A Mothers Tribute to all the Precious lives lost to suicide.


Today’s post is dedicated to any of you who have experienced the suicide of a loved one in your lifetime.

 

It was nine years ago today that my life was forever changed. Nothing in my life has been the same since the day I lost Victor.

I will never forget the feeling when my mom called and told me to get home FAST, that something terrible had happened. She was babysitting my children while I was at work.

My heart sank!

Somehow I KNEW, before I even hung up that Victor was dead.

I remember feeling him next to me at work just before my mom called. I could feel that he was very confused and disoriented.

It was the strangest feeling I have ever experienced.

Nine years later I can still remember all the smells, sounds and even the temperature in the air at that exact moment.

It is as if that moment in time is frozen in my cellular memory, and it is something that no amount of time can ever heal.

But today, nine years later, I have learned how to live with that pain in my heart that will never go away.

I have learned how to laugh, love, and trust life again.

 

Getting to this point was NOT an easy journey. It was the most difficult and challenging mountain I have ever had to climb.

But I did it out of love for Victor.

 

I vowed at his funeral to live my life forever grateful for the blessing he had been in my life. 

I vowed to keep his memory alive no matter what.

So in our home we talk about him often.

We remember him at each and every holiday.

We celebrate his life each year on his birthday.

His last school picture is at the center of my family picture wall with a plaque above it that says,

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”
Luciano De Crescenzo

In a million small ways we keep him alive in our family.

He was a treasure far to precious to ever bury completely.

So today in honor of Victor and the beautiful child he was, I am going to share some of the ways that I found the courage and strength to carry on following my child’s suicide.

AS I write this post today, I am holding a prayer in my heart that these words will reach anyone who is in need of comfort today.

One of the first things I did was to make a list of all the things that I thought would be helpful tools for my healing process.

(I am a list person. I write lists for everything. They give me a sense of order and calm, so that was how I started.)

Here is an exact copy of that original list I made nine years ago:

  • Praying to God.

  • Hugs from loved ones.

  • Screaming in the shower.

  • Wearing my son’s magic cloak and wrapping it around me like a hug from him.

  • Being with my family.

  • Having a regular schedule, eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.

  • Making a list of various issues I felt were necessary to work through.

  • Going to a therapist.

  • Thinking positive thoughts.

  • Sharing my deepest thoughts with family and a friend who was non-judgmental.

  • Reading books about grief so I better knew what to expect.

  • Going to support groups.

  • Realizing there was no time frame for my working on my grief.

  • Learning about suicide so I could understand why my son chose to end his life in this way.

  • Learning about suffering and how the Holocaust survivors survived which helped me with survival techniques.

  • Working on my self-esteem.

  • Listening to relaxation CD’s and music that soothed me and helped me to relax and sleep better.

  • Reading then re-thinking my religious beliefs with God.

  • Reading about humor and mourning.

  • Learning how not to become a bitter but a better person.

  • Discovering how not to let my son’s death ruin my life and how to make his loss matter.

  • Giving myself permission to smile, laugh, and find joy in life again.

It took me nearly seven years to complete that list.

Once I had checked off each and every item on that list, I then did one of the hardest things ever.

I folded a piece of paper in half and on one side I wrote all the things that I did right as a mother, and on the other side I wrote all the things I did wrong.

This was a very difficult exercise for me because I had spend countless hours, days, and years blaming myself for not knowing just how sad my child was.

I was positive that when I made this comparison list, I would find my “wrongs” out weighted my “rights”

I had to have help from my mom with this exercise because I wanted an honest and helpful opinion of my role as a mother.

When we were done with the list, I was very surprised to find that I did many more RIGHT things with Victor than wrong ones.

I am so thankful that I took the time right after the tragedy to make that list.

I was completely dedicated to working through each concern until I was finished with it so I could move on to the next issue on my list.

As I look back, I can see that as soon as I was again able to acknowledge that I WAS a good mother and person, Most of the control I felt I had lost and when Victor died started to return in my life.

And then I could finally move better through the process of my grief.

But of all the healthy choices I made during that time,
the most valuable one was, hands down,
my decision to remember that Victor had led a relatively happy and productive life for fourteen years.
That he had been a loving and gentle person that had touched more lives than he could ever understand.

His dying by suicide was only the means by which he died.

I think of his happy life much more than I do how he ended it now.

So as you can clearly see my grief journey has changed.

I have found joy and happiness again.

Now I have a different kind of relationship with my son since physically he is no longer with me and I found it important to stay connected with him.

I do this by talking out loud to him.

Each and every time I pick up a paintbrush, I dedicate the work to him and his memory. (So for any of you with my artwork in your home, you are blessed with a small piece of my sons memory)

I write letters to him.

I look at his photos.

Personally, I do not believe in closure since missing my son will be a life-long situation.

As long as I live, my son lives on in a meaningful way through me and always in my heart.

I love you and miss you Victor. 

 

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17 thoughts on “A Mothers Tribute to all the Precious lives lost to suicide.

  1. My heart is aching with yours but it is also singing with yours as you have made huge steps in the process of grieving. As for me, I do not think we completely heal from our losses we only transform until the day when we are reunited with our sons. God bless you. Victor has a wonderful mom. I am thankful to Susan for sending your blog my way. ~ Dale..Brandon’s Mom

  2. Your story is highly inspiring. I can almost imagine what it must have been like for you all these years. And through it all, you took the courageous step to transform your experience into such lessons of inestimable worth. Really spectacular.
    Just to add. I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award, PLease take a look at it . I’ll be really glad to get your feedback.
    https://summericeworld.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/ive-been-awarded-my-sunshine-award-2015/

    1. I am beyond flattered that you nominated me. I will fill out the form tonight after work.
      I am so glad that my post about suicide touched you. It is extremely difficult for me to write about it. I do so with tears streaming down my face every time, but if my story can save even one life, then the difficulty that I experience while talking about it will be more than worth it.

