You’d think that after losing a son to suicide, that would be my go-to feeling. Why wasn’t it?
I’m not telling you this because I think I am more “noble” than someone else. I’m not. In fact, I wondered if I might be abnormal. Which is possible.
One is that I wasn’t raised in a household where my family made me think of religion as an investment or type of insurance that would earn me extra protection from God in the future. And over the years, I found myself feeling grateful–grateful that I was not exposed to non-stop sexual abuse as a child or born with a rare disease. I wasn’t in a concentration camp or the one who was abducted on spring break.
Every time I heard someone’s story, I thought of myself as lucky to have dodged that bullet. And perhaps over the years, having survived a brain tumor, broken neck, attack at knife point, a flesh-eating infection bacteria, I just knew better than to default to that question.
Once I lost something precious, it was hard not to default to the, “Why not me?” Loss made me feel more vulnerable to losing someone else. It was like the gatekeeper was gone and it all became possible. That’s the one I have had to fight.