How does it feel after losing a loved one to suicide? How to bear the grief, guilt and unanswered questions as we rebuild our lives? I invite you to walk the mourner’s path with me and see where our paths may cross. Please comment on posts or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my book, "I'll Write Your Name on Every Beach: A Mother's Quest for Comfort, Courage and Clarity After Suicide Loss" (2017). IF IN CRISIS, PLEASE CALL THE NAT'L SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 800-273-8255.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
The tears of suicide loss for a child are not like other tears.
They are endless and pure and come gushing out many times a day, washing us
clean for a moment. They come in silent, heaving bursts that make the face
contort and the breath come in short, agitated spurts. When we let loose their
sound, it is like the howl of a wounded animal, a heart-piercing wail of utter despair. I
would hear those sobs somewhere in the house the first few weeks and go running
to find and hug my husband. I would close the windows so my own cries would not
alarm the neighbors.
It feels like an inexhaustible
well of tears that will keep pouring out at the slightest triggering thought. Each
outpouring releases a little more of the vastness of grief. I cling to my
tears, to what is left of my bond with N., the salt tracks on my face traces of love.
Days without tears feel like a
betrayal, like I am barely alive, even though I know I need breaks from grieving. The hardest, most exhausting days are the days when work or other
obligations compel me to keep the tears at bay for hours. The tears will have
out, if not at the end of the day, then when driving or resting or when a movie or TV drama comes to a poignant end—not another ending please. When I hold back
the tears, it feels unnatural, like damming up an untamed river.
In my alternate vision of the day of his death, my son collapses in tears, unable to follow through on his violent plan. But that would mean he could still feel, could give voice to the tender, vulnerable side of himself and his bonds with the living. I weep for the loss of that tender soul that could, perhaps, have saved his life.