Over a year after my son’s suicide, I no longer hate being alive

by Christine Dudek

There’s something about the light piercing through the clouds at 30,000 feet when I’m lucky enough to get a window seat. It looks like every picture of heaven I’ve ever imagined since I was a little kid and so it makes me feel closer to Tyler.

Flying has gone from the most excruciating ...  read more

We are surviving the unsurvivable

by Christine Dudek

Tyler James Dudek died by suicide at the age of 19

It is almost one year since my most favorite boy in the entire world left us with a giant hole in our lives.

I am still here and surviving somehow. What I might write?  What will I share about my life? Joe and my girls – Kayleigh and Julia (Jules)– are living though the same emotional brutality as I am; but I won’t speak to their pain or their grief or their hearts. That’s theirs to tell if and when they choose.

Some days I feel a little bit devoid of anything. I think it is self-protection against the constant emotional beatings. It is a respite to occasionally feel nothing. This must have been what I was sitting in when Anne Moss asked me if I would like to write something because I couldn’t tap into anything that felt real. I felt like I might decline to write because I had nothing to say. I worried briefly for myself because I always have something to say – I am a know-it-all pain in the ass.

Then I was sitting on a plane on my way home from company meetings and decided to watch The Fault in Our Stars. On a side note, I really must remember to not play a tear jerker while sitting two inches from a stranger and carrying no tissues. Anyway, some reall-ness came back to me during one of the early scenes in the movie when Hazel Grace, the main character, says this:

“I believe we have a choice in this world, about how to tell sad stories. On the one hand, you can sugar coat it, the way they do in movies and romance novels where beautiful people learn beautiful lessons and nothing is too messed up

 ...  read more