When Charles first died by suicide, I didn’t know who I was anymore.
I was the mom that had bonfires and countless spend-the-nights and pizza parties. I was the “youtube” house. I was the mom of the funniest most popular kid in school. I was mom of an up-and-coming rap artist. I was the mom who kept condoms available in the boys’ bathroom for anyone in the neighborhood that wanted them–no questions asked. I was the mom of that zany, fun kid Charles.
I was also the mom who tried for years to speak up for her child, get him the help he needed and usher him into adulthood with the tools necessary to make a life for himself.
The fairy tale never came true.
The nightmare did.
Charles was part of me. Part of my soul. He was my affectionate child.
When he died by suicide I was completely lost. Completely blindsided. Devastated and thrown into a desert with no food, water or compass. Digging out of that was heart wrenching.
I still struggle with the reality of having failed at what was most important to me.
Reinventing yourself after a tragedy is no easy task. For the first time in my life I was not exactly sure where I’ll land or what my life will look like going forward. It was one of my biggest struggles. And I still don’t have it all worked out but I have a direction.
I am no longer Charles’ mom. I mean I am but it’s obviously not the same when your child is no longer alive. People have no idea how the hurt drags you down even a year and a half later.
I am thankful I have made some decisions and they feel right. I am thankful I’m now able to move forward. I feel less in limbo, less indecisive but by no means am I feeling as sure footed as I would like. I still have unanswered questions such as how I’m going to make money at this–at least enough to cover some expenses. However, I don’t regret my decision to do this full time one bit.
I have to feel satisfied with the progress I have made.
I know if you are struggling, you will find your way. Do not make comparisons about how long it takes you compared to someone else. This is your journey and it cannot be rushed.
I just want you to know if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you will find your way, you will figure out who you are again. It’s not the way you wanted to build resilience. But let’s face it, after you’ve been through this, you feel like you can survive anything.