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ChaneyWriting through tears I am sitting here waiting for today to end in just 30 minutes. Today was the six month anniversary of the day we buried Chaney. I say we, but my wife literally was on her knees throwing dirt into a grave and was handed a shovel at one point. I just stood there in shock waiting for everyone to leave, finding the time to talk to the officer who was at our house the evening before Chaney overdosed on morphine. I was in such shock that I combined 2 separate people into one, and talked to him like he was here the night before when she was in trouble, and again the following morning after she had overdosed. I knew at the time that was not the case, but I just could not process the things in my own mind. My legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds each. I was shaking. I still have the same responses some days. My younger brother told me we both looked like we had PTSD.

Today, like I do several times a week I found myself at home alone. I went into her room, and sat down on her bed and started talking to her. I don’t think I will ever stop talking to her. The effect this has had on our family has been so destructive. We are still a family. We are here for one another, but no one in our home goes through more than a few days without breaking. Today I broke.

When Angel got home, I was just sitting there. I could not get up immediately. I was shaking. I had just finished talking to Chaney when Angel walked in. Every time I have managed to get away from people today, I have cried. I cannot tell you how much that suicide hurts the people left behind simply because there are no words to make it clear. Nothing I said to you would give you anything remotely close to what we feel on a daily basis. We have met many people who are in what some people refer to as an “exclusive club no one wants to be in”. Some of them are still the way we are at 6 months 5 or 6 years later. That is such a scary thing, to see that the trauma that this has caused may never go away.

We started this nonprofit organization with a few things in mind. We are nowhere close to really implementing any of them. At best, we spent the initial GoFundMe donations to get the corporation legally established, and then the remainder to file for nonprofit designation.

Compared to other people I know that have been in the nonprofit industry for years, we have grown a lot really quickly. Most of that growth has come from out of state. We have had a few people in our area donate, some of which are repeat offenders. We cannot tell you how much you are appreciated.
Chaney - 2007It is hard to get up every day and realize what has taken place, and what I have to do. I literally have to sit here every day and eat, sleep, breathe and live suicide. Learning about things I thought I would never need to know about. Bipolar disorder, self-medication, substance abuse, depression, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Suicidology, statistics, opiate overdose and medicines administered to counteract them, suicide methods, differences in suicide between “types” of people. All of it matters — all of the data, anything I can gather. I have to do this every day, all day long. My heart and mind will not allow me to stop unless I reach a point that I just cannot stand to do it because I am broken. Usually, I spend 11-13 hours working and/or reading. Some days it might be 16-18 hours. Around that, I have to build a website. Through all of that, I have to focus on my family. I have to be there when Morgan is upset. I have to be there when Brendan starts crying and has no idea why. I have to be there when Angel hits her low points. Everyone in the house has to be here for everyone else, at the drop of a hat. I have to do this for no pay, at least right now. At some point, we may just grow to the point that we can start offering people jobs, and salaries… but that is so far down the road it is impossible to see.

And on that note, I am broken… again. I cannot sit here and write anything else. Tomorrow will be a new day. I will get up, and I will get busy. One foot in front of the other. Fall down, get back up. It is my new reality, and I loathe it. I despise it. I do not understand it.

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