are still intact” haunt me. At my brother’s house I had nightmares of my mom’s wraith coming across the barren fields. It had hollow black eyes and no spirit. Because that thing – that darkness – that took over my mom was not her. It was too many depression/anxiety/thyroid/sleeping pill medications without timely follow-up + loss of rational thinking from a 20 year relationship with an abusive alcoholic man.

I’ve never understood how my mom could teach me to be so strong and to stand up for myself, but lacked the ability to sprint away from a heart damaging, brain atrophying relationship.

At the funeral I wanted to wail in the church – “Why create damaged tortured creatures, God?! Prove your power – RESURRECT MY MOM NOW! It’s almost Easter, for Christ’s sake.

We all have moments of depression, but how does it take over when you have so many good things going for you? Why didn’t she reach out? I spoke to her the day before – why didn’t she say anything???? Seriously – what the fuck??? What if I’d have sensed something? How do you know? I study recent pictures of my beautiful mom trying to look in her eyes – is there profound sadness there – despite the smile?

Patients on an array of medications for depression need to be forced to go to counseling and not just given a magic happy pill – that have side effects of doing the opposite. And families need to attend counseling too, so we know what to look for, how to see the truth behind the lies.

I want my mom back! Mother’s Day cards on display cut deep. Sometimes I can’t breathe. I’m afraid of the dark again, like a child.