Grief. The word itself is ugly. It leaves an ugly black hole in the pit of my stomach.
Grief comes from the Old French, grever, which means “to burden”. It feels like a burden too, something we carry around on our backs like a heavy load.
Some would think that grief gets easier with time, but really it only changes.
My shock has worn down as the years have passed, but my grief is still as heavy and present as ever, and each passing year I forget more and more of the details. Like the sound of his laugh. Oh, how I wish I could remember what it sounded like. So, that grief, the initial shock of his death, morphs into grief for the loss of the details. I fear that eventually I’ll even forget his big bear hugs.
I’ve written a lot about suicide since Will died, but it still needs to be talked about. Mental illness, depression, anxiety; these are all very real things. Until we, as a society, can get over the stigma attached to these things, then more families will continue to lose loved ones. And not just to suicide, but to things like addiction as well.
I will live with my grief, carry that “burden”, and cling to the memories I have left until they, too, fade away.
But there is hope as well. Hope that one day I may see him again. Hope, that by talking about these things another family may be spared the grief and heartache that we have experienced not once, but twice.
Hope that someone may see this and know that they are loved and cared for and suicide is not the answer.
And also hope in the Lord, for we do not have to carry this burden alone.
Don’t wait to talk to your loved ones, don’t wait to talk to that kid at school that everyone makes fun of or the guy at work that keeps to himself. Your call, your smile or your hello could mean the difference between life and death.
If you are the one suffering, please know that there is hope. You are not alone.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29