For what feels like a lifetime now I’ve been asking the question “why”. It changes though from “why did you do it?” To “why couldn’t we stop you or help you to not want to kill yourself?” Or sometimes “why didn’t I do something -anything- differently that may have affected the outcome of those months?” I sometimes ask Willie why he wasn’t more honest with the doctors about what was happening inside his head. Why he didn’t reach out sooner…and why he chose that day to end his life here. All questions that I’ll never get answers to.

My therapists tell me that I have to accept that I’ll never find those answers. That the truth I have to live with is that Willie took those answers with him – if he even knew the answers himself. He may not have. His mind wasn’t healthy; it wasn’t “sane” is the purest sense of that word. His mental illness clouded his perceptions, his understandings and his actions.

The more I struggle to grasp the acceptance that “why” won’t be answered the more I come to know that it all surrounds the base feeling I have that is, very simply, resistance. Not denial. I’m well aware and understand. But resistance to accepting that what has happened HAS happened is a hard step to take.

I know I have to accept it, and I have on some level. But I don’t want this reality.

And in that truth I come to understand Willie. He didn’t want his reality. He made his choice – driven as it was by mental illness. Yet I do believe that his choice was made by him, and not his illness. He didn’t want to live with the pain he had and the future he thought he had laid in front of him. His illness contributed to him not being able to see that he did have a possibility of a different future than the one he imagined.

So in a way, one of the “why”s is answered for me. Along with a slow acceptance that the other questions will remain elusive.


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