When I started this blog, many, many years ago, it was for the dual purposes of keeping my parents abreast of the antics of their grandchildren and for documenting the childhood of those grandchildren, so that, in the event that they ever needed a reminder (or, two), they would have something to look to for answers.
Over the years, I have walked the fine line of knowing what to share and what to set by the wayside, of judging what my children would want to look back on, and, what might be best left to fade into the ether of lost memories. As you may imagine, this has not always been an easy task.
As the children have grown into adults, I've been even more careful to share the events pertaining to them in a manner that is, I hope, respectful of their personal boundaries; their stories are their own and they deserve to tell them when, if, and how they wish to tell them. Because of that, I have been hesitant to share something that has happened recently. I've struggled with myself over it; struggled with my need to process it in the way that comes most naturally to me while respecting my obligation to protect the privacy and emotional well-being of my child.
In the end, my decision to write this comes down to feeling-strongly-that there is going to come a time when these words will bring comfort and clarity, and, that is going to be important. So...
Early on the morning of July 4th, my son lost a close friend to suicide.
She hadn't been in his life for long (and, certainly not for long enough), but, my son loved her. He loved her sweet personality, kind nature, soft-spoken manner, and warmth. He enjoyed spending time with her, and, now, she is gone.
I cannot, and, will not, speak to his feelings here; they are his to express if, when, and how he chooses to express them. What I need to say, what I need him to hear (when he is ready), is this:
You are not alone, Cubby; you will never be alone. I don't know why this happened, no one will ever know exactly why; it wasn't our choice and we didn't have a say in it. You didn't have a say in it. People make choices, son. Sometimes those choices are incomprehensible to us, and, sometimes we are left with the consequences of those choices; this is one of those times. How you move forward from this is your choice; please choose happiness, son. Choose to live with joy in your heart. Embrace love, and music, and nature. Laugh often. Help others. Dance in the rain, sing in the shower, tell bad jokes, and, when you're sad, cry, it's ok; real men know the value of tears. Keep your heart open, Cubby; loving again will be the greatest way to honor her memory, no matter how hard that may be to believe right now. Choose life, son, and, live it well.
If you are the praying type, please say a prayer for the Cub. Please ask for comfort for his friend's family and friends and for our community-suicide is verging on epidemic in our small town and, despite numerous outreach efforts, we are failing to put a dent in the numbers. Divine intervention would be most welcome.