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!?