I wish I could make it prettier. Make that last five years rosier and the horrific ending less sharp and jagged. I wish I could smooth out the roughness of the phrase, “he killed himself.”
I tell people as gently as possible but it doesn’t matter. It’s always sends a jolt of shock when I tell someone my son died by suicide. And I always feel the stabbing pain when I say it and feel their reaction.
I am sure that’s why some don’t want to say it. Avoid it actually.
I know there’d be a different visceral response to, “he died of cancer.” Maybe softer, like a vignette around a picture. It’s easier to understand death from cancer. More difficult to fathom a death by suicide.
Suicide is heavier with more baggage because it carries with it more complex emotions, with confusion leading the way. Others might struggle to relate. Or they relate way too easily. Everyone has an opinion on it whether it’s an educated one or not. But stunned is often what I see on my end. At least at first.
If someone has suffered the loss of a family member by suicide, it’s always told to me in a whisper. It’s the cause of death that doesn’t get spoken out loud.
But I’m not going to sugar coat it or be ashamed. I’m not going to hide it because I know it needs to be a topic of discussion. And at least you heard it and thought about it so it might put it on your radar. Besides that, I refuse to bury my son’s memory.
What kills me is that Charles and I were always so close yet I didn’t get him. Not really. Not like I thought. And I do now because of all the ink he bled in those rap diaries in which he wrote for many years.
I wish my beautiful boy had not met such an ugly ending. But I can’t repaint the picture or rewrite the ending. In my book, however, I do end it beautifully. Because Charles deserves that. And so do I.