Grief and Hope 

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

J❤️

Left Behind

This girl.

Beautiful Helper

She looks so much like a man she will never meet.

The other acts so much like that part of me that’s made up of the same stuff that he was made of.

I mustache you a question...

I still remember the moment that suicide directly affected me. It’s something you always hear about, it’s always there in the background but never had it really hit home.

I was 8 months pregnant with Scarlett, sitting in the floor of her not yet put together nursery trying to assemble a night stand. My dad called and asked if I was sitting down. Will had died. He killed himself. That was September 9, 2010.

Fast forward three years. In bed 6:30 am, Adam rushes in, you need to see this. Scott is gone. Will’s little brother, Brad’s twin. He killed himself.

I will never pretend to understand what would bring a person to that point. I’ve battled depression since my teens, I’ve been in low places. I’ve had the, “the world would be better off without me”, thoughts. I was a cutter. But I’ve never been to THAT place. The one of no return.

What could we have done? What could I have done?

What can we do?

I did something drastic the day before our second funeral, the one where we buried one more son, brother, nephew, father, cousin, friend. I went into the tattoo parlor and marked a part of me that I will always see. 1mt 1mt, One more thing, One more time.** I will never give up. It’s a reminder to do one more thing than you want to do, one more time than you want to do it. Pick up your pieces and keep moving. I had their birth dates put underneath to keep them near me always, and to remind me to keep going when they thought they could not.

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November 23rd is International Survivors of Suicide day. It’s about recognizing the people that are left behind, left to wade through the pieces and pick up where someone they loved could not.

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photo credit: afsp.org

Please consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is a very real and tragic thing, and it could be prevented. If you know someone who you think is struggling please reach out to them, if you don’t know how, then tell someone else that might could help. 50% to 75% of people who attempt suicide tell someone about their intentions.* Visit the AFSP’s site for more resources and info about suicide prevention.

Please, please take the time to reach out to someone you love today. You never know what internal battles they may be fighting. You never know when one conversation may save someone’s life.

Until next time,

J♥

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Note: I was not contacted or asked to write this post by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. All opinions and statements are my own. This is a subject and organization that is close my heart, I just hope to spare another family the grief we have experienced.
*Resource: afsp.org
** 1mt 1mt is credited to Josh Sundquist. He is a paraylmpic ski racer and an awesome motivational speaker. Check him out when you get a chance.