Stephanie Boswell
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An Open Letter to Death

What I Really Want to Tell Death Himself

Dear Death,

How dare you creep into bed with my husband and flirt with him, and tease him with the idea that death is the best option for him to pick. How dare you whisper sweet nothings into his ear about how life isn't worth it anymore.

It's not fair that you've become his mistress that he searches and longs for while my back is pressed up against him at night. You tell him that everything will be better if he just goes with you and leaves me alone, you've done it to thousands of others, why would this time be different?

Death, you may think that because you tease him with your offerings of ending it all that you will soon win, but I won't allow you to win this battle against him.

I'll be the wall pushing up against his back, holding him up when you're trying to knock him down. I'll be the life vest around his chest when you're trying to pull him under water.

Dear Death...you won't win this war.

You see this is the terrible thing about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. You want to write an open letter to Death himself, to tell it to back off of your loved ones and that it won't win the war, that your loved one will conquer it all, but you can't. You sadly can't just knock Death's teeth out and it'll leave you alone. If you have a loved one suffering from mental illness and is causing them to have suicidal thoughts and or tendencies, there's nothing you can do or say to help it.

I've been woken up by my husband with blood running down his arms due to self harming and no matter how tender I was with him while I cleaned him up, no matter how hard I hugged him and told him I loved him, it didn't matter. At that exact moment he felt like a failure, because he "couldn't get the job done" as he told me through his tears.

Living with mental illness is one of the toughest things I go through on a daily basis, but watching your spouse go throguh it is honestly a lot harder than going through it yourself. You feel helpless that you can't do or say anything that will help. You feel terrified to leave them alone while you go to work, because you don't know if they'll show up to pick you up at the end of your shift like they said they would. When you go to bed, you toss and turn and check in on them every hour as they sit and fight with the demon in their head while on the couch because they themselves can't sleep.

A small part of me feels betrayed, because this isn't what we signed up for together. When we finally decided to take the chance and date, even though it was long distance. When he finally came to see me in person for the first time, and proposed. When I decided to drop out of college to move, so I could be with him. To us deciding our wedding day and saying "I do" to one another, to even taking the step to decide that whatever happens will happen and try to start our family. When I agreed to all that, I didn't agree for him to tell me four years later that he wanted out of his contract with life, I didn't agree for me to argue with him why life was worth living. I didn't agree to any of that. I agreed to love him until we were old enough to leave this world, not to bail on one another.

Even though this is very controversial to say, I don't blame people for taking their lives. I could understand and see why they would do it. But, when it comes to my husband, I don't think it's fair for him to do. Maybe that's just because I don't want to bury my husband and be a widow at the age of twenty four, or maybe it's because I know there's step A, B, and C that we have to go through. He needs to understand that the doctor might have to try him on different medications until we find something that works, but he doesn't want to feel like a test subject and go through all of that, and I get it, I understand.

But, at the same time, he himself can't let Death win, when he himself hasn't even had the chance to fully live yet.

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