Tragedy & Loss

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Marcie Lyons | Jay's funeral 2008|

This was completelyunbelievable. I didn’t see this one coming at all! Jay passed away July 30, 2008.

Jay and I were married July 8, 1987. This was our last family picture taken in 2007.

adamson family 2007

July 30, 2008 Jay left to go hiking and never returned. Searchers looked for him for days. Finally on August 2nd his body was found. Jay had diabetes and it was presumed he was low on sugar and trying to eat something (since a wrapper was found in his hand) and fell off the 65′ cliff. I never saw this one coming. I bet most of us think that we will all live a long, healthy life and so will our loved ones. Well that didn’t happen for me and it was unbelievable. The first few days I really thought he would come back. I prayed it was all a joke and he would walk through our door. Day after day I began to realize this really was my life. I was a widow at the age of 40 with 6 kids.

The first week was really interesting. There were such emotional extremes. I had a lot of spiritual moments I will never forget. I know that our loved ones live after they leave the earth. I felt Jay and an army of angels in my home. It was a really special time. Then the opposite was also true. My heart hurt so much I thought it would stop working. I didn’t know that my heart could feel such physical pain. My lungs couldn’t open and breathe. Some days I would cry so much I didn’t think there could be any tears left. Some days I felt so numb and in shock that nothing happened and I felt like I was in a fog dreaming. I didn’t dare fall asleep because I didn’t want to wake up with that thud in my heart, knowing it wasn’t a bad dream and this was all very real. Some things were extremely clear to me like the funeral program- who should be involved and the words I would say. I also could remember everyone’s name that came to the viewings (true miracle right there!) I was glad I had my kids around because they kept me going, but then I was so exhausted I didn’t know how I was supposed to be a mom.

The service I was given by so many was extreme. It was truly amazing. People I didn’t even know were so giving- starting with the search. There were searchers that didn’t even know us and from all of the surrounding states. There were so many family and friends who gave me and my kids so much. I will never be able to pay back all the gifts and service that they did for me. It’s something I will never forget. From this I know that people are GOOD, really good.

3 weeks after Jay’s death I found out that Jay had left a suicide note. Back to the start of grief, but even further down I went. Now this was a shock. To the core kind of shock. As I have learned from deep study, over years since his death, Jay had depression. Mental illness. These words carry a stigma that kills. I have seen it as personally as someone can. Jay and I never knew what he felt could be named. He never went to a doctor. I thought it was his personality and also diabetes to make him feel so high and so low. I thought people with mental illness that would consider killing themselves walked around downtown talking to themselves. No. Not true. It hit our family to the core. Jay was an extremely high functioning guy with depression. He had talked about taking his own life many times since we were 17 and high school sweethearts, but I thought it was a manipulating tool. No. Not true again. He really did it when he hit a low spot in his life. I didn’t really think it was a low spot. He didn’t tell me anything like that the days leading up to his death.

Because of the stigma surrounding suicide, we decided to keep Jay’s suicide a secret. Many of the family members, including my children, didn’t even know. It was only his parents, brothers, a church leader and I that knew. Most people would have never guessed in a million years that this was the cause of his death. A church leader told a few people the secret and the rumors started to fly. This was an extremely difficult year for me. I didn’t tell my kids because I had heard that if kids find out, they may do the same.

(It was 3 years later that one of my kids finally figured it out and asked me. I had been sick inside for years holding this secret in, so I told him he was right. Then my new husband and I told the other kids. Then the grief started all over again- maybe harder this time around than the first. Holding in the secret was not a good idea. I felt very disconnected. The stigma, secrets and grief has torn my family apart. It’s been devastating.I have had to go inside myself and dig really deep to grow from this pain. Personal development and suicide awareness are now a big part of me and my family’s story.)