Those big family gatherings are great–the times when all the cousins are together laughing and telling jokes. We are all together celebrating my in law’s 60th anniversary. I am enjoying the noise and then all of a sudden it hits, that sadness of the one that’s not here anymore.
I have that ache and disbelief that he’s gone. “Oh how much he would have loved this,” I think. Has he been forgotten? My mother in law makes sure he is not forgotten and hands me a donation to a mental health organization in his name.
He’s in pictures of the past but none of the new ones. No new memories. No new Charles jokes. God this hurts. How can you feel amazing joy one moment and despair the next? That old familiar feeling of complete isolation in a crowd of laughing, joyous people surrounds me like a blanket. That’s grief.
I know I’m not the only one who’s suffered a loss. I am, however, the only one who has suffered the loss of a child or a loss by suicide. I know no one here has no earthly idea how this feels and they don’t want to know. I hope they never experience it.
I know now what my friend Dan, who lost his 18 month old son Alexander, meant when he said that tears just come more easily now. They are always so close to the surface. Although I think the pain will soften over time, I think I will always cry more easily.
The grandchildren all make their toasts for their grandparents’ 60th anniversary. Richard, Charles’ brother, makes his. He starts by acknowledging the loss of his brother by suicide just 18 months ago before he makes his remarks. He is making his toast for the two of them although Charles is not here physically.
Everyone is quiet and I am shocked– but so proud of Richard. This time I cry because I am so grateful that he is remembered and that he had the guts to publicly say what he did. This is such a gift.
Feeling thankful today.