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My mother killed herself and I found her body.

by Goldie

My mum had always romanticized death. I suppose she thought she’d pass away, be found, and after some tears and a funeral, people would get over it. To say she was wrong is a vast understatement. I know my mum, and if she knew things would have turned out the way they did, she never would have done it.

Being that this is posted in what the effects of suicide has on friends and family, let me dump it all out.

I last saw my mum on a Friday and told her I’d pop by on the upcoming Monday or Tuesday. She seemed totally fine. I woke up Monday and was pretty tired due to moving into a new place that weekend. I decided I’d go see her on Tuesday instead. I called her Monday night to let her know. No answer but nothing to worry about. Tuesday morning I called her pretty early. No answer. Figured she was still asleep and would call me later. By 9pm on Tuesday night I was starting to wonder and worry. Mum was on a lot of meds and sometimes took too many for the buzz, but I figured I was being paranoid since there’s been times before that I didn’t hear from her for days. Wednesday morning I decided to go there just to make sure.

Her front door was unlocked and the 2 cats were freaked right out, slinking around the front entrance, and mewing like little kittens despite being 12+ years old. Mum would sometimes forget to refill their kibbles or water, so I figured that’s what had them acting weird. I put my purse on the dining room table and shouted upstairs “mum! I’m here!” Then went to the kitchen to give the cats food/water.

As soon as I went in the kitchen I saw massive bowls overflowing with dry food, bowls with multiple cans of wet food dumped in them, and bowls of water all over the place. At first I was confused as to why there was so much food and water put out, and then a gut wrenching sense of dread took its place. I think at that point I realized what was going on, but I didn’t want to accept it.

I stood at the bottom of the stairs and shouted “mum!?”. She always slept with her TV on and muted. I stared up at her room waiting for a response and watching for the flicker of her TV. Nothing to both. I took a step up and shouted ” mum?”. Nothing. Took another step up “..MUM?”. With each step up that I took, It was like my insides were turning to stone and my legs were shaking. Something didnt smell right. Literally. I kept hoping she’d get pissed off that I woke her and give her usual ” ffs! What!?!!” Whenever I did, but no.

The hallway light was burnt out so a night light had been plugged in. I can’t describe the smell, but if I was ever to smell it again, I’d now know what it is and get the hell away from whatever might be causing it cuz finding a dead body is NOTHING like in the movies. You don’t go pale and look peacefully asleep. Rotting starts the moment of death.

I was too scared to turn on her bedroom light so I stood outside her door crying and whimpering “mum…mum….mum please…mum” over and over, watching for any signs of movement in the dark. A small part of me kept hoping she was fine, just deep asleep, and I’d feel like a melodramatic ass when she woke up. I flipped on the light to her bedroom.

Its been 3 months since I found her and I’m going to therapy for PTSD from when I saw her. I also now have an irrational fear that people I love will die out of the blue so I’m constantly making sure people feel OK, check my boyfriend and even the cats, which I brought home with me, to make sure they’re breathing when they’re asleep. I catch myself laying in bed in the position I found her in, with the look on her face that she had, trying to make sense of her last moments in some sick way, which results in spontaneous vomiting or fits of hysterical crying/panic attacks which I’m now on ativan for. I’m traumatized and wonder if I’ll ever be ok again. Even in her desperation to die, I know my mum would never have wanted me to end up a broken mess, a d that’s what I am now.

I can finally sleep though I do still have nightmares sometimes. I couldn’t eat a single bite of food for the first week after, so my bf forced me to take multivitamins and meal replacement shakes so I ate least got some nourishment. The constant vomiting stopped after 3 weeks but I’d lost a bunch of weight since id barf up my own saliva, let alone vitamins/liquid meals. I think it was around the 2 month mark that I was able to leave the house. For some weird reason I was convinced that if I went out, I’d find a dead body, and in small outings like to the corner store, I’d end up crying out of the blue and needing to get back home. People must have thought I was nuts but it slowly gets better each week.

