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New Patient Story

  • Location: Post Falls,
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Every September we see information that it is National Suicide Prevention month. What does that mean to you? It is a topic that truly hits home for me and my family, so I wanted to share how devastating it is when you lose someone you love to suicide. Thanksgiving 2018 was a very memorable day. We spent the day with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew at their house. It was a day filled with lots of laughter, playing games, completely enjoying our time together. Little did I know that it would be the last time that I would see my brother alive. On Sunday, December 9th, 2018, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law letting me know that my brother was missing. He had left the night before very angry and she truly believed he would just go and cool off and be back later that night or first thing in the morning. But when he didn’t return, she started making calls. On Tuesday, December 11th my sister-in-law was notified that my brother’s body was found in his truck on a remote logging road in Montana. He had taken his own life. My brother’s suicide blindsided me and my family. My heart is still broken. For a long while after my brother’s passing, I believed that I could love him back to life, that God would realize both he and my brother made a mistake and would send him back. My brother would appear one day when I least expected it. I’d be so elated that I’d forget he had even left us. I’d bury my face in his chest and hold him so tightly that he could never try to take his life again. Of course, this never happened. Instead, as months passed, I remained in a state of shock, consumed with guilt. I felt far beyond broken. How could I have not known that my brother was struggling to the degree he was? Whenever I saw him, he was upbeat, laughing, cracking jokes. Always willing to give someone a hand. Maybe if I would have spent more time with him I would have seen some sort of sign. Maybe if I made myself more available to him, he would have opened up to me and I could have someone helped him. Maybe if he would have come to my house on that Saturday night instead of driving to Montana, all of this could have been prevented. I can’t believe that is has been almost 5 years since that horrible day. It took a long time for me to even feel like I could enjoy life again, but I will always wonder why it happened, how he must have felt at the time, did he suffer? Eventually, the raw intensity of my grief faded. The tragedy of suicide no longer consumes my days and nights. But a piece of my heart is missing. I miss my brother deeply. Suicide is real and for my family, a reality. Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. That means, every 40 seconds, people are experiencing the blinding visceral pain that my family and I felt on December 11, 2018 and every single day since. We are enduring the most horrific ordeal possible in human experience. Death touches all our lives sooner or later. Sometimes it is expected, as with a passing of an elderly relative; sometimes it comes suddenly in the form of a tragic accident. Losing someone to suicide is a very unique kind of grief. It’s all of the pain and sorrow of losing a loved one compounded with the knowledge that they had a hand in making it happen. The guilt and blame you place on yourself, even though rationally you know there was nothing you could have done, is overwhelming. If you know of someone that is struggling, please get them help!! Know the signs. No matter how busy life gets, always make time for friends and loved ones. Let them know you are there for them no matter what. Thank you for letting me share my story. Christine Anderson – HB Commercial Billing Supervisor If you or someone you know is in crisis: Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at . The Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. Call 911 in life-threatening situations.