The day Shawn’s pain ended is the day mine began. I am honestly not exactly sure how I got through the first few days without Shawn. Even now it still seems like a blur. A loss by suicide is completely different from other losses I have previously experienced. I felt as though I was living a nightmare I just could not wake up from. There was shock, there were questions, there were what-ifs, and there was complete denial-this cannot be happening to me or our families.
I just simply existed. People all around me were living and I felt as though I was floating through life. I knew right away I was going to stay with my parents. Even a 30 year old woman still needs her parents and luckily I am blessed with a great mom and dad. The first few nights I slept on the couch with my mom on another. I woke up every 2-3 hours, even with medication. Waking up was the absolute worst because then I was forced to remember-Shawn was no longer here. I got through these nights by snuggling Gracie, talking for hours with my mom, and just crying until exhaustion set in. I had to force myself to eat at least a little. My body had no idea how to deal with the magnitude of my pain.
I spent almost every day with Shawn’s family. My parents drove me over an hour to be there with them each day. Because Shawn and I have been together for nearly nine years, they were already my family too. I am so grateful for all of them-they showed me nothing but love and support. Sitting at the house with Shawn’s parents and seven siblings plus significant others was not easy. Every second I just kept thinking, I wish Shawn was here. He would love this family time. In those moments I felt so, so alone. Then, there would be a flicker of the light right next to me. I really thought that was Shawn saying, “I am here Linds.”
Instead of planning our wedding, we were now planning Shawn’s celebration of life. The service turned out to be absolutely perfect. The siblings and I created a video filled with pictures and cherished memories, the words spoken were meaningful and real, the music played was beautiful and calming, and the room was filled with hundreds of people who loved Shawn. “Celebrate we will because life is short, but sweet for certain.” -Dave Matthews Band.