    2. What is your dream / purpose for life?

      I honestly believe that my purpose in life is to shine a light on the subjects of suicide and domestic violence. Both have touched my life in very personal and profound ways. But through my faith in the Lord, and my determination to thrive in life I have discovered a path to healing that I want to share with the world. There really is joy after pain. There really is hope for the hopeless, and there really is rest for the weary and I want to lead them to those things through my writing.

      What are your interests, passion, hobbies etc?

      I love to paint. When I have a paintbrush in my hand, I am free to create anything I can imagine. I love the feeling of freedom and power that painting provides my soul. I love music and the written word. I also really love hunting for Ancient Indian writings and artifacts. I love to feel the connection to a human soul that lived and walked in the same footsteps I am walking in and know that time really knows no boundaries.

      What name/names do you love to be called the most and why? My two nicknames are “Melly” and “Sunshine”. I love both of these names because they fit my personality perfectly. I received the name Sunshine from my kindergarten teacher and it has kinda stuck with me through my entire life. That’s why this award made me smile. The word sunshine has been a common thread that has been woven into the fabric of my life since I was a small girl.

      Where are you from, and tell us a little about the place?

      I am from Elmo Utah. It is a small town where the cows LITERALLY outnumber the people. It is a coal mining community where almost everyone has a farm too. We work 12-16 hrs a day 6 days a week and on Sunday we rest and worship the Lord and spend time with our families. I love my small town life. It is a calm and slow pace that allows time for reflection and growth of spirit.

      What do you think about Marriage?

      I think that marriage is a beautiful institution WHEN it follows the plan that God laid out for it. I finally married a Godly man, and I am in heaven. I am loved, protected, and adored like a woman wants to be adored. I think marriage provides security for children and a safe haven from the outside world.
      BUT…
      I have also lived the other side of marriage where it was literally a living hell for me and my children.
      SO my feelings about marriage are this:
      You really need to prepare yourself for marriage by studying what a godly marriage looks like, feels, like and how it should function. You need to address your own fears and insecurities BEFORE even looking for a marriage partner.
      I don’t think we take enough time to teach the youth about the seriousness of marriage vows and just exactly what they stand for and represent.
      This is another area that I love to write and teach about.

      What things do you love the most ?
      The Lord.
      My husband and children.
      My family.
      The smell of fresh cut hay.
      Rainbows.
      My art and writing.

      What would you love to be given as a gift, irrespective of its possibility?

      The gift I would most love to receive is the gift of insight. It is my nature to want to help the underdog-no matter what the cost to myself. I would like to have better insight so I could see who to help and who it would be best to just walk away from.

      Do you have fears , if yes, what are they?

      I am terrified of heights. But with Jeff’s help, I am facing that fear. He takes me hiking and challenges me to climb the ridges knowing that he will keep me safe.
      I am also terrified of having someone angry with me. I spent so many years as a battered woman that anger is really hard for me to handle.

      What do you think about your life?

      I am so content in life right now. I have traveled through many difficulties, but have come out of them stronger, wiser, and more empathetic, so I would have to say I have a beautiful life.
      Looking back, I would not trade any of the trials that I lived through because they have shaped me into a woman that I love and am very proud to be.

      How do you handle challenges/difficulties/ hurts?

      I respect myself enough to allow time for the feelings that are coming up due to the challenge or hurt to run their course through my body. Then once the feeling have been given time and space, I find that I am better able to logically see hand handle the situation from a place of calm rather than RE-acting to the situation.

      If you were given a chance to make one request and it’ll be granted no matter what it is, what would your request be?
      That all the pain and abuse my children have endured in their lifetimes would not leave any permanent damage. That they could live a life of bliss and happiness.

      {Special Request} I love you and i want you to be happy always, no matter the storms you encounter, by not allowing your situations weigh you down, because you are Great and the world needs you. Would you do that for me?
      I will make that part of my daily meditations. The sentiment is beautiful.

      I am not sure how to complete the nomination process to nominate the 11 bloggers. Will you please help me with the next step?
      And again I really want to thank you for the nomination. When I came across your blog, I was having a very stressful day. Your bright home page, and even brighter words of hope and inspiration completely turned my day around. I have enjoyed getting to know you better through your blog, and love seeing your gravatar on my comment feed. It’s like running into a good friend on the street and it makes me smile each and every time. Thank you so much for the light that you so freely shine into the world through your site.
      You are a blessing to the world!

  3. I had not particularly mentioned anything specifically related to the content of your response to the sunshine award, cos until now, i’m still dazed, and don’t know yet how to express my feelings towards your words. I just had to say something, in the mean time.
    I was so excited to know that the nomination made you smile especially because of the name,Sunshine, which you Love.
    I’m overwhelmed that you find me inspiring and my thoughts are just too much to express.
    I’l just say, Thank You Once Again for giving me the opportunity, to find you through distance and space. You’re a True Light, and evidence of the fact that efforts made towards reaching out, are never left unrewarded.
    Your experience in, and message about marriage strenghtens my heart so dearly.
    Once again, you don’t know what this means to me.
    Thanks a Lot.
    All The Best and More!

  4. I’m glad to help for the nomination. You just need to pick eleven other blogs/ bloggers you think deserve the award and probably do a post with your question,answer and nomination, to serve as a visual aid to them as well. Then notify them about the nomination.

I would love to hear your thoughts..please share.

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