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Survivor Experience: Closing In On Two Years
Emotions & Challenges, Grief Journey, Losing a Child

Survivor Experience: Closing In On Two Years

Sometimes I cannot believe I am almost through the second year of grieving the loss of my handsome, clever, funny, first born son, Matthew.

I went to a Buddhist day retreat seeking peace.

Throughout the first year, I felt as if I was clinging onto the edge of my life, submerged in grief, my thoughts consumed with the awful truth and struggling on a daily basis. How could my beautiful son take his own life? He could not have known the devastation he would leave behind for his family.

I don’t know how I ploughed through the first year of dealing with complicated emotions, unanswered questions, disbelief, despair, and a deep silent sadness. Grief seems to push everything out, and there is no room for anything else.

The second year feels different. I know I have done a lot of healing. So much of my healing is connecting with other survivors on the Alliance of Hope Forum, and although I have more healing to do, the pain is less severe. It frightened me so much when I knew I was not going to be as I was, and it took a lot of time to define who I am.

The loss of my son has caused me to view life differently. My loss has shifted my thought patterns, and although I am wounded, I have emerged into a new awareness of myself and of life. I have learned how to draw myself into the moment when I feel overwhelmed and sit for a while in silence, breathing deeply.

I have grown spiritually, and for that, I am so grateful. I continue to believe my son exists in another form, and for me, this is the only way I can deal with the enormity of my loss. To have the support of others here at the Alliance of Hope, who also believe this, has brought me strength and is helping me to find peace.

I thought I could not survive this, but I know now that I can. I know that my son wants me to be happy, and I carry that knowledge with me in my heart.

I will never fully understand why my son made the decision to leave this earth but I do respect his decision, although I don’t accept it yet. Slowly, I am remembering his life and who he was and how precious he was, that he lived, not that he took his life; his life that gave me memories too wonderful to forget.