The Beauty that Still Remains

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” ~Anne Frank

I often hang my hat on a quote. It’s the peg I choose and use to refresh my mindset for the day.

I go for those that whisper hope and grant me courage to start each day anew. Such is this.

It’s been over two years since my son, my only child, took his life.

The years embedded, but the overflow months, no longer a reflex, require counting on my fingers.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

Grieving the loss of his physical presence, the hopes and dreams I carried for him present and future, that part has been a difficult climb. But I take the zig-zag trail now instead of the steepest route.

There I can catch my breath.

Along that gentler trail, he walks by my side. The tenderness of his heart resides in mine and his smile somehow shines brighter than before, radiating warmth and lighting my way.

Not simply deep desires, these things are palpable.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

Longing remains . . . how could it not? But it’s not all misery.

I do my best to avoid background noise and see deeper beauty in the quiet of simple things. Mostly nature.

Mother Nature continues to be both Teacher and Healer.

So strongly my son resides within, maybe he brings that clarity. I see for the two of us now.

Perhaps it is my job, as his mom, to always seek and show him the beauty he somehow lost sight of.

The beauty that still remains.

The ties that bind . . . perhaps we show that beauty to each other.

Humpty Dumpty and Me

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

I can commiserate with Humpty. The great fall of losing my son to suicide has left me, amongst other things, feeling fragile as an egg. Actually, when I stop and think about it, my grief has an awful lot in common with an egg.

I’ve felt…

Cracked
Broken
Beaten
Scrambled
Fried
Boiled
Rotten

And some days, hours, moments even, Sunnyside up.

Yes, old Humpty and I have a lot in common.

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 »

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They Live On …

“People you love never die. … They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.” ~Matt Haig, H

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am present to the love I feel for friends and family – those who are alive and those who have passed. And I am grateful for the love they extend to me. Quite honestly, I don’t know how I could manage without it.

The love I feel towards those dear ones who have passed has never lessened. I still feel connected to them – not in this physical life, but through memories, thoughts, dreams, and signs.

When I read posts on our forum, I know I am not alone in this feeling, for beneath all the shock and pain, there is an undying love and connectedness expressed for those who have died.

I see this love reflected on the Alliance of Hope Memorial Wall, where dedications reflect the love and bonds that continue between survivors and those who have passed. Our loved ones had talents, made contributions, and touched many lives. The shock and pain surrounding their manner of death does not negate who they were, nor the love we felt for them.

I am grateful that much has changed – and continues to change, in the landscape that surrounds grief. In decades past, the bereaved were often encouraged to cut bonds and “move forward.” Grief theorists saw holding onto a relationship with the deceased as pathological. Yet, theory had little to do with how people really processed their grief. 

We now recognize that deep bonds are not severed by death. Our loved ones are still beloved members of our families and communities, though they exist in a different form. While their physical bodies are no longer present, their essence continues to inform and enrich our daily lives.

This Valentine’s Day, as always, I send my love to the Alliance of Hope community. I am so grateful for the love and kindness expressed here. I invite you to visit the Alliance of Hope Memorial Wall, and add a memorial for your loved one, if so inclined.