I need to get it out of me, I want people to know what I saw. I’m in a small and sick minority that has gone through this and I just need to get it out of my head.

Its amazing how fast a persons brain can work. When I first turned on the light, I thought that had woken her up cuz her eyes were open. I was yelling at her ” wtf!!! Ive been trying to get a hold of you!” And as it was coming out of my mouth, my eyes were registering what I saw.

She was laying under her comforter and it had visibly absorbed pee and poo. She was lying in a starfish pose and her eyes and mouth were wide open. She didn’t look peaceful or natural, she looked terrified like she had just seen/realized something terrible. I would never have liked to see that expression while she was alive, so it made it that much worse that that’s how she looked in her final moments. Like she realized she made a mistake, or that it didnt happen peacefully.

I ran in the room to tap her leg and shouted “OMG!!! MUMMM!” And she was stiff. There were flies buzzing around and on her. She was grey like concrete with a greenish tinge. The only normal colour was her hair. She looked like a scary statue with a brown wig on. Her eyes were shriveling up but bulging at the same. Its her eyes that haunt me the most. No words can describe how awful they looked. Her mouth was open and her tongue was protruding a bit. It was a sickening shade of blue.

That’s the last time I saw my mum, and every time I think of her or hear her name, I will see that final image. Not happy smiling mum, but dead and decomposing. They gave me the watch she was wearing that had dried up goop on it. Obviously decomp that I was left to wash off myself. One of the cats had horribly smelly paws that I recognized as the smell from her place. Presumably had been walking on/pawing at her to try and wake her up. Noticed it the day I brought them home after finding her, when the cat playfully put her paw on my face. I flipped out when I realized she had pawed my mums dead bodily fluids on my face and then scrubbed my cheek raw for 20 minutes with antibacterial dish soap, then hydrogen peroxide.

I wasn’t sure what happened when I first found her. It was a blur after that. I don’t remember peeing my pants, running down the stairs, much of the 911 call or barfing on the driveway after the paramedics arrived.

While I was on the phone with 911, I saw something on the kitchen counter. A little pile of money and her fancy jewelry sitting on a paper. I moved the stuff off and saw it was a suicide note addressed to me. Finding my mums rotting body was bad enough, but theres a sick and horrible burden of having a suicide note addressed to you. That I was the last thing on her mind before she did, and even then, the thought of me, her only child that has no father, wasn’t enough to keep her around. So now I have no family and tremendous feelings of abandonment and guilt. Was I a bad daughter? Did I say/do something wrong? Why didn’t she talk to me about this? Could I have done something to save her? Did she love me? Why would she leave me all alone in the world?

Why!!! I just fucking want to know WHY!?

23 comments
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23 comments

October_rain 3/2/2016 - 7:55 pm

My condolences. I appreciate you sharing your unique perspective. I wish you well.

whiskered-fish 3/2/2016 - 8:22 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I honestly have no idea what words I could possibly offer to help ease your suffering or reassure your spirit. Anything would seem insultingly inadequate.

I can only offer you the consolation of knowing that your testimony will hopefully prevent someone from doing what your mother did, and will prevent someone from falling into utter ruin upon finding them like you found her. I have faith that it will.

Cordless 3/2/2016 - 8:26 pm

Honestly well-written and poured straight from the heart.
Painfully descriptive.

I’m sorry this happened to you.

I hope writing about it helped the healing process to move slowly forward.

Goldie 3/2/2016 - 8:32 pm

Not sure how unique my perspective is. I think its more tragic than anything. Mostly for my mother, than for myself. I’m definitely mind fucked from the whole thing, but she must have been in a horrible state to do it.

On one hand it makes me so sad and sorry for her, on the other I think she was a selfish asshole that thought if no one but herself or what her actions would do to the people that loved and cared about her, and the many lives it would fuck up as a result. But…that’s now my own selfish feelings about how I feel about the loss and the nature of it. Specifically finding her looking like a zombie. There’s the rub. Makes zero fucking sense to me.

GTSuicide_6 3/2/2016 - 8:32 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. As you said, it took you three months to finally let this out.
We are here for you, know that.
This is a truly sad story.
I hope you realize that you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for it all.
It shocks me how many people go about blaming themselves for the death of a loved one. Its the first wrong thought to have.
Don’t keep blaming yourself. Get out of your guilt as soon as you can.
Please take care of yourself.
WE’re here for you if you ever need help.
Thank you for sharing your story, once again.

Hazy Day Sunflower 3/2/2016 - 8:35 pm

Thank you for sharing this. There was nothing you could have done to prevent her from doing this.

iamtheblues 3/2/2016 - 8:53 pm

First, Goldie, let me say I am SO sorry for your loss, and the experience that you endured, and are still enduring. I know what you experienced. I have experienced it too, to a certain degree. Not a parent or a relative, mind you. Which is vastly more difficult, I agree. But my first job after high school was in the funeral industry. I was 18 years old and entering scenes like the one you just described on a daily basis. Of course, being strangers, it was a little easier to distance myself from the trauma that you are feeling. But I am a very sensitive person. Believe it or not, I still remember the very first one that I worked. And I’m 50 now. It’s not easy. Some wounds never heal. It’s natural to feel freaked out. She was your mother. It’s also natural to be angry, confused, and depressed. Take as long as necessary to heal. Or at least try to. However, one thing you might be able to try is putting yourself in her shoes, so to speak. As an individual that has struggled with depression since I was 4 or 5 years old, and yes, spent many, MANY days and nights contemplating suicide, I can only imagine what kind of living hell she must have been going through. Why did she do it? Ah, suicide leaves a lot of questions (unless they leave a note or explanation). All I can say is that she must have been hurting so very deeply that she couldn’t get free. So, perhaps you could (at least try) to come to some kind of understanding… at least she is NOT suffering anymore. Hopefully that will be enough to at least get your healing process started. It’s worth a try. I’m sorry if I’ve butted my nose in where it doesn’t belong. I’m not a professional therapist. I’m just some old guy that understands why people do it. Because I’ve been very close to doing it myself. As a matter of fact, I have had suicidal thoughts daily for over 30 years. Not an easy thing to live with. What keeps me going? I have no idea. I just try to take it one day at a time. You can get through this if you so choose. The problem is when you get exhausted. I was there just a few days ago. That’s when I feel the most vulnerable. Again, I am sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Jack

LoveDogs 3/2/2016 - 8:56 pm

Thank you for sharing. Reading this may give one second thoughts about suicide.

Goldie 3/2/2016 - 8:58 pm

I think its normal for the people left behind to carry guilt and/or blame themselves. I’ve literally known my mother my whole life and didn’t see anything was wrong. I feel like I was self absorbed and didn’t listen/look enough to know something was wrong, or she felt she couldn’t talk to me about it, or worse, that I wouldn’t care if she was gone. I’m not trying to trivialize her feelings cuz I’ll never know how she felt up to doing it, but I think this has left me in a worse state than she was in, and despite having days where I could care less if I ever woke up, I’ve never thought of doing THAT.

I just want to know why. Please. Please if someone can tell me, tell why this happened!

October_rain 3/2/2016 - 9:12 pm

I’ve heard survivors of a loved one’s suicide say that they passed their pain onto them. Why did she do it? We may never know and I do not want to offend by assuming. If you do not mind me asking, what did she say in her note? Share as much, little or nothing as you want/are comfortable with.

