Depression, anxiety, and suicide are realities that we hide from others, not knowing that many others are hiding their own. Let’s hide no more.

There are unforgettable moments in life that stay with us forever. These moments change us, marking a before and after in our existence. For me, that moment came on Thursday, January 28th, 2021, when a few words on the other side of the line broke me into tiny pieces: “He is dead.”

No one is ever ready to hear that the man you deeply love and you were going to marry is gone. In that moment time STOPS, any form of pain you had experienced before, becomes a shadow, and the grief you feel after your loss is unbearable.

After that evening phone call, the world instantly made no sense – I’m still trying to make sense of it. It feels like I am watching a movie, looking at my life through someone else’s camera. Without thinking, hours after I received the news, I drove in the dark of the night to my old house where I used to live. I’m still wondering how I got there. I don’t recall getting in the car or driving through the familiar streets of my old neighborhood. Now I know I was in shock, and I believe my mind took me to the place I had called home for almost 13 years.

When I returned to my new empty house, I felt broken. I remember running to the bathroom and throwing up uncontrollably. I was exhausted and in complete denial. I had spoken with César that afternoon, just hours before, and he told me he was coming down to St. George the following weekend. He told me he loved me. Maybe they made a mistake. No, it could not be him. It didn’t make sense. 

Still sitting on the bathroom floor, I began to cry like an abandoned wounded animal. It felt like I had a hole in the pit of my stomach and a heavy-weight on my chest, which made it almost impossible for me to breathe. Grief, as I have never known before, was born right there, right then.

That night I didn’t sleep. I stayed in bed, looking at the ceiling. I repeatedly replayed in my mind my last phone conversation with him, making sure I did not forget anything, that I didn’t miss any tiny detail that could have helped me to prevent his death. I sobbed through it all, sometimes quietly and sometimes loudly. I prayed to God aloud. I repeated the words “Please, Father, hold me” time after time. I also talked to César, wanting to believe that he could still hear me, asking him to hold me, not leave me yet, to stay with me through the night.

Right before the first rays of the morning came, exhausted, I fell asleep, asking God one more time for mercy and take me home with him. I didn’t want to wake up again, but I did. I learned that day that there is life after death, and I am talking about mine.

We talk about them because we are proud. We talk about them, because they deserve to be remembered. We talk about them, because even though they are not physically with us, they are never far from our mind. We talk about them, because they are part of us, a part that we could never ignore or disown. We talk about them because we love them still and always will. Nothing will ever change that.

-Lexi Behrndt

César was just 46 years old when he committed suicide. He was a wonderful father of five beautiful children. He was a physician by heart, the most caring doctor I have ever known. When people asked him what he did for a living, he always said, “I work at the hospital. I’m a caregiver.” Yes, he was. He cared deeply for those around him. He treated people with dignity and most gentle humanity. He healed my soul. He made me a better person without even trying. He taught me with his example the true meaning of service and the power of unconditional love.

God gave me the honor of sharing the most tender moments of my life with this beautiful human. He taught me how to be more like the Savior. He had the gift of seeing the best parts of me and of anyone around him. I will forever be blessed for having his light shine on me. I will forever love him. ( Te amaré siempre. )

He had been struggling immensely with depression and anxiety for months, but I never thought that losing him would be the outcome. Knowing his gentle loving heart I know he would like anyone to know there is HOPE. Knowing his physician’s heart he would like anyone suffering from this disease to get help. There are professionals, medications, and loved ones that are eager to help you. Please do it. Don’t hesitate. You are loved.

“EVERY 40 SECONDS A PERSON DIES

DUE TO SUICIDE.”

For me, suicide is not anymore just a word or part of someone else’s life story. This is my story: I lost the love of my life, my companion,  my best friend to mental illness, and unfortunately, I am not alone. 

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. 

  • It was responsible for more than 47,500 deaths in the USA in  2019, which is about one death every 11 minutes.
  • The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2019, 12 million American adults seriously thought about suicide.
  • 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.4 million attempted suicide. (Read more at CDC)

The World Health Organization – estimates that close to 800,000 people die from suicide each year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.

SUICIDE IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR PEOPLE AGES 10-34

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

I want to let you know that there is HOPE.
We can make a difference together.
We have to STOP making suicide and mental health a taboo.
We need to learn more about it. Talk about it. Teach about it.
We all need to be more aware of those around us that are suffering from feelings of loneliness, despair, darkness, and shame.
We can be a friend.
We can listen more carefully and take SERIOUSLY the words of those that even casually talk about suicide. 

We can be the voice of those people that don’t have one anymore.

Photo by Warren Wong

You may be depressed but YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSION. You may don’t see the light but YOU ARE NOT DARKNESS. You may be sad but YOU ARE NOT SADNESS.

YOU ARE LIGHT.

YOU ARE JOY.

YOU ARE LOVED.

DESIREE MARTIN – THE36THAVENUE.COM

I wrote this quote above the day after César’s passing. I wish I would have said those things to him before but sometimes you don’t know until you do. My heart breaks when I see this much loss and grief around us. My heart is also inspired to do something about it.

I want to make this a safe place where you can also share your story. Please feel free to leave your comments below. Let’s make this world one full of HOPE, and support each other through the journey of healing.

If you would like to share privately, you can send me an email at [email protected] I would love to hear from you.

YOU spend most of your life inside your head.

Make it a nice place to be.

THE36THAVENUE.COM
 
 

Thank you so much for stopping by today and letting me share a piece of my heart with yours. 

Let’s choose HOPE!

 
 
Desirée
 
 
Need help?
Know someone who does?
 

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

For more information, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon.

You can also connect 24/7 to a crisis counselor by texting the Crisis Text Line.

Text HOME to 741741.

5 weeks later… Click HERE to read the post!