My Partner Died By Suicide. Here's How The Pandemic Contributed.

'It’s too late for him, but it’s not too late for everyone else.'

6/2/2021 6:53:00 PM

'It’s too late for him, but it’s not too late for everyone else.'

'Being poor had always been a source of stress and discomfort to him, but after the pandemic started I watched my lover’s mental and physical health dete...

,or dying from unaddressed medical needs. Like many Americans, Brian worked at least 40 hours a week for half of his life and typically received minimum wage as payment.“I need money,” he would say. “I can’t afford to go to the doctor, or the dentist. I can’t afford to fix my truck. I can’t afford therapy, and I can’t afford insurance. I can’t afford to do any of my hobbies.”

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The morning before he died, he told me again that these things would never change. “This pandemic will go on another year, openings and closures, just watch.” Aging looks bleak when you’re young and have been told “these are the best years of your life” and it’s actually been hellish.

We lived together and I tried to help, when he’d let me. “You have enough to worry about,” he would say. Like many depressed people who have been abused, he felt like a burden and felt guilty for expressing his emotional pain.“What was your last day together like?” folks have asked me. It was very normal. I didn’t know he would die that day and I don’t think he did either. headtopics.com

“Good morning, handsome,” I whispered as I brought him coffee, like every day preceding it.“Good morning, beautiful,” he whispered back, and sniffed due to allergies.Brian did dishes and vacuumed, changed a fluorescent bulb, fretted over news articles, and asked if I wanted to watch a movie on the couch after we both finished work in the evening. Instead we visited a pandemic-pod friend’s house on a whim and did shots of whiskey for two hours.

Alcohol is a depressant and regular consumption of it usuallymakes depression worse.Anybody who has worked in bars or grown up with alcoholics knows that heavy drinking can lead to emotional people who can’t be reasoned with.And on this night, at this time, Brian suddenly became paranoid that I was mad at him, that his friends were mad at him. I’d seen this before and believed it was a byproduct of his low self-esteem, due to his childhood.

I assured him to sleep it off, nobody was mad at him, I loved him and we’d talk in the morning, everything was fine. He was slurring his speech and repeating himself and I realized he was the drunkest I’d ever seen him.We got home and I remember how patiently and quietly he waited behind me in the garage as I unzipped my boots and kicked them aside. I went to the kitchen and heated up leftover macaroni while I heard him rummaging through our bedroom drawer. I now believe he was looking for the gun he’d purchased two months prior “for self-defense.”

He ambled out the front door, where I figured he was having a cigarette. It was 2:49 a.m. and he called the friend we’d been with, asking if anyone was mad at him.“Love ya, man. It’s all good. See ya tomorrow,” he was assured.But it didn’t matter. It was 2:51 a.m. when he hung up, sat in his truck, lit a cigarette, and shot himself in the left temple. headtopics.com

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I heard the shot from the kitchen, ran out to the driveway, and heard him gasping his last breaths. The 911 operator must have heard me telling him that he was a good man, that I loved him, that I was sorry, that help was coming, that I wasn’t mad at him.

Now that I’ve learned that suicide-by-gun is the most common type of gun-related death, I better understand the decorum of the cops who processed the scene. I stood in my yard as close as they would allow me, near his body for two hours while they photographed, measured and collected evidence.

I shivered, dry-heaved, cried softly, and tried to not absorb the sounds of chuckling and small talk among the cops, like it was just another suicide at 3 a.m., or a barbecue. “Wow I’ve never seen a bullet do that before!” “Are those hops growing in your yard?”

Two officers offered to call Brian’s next of kin and inform them of his death so I didn’t have to. I gave them a phone number, their names and the towns where his parents lived.“I’ll try to get to it before my shift ends at 6:30,” said one. They didn’t call. When I hadn’t heard from his blood relatives by that next afternoon, I picked up my cellphone and had to tell his mother myself. headtopics.com

Like most chronically depressed people, Brian didn’t want to die and he didn’t anticipate how his death would traumatize his loved ones: me, my daughter, his friends and co-workers who loved him. He wanted to get better but he didn’t have the tools or social support.

After he died, I found vintage rings he’d been hiding. “He wanted to marry you so hard,” his friends told me. He wanted to start playing music again, and get back to bartending and photography. We had plans to fill his truck bed with plastic bags and make a pool in the summer. He’d repainted his skateboard that week.

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Suicides will continue to happen on a massive scale until there is direct action to heal people, help us survive and fund our rehabilitation. Brian hated it when people offered “thoughts and prayers” to death and destruction: He was a fan of direct action.

Read more: HuffPost »

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Absolutely tragic story, and I imagine an incredibly traumatizing experience for the author. She did a wonderful job of laying out how so many devastating stressors can be reduced or resolved by good government programs and intervention. These are things we can and must do. If it ain't the usual suspects, it's Delta, now?

My Partner Died By Suicide. Here's How The Pandemic Contributed.'Being poor had always been a source of stress and discomfort to him, but after the pandemic started I watched my lover’s mental and physical health deteriorate.'

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