The day my story began as a survivor of suicide loss was on Friday January 29, 2016. It is a day I will never forget. I woke up and realized my fiancé, Shawn, was not home. Right away I panicked as I looked around everywhere for him. I quickly realized his car and his cell phone were gone. He never left our place during the night without me knowing or at least leaving a note. I called my employer right away and told them I did not feel good and would not be able to come in to work that day. I called Shawn many, many times and texted–“I’m so worried, please, please call me back.” I texted Shawn’s cousin to see if she had heard from him. I then grabbed our dog, Gracie, and got in my car searching close to our home just praying to find his car. My sister called me at this time, as she normally does each morning on the way to work, and I told her what was going on. She said, “I’m sure it is all okay.” In my gut, however, I knew it wasn’t. A piece of my heart was already missing.
When I got home, I called Shawn’s parents to see if they had heard from Shawn. His mom answered and right away her voice gave away what I already knew. We got disconnected and I called back immediately. This time the coroner came on the phone and I said, “Please tell me, I need to know. What happened to Shawn?” The coroner replied simply and bluntly, “Shawn is dead. We believe he committed suicide.” A witness had seen Shawn jump from a bridge and his body was later recovered. Even two and half months later those words continue to play over and over in my head.
I collapsed to the floor filled with such emotional and raw pain and just sobbed. I called my sister to let her know. She contacted my family right away and they all left their everyday lives to come and be with me as soon as they could. I called Shawn’s mom and we talked off and on until my family arrived. I just remember repeating over and over, “This isn’t real. This isn’t real.” We were going to be married in less than six months. I did not believe this could be my reality. It still feels surreal at times.
The one thought that carries me through each and every day is that my Shawn Michael is now FREE. Free from anxiety, free from pain, free from sadness, and free from the hopelessness he must have felt. My soulmate, my love, my best friend, my sweet handsome man, and my puppy daddy was now our angel in heaven. I love you to Pluto and back Shawn because the moon just isn’t far enough.