Grief, Guest Posts

Hang On Little Girl

October 20, 2017

CW: This essay discusses suicide. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please call 911. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting CONNECT to 74174. The world need you.

By Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton

Wouch…a cross between whoa and ouch.


I obviously don’t do this task often enough…but, as the queen of spreadsheets to keep myself organized, I’ve been working through some work that’s been patiently waiting. I’ve been working in the spreadsheet for almost an hour. My eyes just caught a glimpse…the last time I was in this spreadsheet: 8/29/16.


Whoa…almost a year ago…holy shit…quite literally, a week before my whole world would cave in…wouch…


I tried to remember what I would have been doing at that point last year…I stopped. Why relive the painful summer we had? To most people, the day they found out you killed yourself is the day of trauma for them. For us, it had been building up to your grand finale for a couple years – no one wants to acknowledge that…it’s easier to just embrace one single day of trauma and pretend we hadn’t been living in hell long before.


So, instead of reliving last summer, I thought, what would I say to her? What do I wish I had known then?


hang on, little girl…


I think of the soul searching and proverbial hand wringing I had been doing for so very long…was I making the right decisions? I had literally done everything I could think of to do, changed everything I could humanly change, read all the books, articles, blogs, pinterest pins…and none of it was working. Our world was already in tatters…falling apart…and I didn’t understand, I had grown so immune to all of it. It was just how our home functioned…well, it was just the dysfunction of our home. We all pretended it was perfectly normal that we never saw you except when you came up to get ready for work…we all pretended it was perfectly normal that if we breathed the wrong way you would melt down. You and I pretended that the best months of our marriage, followed by the darkest period of our lives wasn’t happening. You would get angry when I would plead with you to tell me what was wrong, when I asked what I could change to make you happy, I was met with stares, completely void of any emotion.


hang on, little girl…

How could anything be worse than what we were living? The tension, the toxicity. It had caused a panic attack for me in the water, I almost drowned in July. In front of our daughter, her friend, and my parents. It was my bitch slap out of my defeated stupor…I had to bring change to our lives, even if everyone was against me. How naive I was, so completely unaware of how much worse it could actually get…I would soon find out.


hang on, little girl…

We agreed that we would sell the house. You would find an apartment. You seemed relieved when I told you that I would handle my own bills, the kids, the dogs…I just wanted you to focus on getting better. You were so convinced we would end up together in the end. I was completely unsure. I was so convinced that I was the problem. I was what was making you sick. And you would tell me again and again, the issue wasn’t me. But you never could quite spit out what was the issue. Did you know there was one? probably multiple issues?


hang on, little girl…

I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. I reached out to my parents and was met with a brick wall. I reached out to your parents, the same. In typical me fashion, I knew I had to jump and if no one was going to make sure to catch us, I would do the best I could, banging down the sides of the mountain, praying I reached the bottom before the rest of you. I convinced myself and the kids that we could fix and spruce up whatever the realtor wanted us to do. You had nothing in you to give. It angered me and scared me. So I stayed friends with the anger. I convinced myself that you were being an asshole, you refused to get the help I begged you to get, we all begged you to get…so I convinced myself it must not be that bad.


hang on, little girl…

I don’t know that I will ever get over your refusal to give me a chance to talk you out of it. I’m sure you are intimately aware of the conversation I had with our son after he made me aware that you had left. As I tried to strangle my own fear and concern, I tried to convince him you would be okay, there is no way you would ever kill yourself. Fuck, Scott. So much of our marriage was me drowning, suffocating, strangling my inner voice. My intuition. But it always tried to guide me, even that night. It took me several times calling, texting before I realized I was hearing your phone in my office. That was so cruel. I thought about driving to find you, I would have gone exactly where you were. But I convinced myself I was just being dramatic…recognize that voice?


hang on, little girl…

This year has single-handedly been the most fucked up year. Shortest year. Longest year. Painful year. Year of growth. And honestly? Could you ensure that the kids and I NEVER go through a year like this again?!? My god – so many tears, so many questions. So many things I had to learn that I had no interest in learning. The loneliness. Seriously…soul crushing. There were times I wondered what the fuck I was supposed to do to heal those parts of me. I miss you, the real you, so very much. And I have to remind myself, I lost that you a very long time ago. I don’t really understand what happened…and while my therapist has helped tremendously, I think there will always be some things that remain a question. Will I ever get the answers? I wonder if by the time I see you again, I’ll even care anymore.


hang on, little girl…

You can do hard things, mind bending things. We can do this. You’re going to make it. Choose to live. Choose to let go. Choose to keep moving forward. We don’t have to have the answers today. We just need to take the next step. Good job focusing on the kids. They’re all that matters now. You’ve got to do this for them. They’re going to survive, thrive, because of what they’re seeing you do. Walk away from those who pull you down. Don’t let them trip you up. Fuck them. Fuck their noise. Hunt down love. Hunt down laughter. Allow yourself to embrace the light. The joy. Keep reminding yourself that you choose life. You choose to be here. And be here. Truly here. Feel the pain. Feel the beauty. Feel it all. And just keep breathing.

Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton is a professional cubicle dweller by day and a dreamer by night. She loves discovering the wonders of the universe with her two children and constantly ponders what she will be when she grows up. She dabbles with writing and wonders if, someday, she might commit. Find her at


Donate to the Aleksander Fund today. Click the photo read about Julia, who lost her baby, and what the fund is.

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