I’m laying in a hot tub, letting the water flow over me, while i watch a bath bomb sizzle as it gets smaller and smaller, changing the water from clear to pink and putting a pleasant aroma into the steam around me . I used to love taking a hot bath after a long day.
The night before Sam died ; just a few hours before he tied whatever it was that he used to hang himself with, he called me. He was in the bath. He didn’t tell me that, but I could hear the water as he moved around in it. That worried me: I knew that he took hot baths when he was feeling particularly vulnerable and sad. He was down that night. I could hear it catching in his voice as he talked to me. He talked about a nightmare he had that was recurring from his childhood. He told me how he was awful to his younger sister when they were young. He told me that he didn’t fit in with his two older brothers: they were friends and he was an outsider. He told me that he felt he wasn’t good enough to be in a relationship with anyone : he was ruined from the two failed relationships ( the second being his marriage) that he had been in when he was younger. He told me how he felt like he had to work harder than anyone to make things happen. And he told me that he was tired, and he didn’t want to do this anymore.
I tried to address all of these things: assuring him that he and his sister fought, like ALL siblings fight when they are young. I pointed out all the good things about him, and how, things would get better. I really felt that by the end of that call, in a better headspace. But I was wrong. And that phone call…. and the sound of the bath water, haunt me. That night, when I should have really heard the things he was trying to say to me: I missed them.
I was worried enough that I thought about calling his brother and his fiance to check on him ( they lived 10 minutes away), but it was late, and I had asked them just a few days before to check up on him and they did, and they said he was fine. I didn’t call because I thought they would be annoyed. But I didn’t think he was going to die that night.
Everyone says not to blame myself. But how can I not? I could have stayed on the phone longer that night. But I was tired after driving for 6 hours to Victoria and back that day. And Randy and I had gotten into an argument when I got home. I was tired and I just wanted to try to sort that out and then get some sleep. I thought he was ok. And I missed it. My last phone call with Sam. I completely missed it.
I’ve taken very few baths to relax since that night, because I hear the water and it takes me back to that phone call. I’m trying to desensitize myself from all the little things, like: listening to his videos of him playing his guitar and singing; listening to music he liked; listening to anyone play guitar; taking a bath.
Two steps forward, five steps back. That is how this works.
I don’t know if I can do this.