The Aftermath

 The Aftermath    To my Andrew,  The last 2 days have been surreal. On Friday morning I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. How was I supposed to get dressed for your burial? It took everything in me to move. I collapsed several times that morning in tears yearning for a different reality. Through my pain, and fear I slipped on my long black dress and headed out the door. Each step felt like a mile. Each minute on the drive felt like a lifetime. When we arrived at the cemetery I couldn’t get out of the car. I sat and cried out loud saying, “I can’t do this!”  Seeing the casket and knowing that your body was inside shattered my heart. How could this be possible? How could my Andrew who was full of life and potential be gone? How could the father of my children now be lifeless in a casket? I don’t know how this happened and it happened so quickly. My thoughts drifted back to the week before, sitting outside with you on our favorite chairs, talking, dreaming, and praying about the future. Both of us completely unaware of the events that would unfold in the following days. When I look back at that day I think how innocent I must have felt. How I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again. How I wish I could change the ending to that week.  Yesterday we gathered with our church family and community to honor you in a big and powerful way. Andrew you would have loved every minute of the service. I felt such a strong connection to you and to God through the music. As I worshipped I cried and remembered listening to each song in the car with you on our road trip together just a few months ago. I pictured us driving through the beautiful trees in Park City, blasting music and holding hands in the car. I will cherish our final trip in my heart and mind forever.  The pain I am experiencing now in the aftermath is heavy. It feels as if I am walking through mud, carrying around massive weights on my feet. I have to keep moving but each step is excruciating. One foot in front of the other, one breath, one minute, one day at a time, that’s what they tell me. I feel numb all over, and I am so afraid of my future. I could have predicted what the next 20 years would have looked like with you, and now I don’t even know what the next 2 weeks will hold.  Tomorrow is world suicide prevention day. I still can’t believe that I lost you, the man I madly love to suicide. How am I a survivor of suicide? Never would I ever have predicted this to be my life. It all happened so fast. You were just diagnosed in April with Depression and in August you are gone? We didn’t have enough time!   I wish we had more time,    I wish we could figure it out together,    I wish we could sit with the doctors one more time.   I think back and I feel strongly that we really tried hard.   We went to counseling together every week.    You sat with the psychiatrist every other week.    You went on solo trips by yourself to spend time with God.    You flew to Colorado to spend a week with one of the wisest couples we know.    We spent two weeks together, just the two of us away from the chaos and the kids.    You were diagnosed on the “low end” of the spectrum.    How did this happen?   My mind goes crazy trying to solve this impossible equation. The truth is there is no right answer. The truth is even if we could go back in time I don’t know that I could have saved you. Was it just a matter of time? The truth is we know so little about the human mind and we are too ashamed to talk about suicide. I will not be silent anymore. I will continue to tell your story. I am begging God for a beautiful life even through this tragedy.  I said this during your service and I feel its important to say here again. If you were here this is what I would say to you.   “If there is one encouragement I can leave you with today its don’t give up. If you are struggling, tell someone, tell them everything, don’t worry about them judging you for it. The enemy wants you to feel isolated, the enemy wants you to feel unloved and worthless. I am here to tell you that you are loved and valued more than you could ever imagine and God has a great plan for your life no matter who you are, no matter your past, God’s Got you, God’s Got This, and God can do impossible things.”   Andrew I am still believing that God can do impossible things. He has already done immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined in the midst of my grief. I know God has a bright future for me and the boys, I just painfully wish our future included you. Andrew I love you more than words can say and miss you immensely. Today I am one day closer to eternity with you. I can’t wait to hold you again.   “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG)   All my love,  Your Girl

The Aftermath

To my Andrew,

The last 2 days have been surreal. On Friday morning I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. How was I supposed to get dressed for your burial? It took everything in me to move. I collapsed several times that morning in tears yearning for a different reality. Through my pain, and fear I slipped on my long black dress and headed out the door. Each step felt like a mile. Each minute on the drive felt like a lifetime. When we arrived at the cemetery I couldn’t get out of the car. I sat and cried out loud saying, “I can’t do this!”

Seeing the casket and knowing that your body was inside shattered my heart. How could this be possible? How could my Andrew who was full of life and potential be gone? How could the father of my children now be lifeless in a casket? I don’t know how this happened and it happened so quickly. My thoughts drifted back to the week before, sitting outside with you on our favorite chairs, talking, dreaming, and praying about the future. Both of us completely unaware of the events that would unfold in the following days. When I look back at that day I think how innocent I must have felt. How I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again. How I wish I could change the ending to that week.

Yesterday we gathered with our church family and community to honor you in a big and powerful way. Andrew you would have loved every minute of the service. I felt such a strong connection to you and to God through the music. As I worshipped I cried and remembered listening to each song in the car with you on our road trip together just a few months ago. I pictured us driving through the beautiful trees in Park City, blasting music and holding hands in the car. I will cherish our final trip in my heart and mind forever.

The pain I am experiencing now in the aftermath is heavy. It feels as if I am walking through mud, carrying around massive weights on my feet. I have to keep moving but each step is excruciating. One foot in front of the other, one breath, one minute, one day at a time, that’s what they tell me. I feel numb all over, and I am so afraid of my future. I could have predicted what the next 20 years would have looked like with you, and now I don’t even know what the next 2 weeks will hold.

Tomorrow is world suicide prevention day. I still can’t believe that I lost you, the man I madly love to suicide. How am I a survivor of suicide? Never would I ever have predicted this to be my life. It all happened so fast. You were just diagnosed in April with Depression and in August you are gone? We didn’t have enough time!

I wish we had more time,

I wish we could figure it out together,

I wish we could sit with the doctors one more time.

I think back and I feel strongly that we really tried hard.

We went to counseling together every week.

You sat with the psychiatrist every other week.

You went on solo trips by yourself to spend time with God.

You flew to Colorado to spend a week with one of the wisest couples we know.

We spent two weeks together, just the two of us away from the chaos and the kids.

You were diagnosed on the “low end” of the spectrum.

How did this happen?

My mind goes crazy trying to solve this impossible equation. The truth is there is no right answer. The truth is even if we could go back in time I don’t know that I could have saved you. Was it just a matter of time? The truth is we know so little about the human mind and we are too ashamed to talk about suicide. I will not be silent anymore. I will continue to tell your story. I am begging God for a beautiful life even through this tragedy.

I said this during your service and I feel its important to say here again. If you were here this is what I would say to you.

“If there is one encouragement I can leave you with today its don’t give up. If you are struggling, tell someone, tell them everything, don’t worry about them judging you for it. The enemy wants you to feel isolated, the enemy wants you to feel unloved and worthless. I am here to tell you that you are loved and valued more than you could ever imagine and God has a great plan for your life no matter who you are, no matter your past, God’s Got you, God’s Got This, and God can do impossible things.”

Andrew I am still believing that God can do impossible things. He has already done immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined in the midst of my grief. I know God has a bright future for me and the boys, I just painfully wish our future included you. Andrew I love you more than words can say and miss you immensely. Today I am one day closer to eternity with you. I can’t wait to hold you again.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG)

All my love,

Your Girl

Kayla Stoecklein