I never knew. . .

I never knew how much I’d miss you. I do now. Six years gone by, past that Wednesday noontime, August 26, 2015. The missing has evolved. All the normal grief stuff has morphed into an acceptance of the reality that you won’t have me laughing uncontrollably again, the reality that my worry is over because I know you are safely in God’s hands now.

I love you so much. My middle child. Your quick mind. Your charm. Your creativity–you excelled at so much. Writing, humor, carving, woodwork, painting. I treasure the etched glasses and the precious framed prints. I treasure the story of how you took a car engine apart and rebuilt it by You-Tube! Oh, the things you could have done. That grieves me.

You loved me and your grandparents and your wife and your daughter and siblings. And the grandchildren that you must be so proud of if heaven allows you a glimpse of them. If only you were here to see them grow into little people with bright minds and beautiful smiles and loving hearts. Your daughter got your intellect and way with words, but (fortunately) those gifts are combined with a strength and discipline that you never had.

My heart ached for you then, when you were so self-destructive and angry. My heart longs for you now. I remember kneeling by my bed and turning you over to God, for I knew your choices were out of my control. I am comforted to know that you know Jesus, knew Him then and are by His side now.

Your death changed me irreversibly. When asked how many children I have, I answer, “Two living–I lost a son.” Sometimes I volunteer that I lost you to a tragic death by suicide. Your death turned me into a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and mental illness acceptance and treatment and suicide prevention. Your death made me someone that others who have lost a loved one to suicide confide in. I even facilitate a support group for those in my “club,” the club I never wanted to belong to. The club of mothers who have lost children. The club of those who have experienced the death by suicide of loved ones.

You are loved and remembered, Son. Someday we will be together.

4 thoughts on “I never knew. . .

  1. And I remember his joy–from his third birthday, his joy at having a baby sister, to the last visit at his house, and the gold name tag that he created for me. I am grateful to have those memories.
    Much love to you!

    Like

  2. Kathy, this is a beautiful tribute to a life, your child’s life, that must seem unbearable at times. So like who you are, you are nursing and mending others who also know your pain. Praying for comfort and peace, abundant love to embrace you in your grief.

    Like

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