My late husband was a police officer and he died by suicide.

I want to tell you how his department did nothing but stand and watch me on my hands and knees screaming for them to help me, after I had found him.

I want to tell you how a noticeable amount of his colleagues skipped over and glared at me as I stood by my late husband’s casket.

I want to tell you how his chief didn’t wear his uniform to the funeral and has met me with silence every time I’ve reached out.

I want to tell you how I felt when I read that my marriage was blamed in the official police and autopsy reports.

I want to tell you that since the night he died, not a single officer has come over on their own to check on me.

I want to tell you how I did things I would never have thought of doing, to cope with the pain.

I want to tell you how I came to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and almost lost myself.

I want to tell you I’m an isolated incident, but I can’t. There are a growing number of us who are blamed, shunned, dismissed and denied support by our husband’s departments throughout the nation. I’ve listened and met with many of them. Our grief is compounded because we not only lost our husbands, part of ourselves, but most of us are losing our family in blue all in the same day.

I want to tell you how little trust I now have in law enforcement or how triggered I get when seeing the uniform.

I want to tell you that I was assaulted in my house two years after my husband’s death but couldn’t even bring myself to file a report with his department.

I want to tell you so much more, but I’m scared you’ll sweep me under the rug just like the department did with me and my husband’s suicide.

But the last thing I want to tell you is even if you don’t listen, I will keep telling my story. I want better for the next LEO widow of suicide and I’m hoping the departments’ credibility can be restored with those families they have deeply hurt. I’m going to stay above the rug. We were their families, and it shouldn’t matter how they died…support should be given. My husband blamed the department in his suicide letter. The department blamed my marriage. I blame no one. Did you know my husband did everything possible to take care of me and my future before he left? He thought he was a burden and wanted better for me. Is this the “better” he was referring to? Would any of this have happened had he died any other way? Is this the kind of support you would want for your family after you are gone?

If you had the chance, what would you tell my late husband?

-Badge #1831’s Widow