A dear friend lost her son to suicide last night. She was one of the first people to follow this blog and I knew both her and her boy. I won’t share any more than that because it’s not my story to tell. Heartbroken isn’t a big enough word to describe how I feel.
For mothers and fathers who’ve lost a child, we never forget hearing the news.
Maybe some of the finer details are shuffled, but that desperate longing in our souls for one more hug and our irrational disbelief that it can’t be true steals our breath and curls around the edges of our trauma. The raw, naked pain of losing our child is forever imprinted on our souls.
At first, we think maybe our love wasn’t expressed enough, or good enough. Meanwhile, our memories crash around us like ocean waves in a hurricane that make our ears hurt. Little vignettes of our memories float in and out at random trying to coax our minds to think that none of what is happening is real.
For those of us who’ve lost a child (or anyone) to suicide, we can’t fathom that the darkness in their soul could triumph over our love. Wasn’t our love enough to prop them up and propel them forward? Why couldn’t it be enough to glue their feet in recovery from mental illness or addiction?
The truth is that sometimes darkness wins and we lose.
And those of us who’ve lost our child will be there to support you when it’s not going well and cheer you on if your child does find recovery.
We’ll also be there to hold up the world if you lose yours. It doesn’t matter that it takes us back to that fateful day when our lives were shattered. We want you to see that surviving this is possible. We want you to have our support and to know that as ugly and crooked as the journey is, we found a way to heal. But most importantly, we want you to know that we didn’t lose faith in love.