When I sat down to write this post, I didn’t realise it has been exactly 9 months since we lost Barry. That is a good sign. It means I’m no longer counting the days and months. That’s positive progress.
However, I’m still seeing a councillor and will continue to do so until after the first anniversary. I know April and May are going to be tough. My sleeping habits haven’t improved – I still have nightmares several times a week, and I still have nights when, although I’m exhausted, I hardly sleep at all.
Now that I’m working a four day week, it is better. It definitely helps me get through the week. Yet I’m not feeling any more relaxed, but I’ll cope with that. As I said there is positive progress…for me.
During this time, Gary has been my rock. He has supported and guided me, in many ways, throughout the nine months. He has brushed my hair to help me relax in the evening. He has talked to me about the things that trouble me the most. He has encouraged me every step of the way. He has given me space to grieve and cry alone when that’s what I needed too.
But who has helped and encouraged Gary?
I’ve done what I can, but he understands that my emotions stop me from helping all the time. I know there are things Gary wants to talk about, but I can’t bear to listen to those words. We both know that I’ll end up in a pool of tears and Gary doesn’t want to do that to me, and I don’t have the strength yet to stop it from happening. So those unspoken words have been going around and around in Gary’s head.
When he asked me to arrange councillor for him, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was relieved. However, I wasn’t expecting to hear what I heard next.
“I found myself actually thinking about how I could hang myself. It scared me.”
It scared him? It scared me! Gary is suffering depression and has done for a very long time. It’s no secret that he’s had suicidal thoughts in his past (many years ago). But to think that he could think this way now…
Gary told me that at his age, he can ward off those dark thoughts. He knows he could never put me through the pain of losing someone else to suicide. He said he could never do that to his children either. He knows he has reasons to live, but sometimes life is too complicated, stressful and difficult. Then he told me that he needs help getting through this dark time in his life; he needs to speak those unspoken words.
I phoned my councillor. She told me what needed to be done, but first he had to be assessed by Mental Health. He wasn’t particularly pleased about that, but I reminded him that Daniel and I had already been assessed and were in the system, and that settled his nerves a lot.
That was on Friday. Gary has now been assessed and told he isn’t a high risk and that he would be recommended for councilling by my councillor. I have benefited so much by talking to this woman, and I hope Gary benefits from it too.