Every time I hear a parent has lost someone to suicide, I breaks my heart to think of the journey ahead of them.
Those feelings that your love was not enough to keep your child here.
Those feelings that your child made a choice to leave you.
Those thoughts that you could have done something to prevent this and the awful recurring coulda, woulda, shouldas that plague you for days, months and even years after.
The fear of not knowing what lies ahead or how to manage life going forward. How do you keep a job? How do you stay married? How do you do normal life things? How do you make it through their birthday or the holidays? How do you answer the question, “How many children do you have?”
The agony of the “why?” The reality that in that moment of intense emotional pain, a loved one acted on irrational thoughts that you cannot change or alter.
The days of waking up and realizing that it’s reality and not a bad dream.
There are no magic words to say. Nothing can be done to fix it.
So how did I nurse myself through those first awful days and weeks after Charles’ suicide?
I told myself it can never ever hurt as much as the moment when I first found out. That part is over. And if I managed to survive that, I can manage to survive anything.
This agonizing experience can transform you from an ordinary human being into an extraordinary one. If you let it.