That phrase plays in my head when I start to go to the place where the regrets are hitting me in the face and the pain of having missed the obvious signs of Charles’ suicide take up too much space in my head.
I could drown in all this. I have drowned in it. I’m now able to pull myself out of the deep end.
The bottom line is I know so much now about addiction and suicide that I often find it hard to remember when I didn’t know and how that information would have shaped some kind of educated and more rational response when my son called me that last time.
Those answers don’t come in 1-2-3 list tied with a bow.
It’s more like machine gun fire that triggers a fight or flight response. Only that feeling was toxic when it swirled in my head and I had no clue of what direction to take. Nothing was more frightening than the thought that making the wrong decision would cost me the life of my child.
So this is phase two of grief. Or is it three? I don’t know.
It’s the part where all of that knowledge blends together like the ingredients in cake batter and it’s not always easy to remember what I didn’t know before and what it took me years to learn. But one of Charles’ quotes can interrupt the refrain that is relentlessly nagging my brain.
I like to think he is speaking to me through the words he left behind.
it’s just life
I’m just me
and you’re just you
so just be.”— Charles Aubrey Rogers