Saturday, December 28, 2013

When Did the End Begin?

I’ve had a hard time with endings since our son died. When making a scrapbook of Noah’s life, I couldn’t face writing the year of his death or figuring out what to put on the last page, because there shouldn’t be a last page to your child’s life. Books, movies, TV episodes leave me teary even if they aren’t that sad, simply because they are ending. I start to get upset as I sense a story moving toward its ending. It reminds me of how we didn’t know that our family was moving toward an ending. What we thought was the beginning of getting well was the beginning of the end for our son. We thought he was coming home from college to get better; he knew he was coming home to die.

When did the end begin? When friends stopped answering his calls, when he stopped smiling, when he had his first anxiety attack and didn’t tell us, when he lost a good friend to suicide and almost lost another? When something else happened that we’ll never know? 

Those contemplating suicide have the end in mind, obscuring everything. We survivors-- blindsided by love, worry and our own limitations--can’t seem to see the dead end till it’s over. 

The first anniversary of Noah’s suicide, which will be March 19, 2014, has been looming for a while. But the next few months could be even worse, marked by little anniversaries of the steps leading to the end—how he fell apart, how we failed to help or even recognize the full extent of the danger. Reliving each step in our son’s decline makes me wonder if anyone could have intervened to change even one thing, whether Noah might have been diverted from his path. Instead of those steps leading to the abyss, they could have led him, no matter how circuitously, back to life. 

The mini-anniversaries hurl me back into the pit of what-ifs, could-haves, should-haves, if-onlies. There is no end to these as we move toward the anniversary of an ending.

1 comment:

  1. I just lost my son to suicide march 8th and have a lot of these “what ifs”, if only, could i have done something to see what he was going to do ?? So much pain in knowing I’ll never see him again. I am definitely relating to your story.
    This is the first blog I have ever looked at as i couldn’t find a survival of suicide group. I will. keep reading thank you