Goldie 3/2/2016 - 9:09 pm

Iamtheblues/jack, thank you. I do get comfort that she’s no longer suffering, but I am. It makes me feel selfish to cry and moan when her story had a sad ending while mines still going. We were always open and honest with each other, even the bad stuff, so its hard for me to understand why she took the time to gather trinkets for me, write a note, stock up the cats food and water, but not call me and tell me what she was thinking/feeling. She knows I wouldn’t have judged her so its a lot of why why why!?

A lot of firsts. First to.e losing a parent. First time knowing and losing someone to suicide, and first time seeing a dead body, in a less than pleasant state, and all of which were my mum.

Why would she kept me find her like that? She must have known it would scar me life. Was that the point for some odd reason, or did she not care?

Cordless 3/2/2016 - 9:19 pm

Of course I know nothing about the situation other than what I’ve read here, but I can at least guess this:

I would guess that she had no intention of hurting you this deeply.
Even though it obviously (understandably) HAS caused you extreme pain and damage, I honestly don’t believe that was her intention.
Sometimes people who are suffering just don’t consider the implications of their choices from all angles.

If you were the only person she left a note/objects for, that seems to suggest she wanted you to realize she cared about you the most.
Again, when people are suffering so much, they just don’t always think about all the consequences and the future trauma their choices may cause.

I agree with what Hazy said (above). There’s nothing you could have done to change it.
Please don’t blame yourself.

ZeldaSky 3/2/2016 - 9:25 pm

That is an awful thing to find, I can’t even begin to imagine. But it’s one reason I’m still here – I don’t want anybody to find me like that!

As to your question, why didn’t she talk to you about it? Well, just in my experience, I feel I’ve reached out as much as I possibly can and if anybody COULD do something to help me, they would have by now. I know reaching out more is useless. So there is literally nobody I can confide in.

Goldie 3/2/2016 - 9:26 pm

October, I don’t mind sharing. My therapist said I’ll want to talk about this long after people want to listen, hence be joining cuz she’s right. I’d say 60% of my friends vanished after finding out. I don’t know if its the stigma of suicide, or they’re just at a loss of how to help/comfort/anything, but I’ve learned who my true friends are. Sad that so many turned out to be flops. The note was nothing interesting. In fact, its hurtful in how blase and short it was. She was my mum and this was all she had to say:

“Rachel, take all the money from my account. Buy a new cat condo, pay the pet fees and please take care of the cats. I’m sorry, I just can’t do this anymore. Get a uhaul and take what you want. I love you very much. Contact (her workplace) for the insurance. Love mom”

….38 years and that’s all she had to say? It was mostly about the cats. Wtf!!!?

October_rain 3/2/2016 - 9:29 pm

“…

October_rain 3/2/2016 - 9:34 pm

I don’t know. Was it her being alone? Did your father abandon her? I’m just assuming things, trying to give you tools and providing “food for.thought”. But as I said, we may never know.

October_rain 3/2/2016 - 9:32 pm

(Accidental post above) “…I don’t mind sharing.” You want her to be remembered. Her cats seemed to be a very significant part of her life/to her and apologizing that she could no longer do life anymore suggests that she was in immense/a great deal of pain.

4beyondhelp 3/2/2016 - 10:38 pm

I’m so sorry, I can’t even imagine the pain you’re going through. I hope you can continue to heal and that talking about it helps. I’m certain your mother didn’t want you to be in this much pain- mostly when I have to think about my loved ones after my suicide I just wish they’d forget I existed, and I imagine it was similar for her. If you’re the only one she wrote to it seems like she cared a lot and her struggle was painful enough that all she could do was hope you’d be okay. I don’t know her of course so this is just guessing, but I wish you the best.

Shortcut 3/3/2016 - 8:34 am

This is probably the most powerful, affecting piece of writing I’ve ever read. I’ll keep it short. You may have saved my life.

To answer your question “why did this happen” my answer is that nothing happens for any reason, but you can turn anything into a meaningful cause. That’s the only way to get over an event as horrific as this.

