Friday, April 30, 2021

These Things I Know


Written by Jim Yoder, April 29, 2021

Nine years ago this morning, Tammee left us.

We have so many questions. We work so hard to try and know things.
Why didn’t we see something? Why didn’t we realize she was in danger?
Why didn’t she say something? Reach out?
What was she thinking? How was she hurting so badly inside?
What could we have done differently? Would it have mattered?
Here’s an idea:

Let’s don’t focus on what we can’t know.
Instead, what if we focus on what we DO know about her?
I’ll start:

I know Tammee loved with abandon, loved deeply, and cared deeply.
I know Tammee valued her family, her faith, her friends.
I know Tammee was adventurous, even to a fault. Whether flying airplanes, scuba diving, riding horses, driving motorcycles, she loved speed and exhilaration.
I know Tammee danced always like no one was watching, even though entire dance floors would stop and clear to watch her (which would always then embarrass her greatly).
I know Tammee was impulsive, always choosing immediate action over analysis and planning. I know this caused many wonderful things to happen, and sometimes not so wonderful.
I know Tammee was in great pain and fear 24x7.
When her psychosis and extreme paranoid delusions began 11 years prior to her death, her and everyone’s lives changed drastically, and survival became our driving focus. She suffered on a scale that devastates me to this day, and will forever affect me.
I know Tammee was somehow stronger than anyone I’ve ever known, and it still amazes me.
I know Tammee loved me.
I know Tammee is in heaven.
I know I loved her always, and will love her forever.
These things I know.

Fly free, Tammee Lee! 

Jim Yoder lives in Kansas. He sings in a gospel band, he's a Kansas City Royals fan, and he is a survivor of suicide loss. On April 29, 2012, Jim lost his wife Tammee. Yesterday, Jim shared the note above with his fellow loss survivors. 

The anniversaries of my own two primary suicide losses are in April. As we round the corner from this month into May, what Jim wrote was a beautiful reminder to me that we can move forward holding equal amounts of Grace as grief.