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Losing a Child

The Journey – 2.5 Years Later

Hi everyone, it has been a year or so since I was on the Alliance of Hope Forum. This forum saved me in the first year, especially the first few horrific months. I am very grateful for so many of you, as you were and still are my biggest supporters.

I did not have family to grieve with in person. I did it solo as my son’s father went MIA after the funeral. I haven’t spoken to him since. My other child is still in shock and could not handle my neediness back then or now. That’s part of why I am so grateful to this forum community. I would have been truly alone – feeling like a leper with fleeting friends. No one could relate to what I was going through.

It was indeed so horrible I do not think of those early days.

They are forgotten. Other surviving mamas were the key for me. I was safe with them. I could say the word “suicide” and they would not run or look uncomfortable. Now at 2.5 years into this horror of losing my beloved 22-year-old son, life is gentler for me. It took a good 2 years to get here. I cry often – daily, hourly, or weekly depending on what I am doing – especially if there are triggers like holidays or milestones.

Early on, I decided to let the natural grief process unfold, whatever that looked like. The anxiety that crippled me is gone now. I still have some anxiety, but I manage it with good sleep (which doesn’t always happen) and positive thoughts.

I often shake my head that this is my life now.

I am the mother of a deceased child by his own hands. It no longer haunts me but indeed it has made me a sad mother. How can it not? I miss my boy immensely and wonder what he would look like and be like at 25 – post-college and commencement of a career. Would he have a girlfriend or a cool first apartment that I would have helped him with?

The grief and the loss scared me so much in the early days, but I am no longer scared. I honor my son’s life in many ways and speak of him and to him constantly. Our relationship in the physical form has ended but our eternal bond never will. He and I shared one heart until he formed his own beautiful heart, so how could we not be eternally connected? There is no stronger bond than mother and child in life, and it is the same for me in death.

My son visits me often in various ways to let me know he’s not far away.

He turns fans and motion lights on and off, made my adjustable bed go down (the remote wasn’t near me), and lots of other fun things to bring comfort to me and perhaps to him too. I had a medium reading on his second anniversary. I waited that long until I was ready. It was so spot on that I now have zero doubt about the afterlife. My father came through too and they are together. This knowledge will carry me until it’s my time to crossover and makes life more bearable for sure.

He said how sorry he was. I don’t want his regret to hinder his soul’s evolution. He reacted to a breakup and chose a horrible path instead of staying to cope and realize he would be okay in time. His young brain and heart were in so much pain, yet he told no one so we never had the opportunity to help.

I was suicidal for the first 18 months. It wasn’t a matter of “if.” It was “when.”

I am over that now and trying to live a purposeful life he is proud of.

I quickly moved out of the state he grew up in to live anonymously and away from so many triggers. I am currently back in that state visiting my other child and find the triggers less intense but definitely present.

I am happy I moved away. It was the right decision for me. It allowed me some grace, compassion, and forgiveness for myself. I visited his grave today and decorated it. I don’t believe he is there, other in ash form. I never feel him there, so I seldom visit. It makes me sad and nauseated to see his name. Today a bird got in somehow and flew around the room. I laughed and asked if it was him, but I don’t think so. I like to think his wings are broader and soaring in magnificent places, not in a mausoleum.

I thought his friends would “move on.” Not true.

They are living their lives as they should, but they talk about my son often and think of him daily. They were like brothers – growing together from freshman year and some from elementary school. I am happy for all of them and even happier when they reach out to me. I’m a bit jealous of their graduations, new jobs, and milestones. They will never detect that from me, but I can express that here. I will never see my son as a husband or father. This is very painful and part of this new life.

I am seeking therapy for PTSD but have been unsuccessful for months because COVID overloaded therapists and they are not taking new patients. I thought I could cope on my own but now it’s time for help. I’m curious about EMDR trauma therapy to help release visual memories, anger, and anxiety.

I am a changed woman forever.

A big piece of me died and left someone I don’t recognize. I’m learning about her, this broken mama who keeps going forward each day instead of being in the dark nights of my soul like I was. I am more than a survivor. I have plans again and dreams and if they do not come to fruition, that’s okay too because I have learned to be gentle with myself. I earned it.

I wish gentler days for all of you too.

About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »