My middle son was the victim of suicide on August 26, 2015. He was 41 years old. A bright, intelligent, creative, and talented young person, he had made some dangerous choices as an adult, choices that ultimately cost him his life. In her great wisdom, his beloved daughter shared this text with us the day after we laid him to rest:
This is going to be long but thought I should share with everyone. I’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web with Lorelai when we have time to read at night. It’s been a few days since we’ve had time for a chapter obviously but last night I sat down to read to her. Wouldn’t you know it was the chapter where Charlotte dies and I feel like the following quote was mean to be read by us after all of this:
“A little tired, perhaps. But I feel peaceful. Your success in the ring this morning was, to a small degree, my success. Your future is assured. You will live, secure and safe, Wilbur. Nothing can harm you now. These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, and the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world, for you mean a great deal to Zuckerman and he will not harm you, ever. Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur—this lovely world, these precious days. . .” (from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, 1952)
It is hard to comprehend the torment that a mind must feel to result in ending one’s life so violently. I know that my son struggled with addiction and feelings of unworthiness. The man that ended his life was not the charming, outgoing, loving, sensitive son that I once knew. Somehow I feel that God looked down on this tormented soul and said, “Oh, son, in my great mercy and love I am going to allow you to make your way home to me so you can at last rest in peace once again.”
My prayer is that no other parent should feel this pain. My hope is that once again, for all of our family, we will enjoy “this lovely world, these precious days”, remembering the remarkable person who has gone on to a better home.