Saturday, November 12, 2011

I will

The silence of  a falling star
Lights up the purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry

Today is a cold wet day.  I got caught in the living room this morning when my '40's station was playing Hank Williams singing "I'm so lonesome I could cry". That's when my mood changed; it was just that quick.  My husband was cooking happily in the kitchen and I didn't want him to know I was going to crash so I have come upstairs and started to put the two freshly painted bedrooms back in order.  One room is the room Michael had when he moved in with us a few months before he died and it's piled full of books and pictures.  Moving things around I again found the copy I have of the very end of my son's letter of goodbye to his daughter.  It is signed I will love you always and forever, Love Daddy  and then the date he wrote the letter.  Today what I noticed in this was the "I will"....the addition of those two words hit home.  It means that from that day until the end of time my granddaughter will know that her Daddy loves her.  She will never ever have to wonder "if" Daddy loved or loves her. 

But then I started to imagine what Michael was thinking as he wrote that letter to his daughter and trying to imagine myself writing a letter to my children  to say goodbye.  How terribly sad and frightening that must have been. I don't believe many of us want to die.   Michael didn't want to die.  I know that because he told me. He was afraid of dying and he didn't want to leave the child he loved more than his own life.  But he couldn't get past his depression and that terrible illness took away his capability to cope with living. 

So, I've come back to my sad place this afternoon and I'm allowing myself to grieve for my lost child. 

I've said this before but I want to say again that the grief of losing someone to suicide is different to other grief.  All grief is terrible, but as suicide survivors we carry extra baggage.  Please don't think I'm saying our grief is worse than other's grief because we can never know another person's grief.  What I am saying is that only suicide survivor's can understand suicide survivor's grief.  For me one of the hardest parts is knowing what my son went through the last year of his life.  Those memories don't go.  It's like a slideshow that plays over and over.  The pictures aren't always the same but they are always accurate.  I have a collection of sad and frightening slideshows stored in my memory and very little control over when the "start button" is going to be clicked.  What I need, what we all need I think, is an emotional seat-belt, something that will help us feel safe and keep us safe when the path we're travelling gets rough. 

Today there were three clicks, Hank Williams song, seeing my son's handwriting, and reading those two little extra words "I will" always....

I'm sitting on my bed with my laptop and when I raise my head just a little I can see Michael smiling down at me from his picture on the armoire.  As I look at him and rememer that look on his face it gets a little harder to breathe and I can feel my heart beat.  Dear God, I miss my son.  Please take care of him for me and tell him that I will love him always and forever.

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to fall
That means he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry

Monday, November 7, 2011

Only Time

This past weekend was another tough weekend. Sunday in particular was a particularly emotional day.  I take these days as they come.  There no longer is the expectation that the pain will lessen.  But today was a better day so I want to look back and see if I can find out what happened and when to cause that wave to come and knock my off balance.  It might be because the other day I started to write about plans for Michael's birthday.  All it took on Sunday was to have our minister ask us to name who we wished could be there with us at Church.  My son was not a church goer but he is who I wanted.  The tears started and kept up all day.   This line is from "Finding Your Way After the Suicide of Someone you Love" and it seems to say what I feel perfectly. 
       "I felt like my cycle of pain...would continue year after year, and that was what I would call 'life' from now on"
These are the days I believe that I will never laugh with true happiness, rather than laughing out of politeness, and that I will never feel truly happy again.  I want to find a way to be happy with my life without dishonouring or being disloyal to my son and this is what I can't figure out how to do. 

In the book I'm reading the questions are posed," Will it always be this way?  Will it ever be possible to do more than just barely survive each day?"  Sometimes not.  But, sometimes.  And I hold onto that "Sometimes".  Right now I have no idea what it will be like to be a suicide survivor because I'm still in the process of taking the baby steps necessary to move towards some place of peace, some place of being able to deal with the overwhelming guilt, the unbearable pain of losing my beautiful boy and the internal struggle to keep myself in that pit of despair. 

I'm not there yet. Not by a long long way.  Only time will let me know if when I'm there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I've been thinking my blog has about run its course because I am not accomplishing what I thought I would when I started.  I kind of thought my writing might be a bit of a road map for someone travelling this wretched road. If not a road map than perhaps something providing a few familiar markers, the kind of things I find in the books I read about suicide survival.  But my grief is the same as it was when I started.  My understanding of it is greater. Is that a help?  I don't think so.  Twenty months ago we were told "These are early days, give yourselves time".  Certainly, I knew that there would never come a time when I was okay again.  Well, "okay" is a relative term isn't it?  Do I mean there will never come a time when I will be completely happy again? I don't know what I mean. 

For me the reality is that I don't ever ever want to forget.  I don't want to not have the aching part of my soul because that's where Michael is.  The other side of that reality is the intense grief can make one ill, can and does make others uncomfortable, can become all-consuming.  Finding balance then is important to keeping some kind of sanity. 

Mikey's birthday is this month.  Always in our life November was kind of his birthday month...lots of anticipation of what we would do, what kind of cake, what special present...last year getting through his day was mostly about, well, getting through it.  This year I want to go back to doing something.  I'm thinking of buying Michael a goat or some rabbits or pigs through of hope.  I think he will like this and it gives me something to think about and plan.  Michael really didn't like goats...I've always loved them.  I'm leaning toward the goats. 

I've said nothing tonight but I feel better for having said it.

Night Mikey.  xxx