I don’t believe in any god or demon who would design this to happen. It just happened. But you have the ability to turn it into something with a positive outcome (maybe not for you but for others). Just one small example… you saved my life today. Thank you.

Goldie 3/3/2016 - 1:27 pm

Feeling better today. Yesterday I got a call from the coroner’s office. I knew that call would come and I thought I was ready for it, but I guess not. She pretty much confirmed what we already new with a few more details. I hung up with her then imagined mum laying in bed, pulling up the covers and waiting to die. Made me so sad and sick to my stomach. I had a beer to calm down, which turned into 5 beers and actually made it worse, hence me joining the site. I thought getting buzzed would calm me down, but it just made me super emotional and I kept thinking about the day I went there. I wish I could eternal sunshine that day out of my mind.

I used to lie when people asked me what happened. The truth seemed shameful and like it was tarnishing her memory. I’d tell them she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. That usually opened the door for a ton of questions as they tried to figure out how a 59 year old suddenly dies in their sleep. I got irritated one day and shouted “because she killed herself, ..ok!?” I feel bad about that now. They looked like I had punched them in the face. The shock of hearing the truth and then realizing I’m going through something entirely different than if she’d died naturally/accidently. I started telling the truth after that. At first to shut up anyone that asked, but now for the simple reason that its the truth. Everyone always wants know how but only a few have the nerve to ask. At first it pissed me off, like they were asking out of morbid curiosity. Like those people standing around gawking at a crime scene. I now realize they want to understand. She was a daughter, mother, friend, coworker, neighbor etc. They all knew her in their own way. Usually after I tell them I go silent and let them have a moment. Almost every time, they will look off far away with a hurt and confused look on their face, processing what they just heard, but also reflecting on the memories. That’s when the guilties kick in. “I wish I called/visited her more often!” “Why didn’t she ask me for help?” “I canceled a lunch date a few weeks back, what if she was going to ask for help and then I canceled!” “I talked to her a cpuple days before and she sounded so happy” Etc.

I hate telling people, but its the truth. They all get that sad faraway look in their eyes. They look so confused and hurt. Its like I just stuck a knife in their gut. Then its the deeply pained expression. I regurgitate the stuff I was told “its not your fault, there’s nothing anyone could have done, she made her mind up, she’s at peace now” and I feel like a “class A” jerk saying it cuz it doesn’t help. Its kind of like when your heart gets broken and you’re dying inside longing for the lost love, and someone says “it will go away, time heals all wounds” and its true. It is…but at the time you’re thinking “what about right now?! I don’t care about how I won’t care in the future, I care about the pain I’m in right now!” But what else can people say.

“I’m sorry for your loss” used to piss me off to be end and it sounded so phony. My loss? She wasn’t a set of car keys that I misplaced, she was my mum! But theres nothing someone can say, and I’ll probably say the same thing next time I hear someone passes. The worst was telling my grandma. The sound she made as she fell into her chair. Then she wept and shook so hard. Her first born child, gone. I thought I was going to kill her with grief. Kinda wished I had lied that time, but she’d find out eventually.

Ugh Sorry, I’m venting and rambling again.
Another day in paradise.

October_rain 3/3/2016 - 5:18 pm

Glad to hear from you again. It may be negative energy, but it’s still energy that needs to come out and be spent in some way; I believe that you NEED to get it out (cathartic and weeping it supposed to release toxins), so it’s good that you are venting. You are emotionally bleeding very profusively (understandably) and the hurt, pain, and sorrow is real — even though people may not see it on your physical body — it is an immaterial gaping wound and hole in the fabric of your life. Keep coming back, we are here to listen and it’s going to take it’s own organic time. There’s no rushing, there’s no definitive “this is the set amount of time and time table”.

Hazy Day Sunflower 3/3/2016 - 1:46 pm

Thank you for sharing this.

whiskered-fish 3/3/2016 - 1:52 pm

Don’t worry about rambling or venting. I read the entire thing. It’s good to hear from you today.

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