Yes, having spent decades in the pursuit of good stories I understand that the tragedy that has befallen me, my family and friends really does have all the elements that would make a successful tell. As my old mentor used to say, our story is a “good get” — there is drama, intrigue and albeit horrifying, great visual imagery. How interesting it surely is to tell the story of how a young, handsome man in the prime of his life suddenly ends it in a public spectacle, and even better, that the reason for his decision was unbearable anguish and pain caused by a marriage gone south. It is the stuff movies are made of: Perhaps you’ve heard of the philandering husband caught by a heartbroken wife. Or perhaps you’ve heard of the strong-willed woman who cast her husband out because he refused to follow her every command. I am surprised at how many versions I’ve heard of the story. Well it is OUR STORY. He is OUR LOSS. It is WE who carry the burden this story has left us.And yes, I AM THAT WIFE.
To me this is not just a story but the reality I must face. I suppose I cannot blame those of you who speak out of ignorance, especially those who I am sure are full of good intentions and who in fact, grieve along with us. But I ask you please, if you know little more than the fact that Beau took his own life, then please do not even speculate on the reasons as to why he did it.
Unless you have grieved a death by suicide you have no idea of the anguish, guilt and the unending circle of questions that have no answers. Everyday I wake up wondering what it is I could have done to save him or what it is that I have done that pushed him to the edge. I question how it has come to this, searching for answers while also dealing with the loneliness and despair that comes with any death. Intermittently I deal with a crisis of faith — questioning the existence of God, the meaning of life, the truth of life after death. And for the minutes that I do not spend thinking of all of the above I wonder what purpose this serves in my life and in the path that is laid out for me.
Your unvalidated notions bring me shame and embarrassment. It burdens me with more questions. Would you like to be asking yourself if the blissful years of your married life were all make-believe? Would you like to be asking yourself what was so terrible about you that your husband would rather end his life than to spend a lifetime with you? Your ignorant gossip puts me on the defensive. I want to lash out and tell the world that our love was like no other. Indeed, what you do not know may not hurt you, but it does hurt me.
You have no idea how difficult it is to not understand what Beau meant when he spoke of a pain he cannot escape. You have no idea how painful it is to ask yourself over and over if you are the cause of his sadness. You have no idea how much time I spent trying to understand an irrational anger directed towards me by a man who had done nothing else but love me so much.
You were not there when I cradled him in my arms while he cried like he had nothing else left to live for in this world. You were not there to hear his confusion when he asked me why I thought he said hurtful things to me. You were not there to help me understand the chaos of his thoughts and his emotions while I struggled to keep my heart from falling apart.
To those who speak of our tragedy with little knowledge of truly what came to pass, I beg you to keep your silence. Stop talking about our marriage as if you knew how we loved each other. Please relieve me of the blame and guilt that I already torture myself with everyday. If I who spent almost every waking hour with him until the last horrific months of his life cannot fathom the reasons behind his death then how can you? You were not there to save him. My only request is that you shut up and allow me to save myself.