And here I am still alive 12 years later. How? How did that happen? Well it wasn’t easy. It was messy and blundering and screwing up and giving up and then trudging along.
My oldest son, Ryan, died by suicide when he was 21 years young. September 21, 2006. Life changing for the rest of us in his family left behind. Yep, for sure. But I found out that you can’t always just give up, crawl in a hole and fade away to nothing. Nope, you have responsibilities; surviving children, family, a job, a house. You’re forced to go on. That’s good. I plodded on because of my three boys. The twins, Andy and Ben, had just turned 11 and William was 14, just starting High School.
I’ve been told I’m strong, I’m resilient, but really I’m just trying. That’s all you can do, is try. You might not be great, you might not be with it all the time but you’re trying. Like Pink says, “Try, try, try”. I think I’ve tried a lot of things. It’s been 12 years of searching and trying to find something that helps. Trying to find reasons for something with no reason. Trying to find answers to questions that couldn’t have answers. And most of all for me, trying to find God.
I felt that God left me that day. It was instant. An emptiness. A vacuum.
I have spent years trying to find God again.
He was there all the time?
He was with me in my anger, in my confusion, in my feelings of abandonment, in my guilt, in my walk through the valley of death?
It sure didn’t feel like it, but looking back it is amazing that my family has managed to somehow survive and go on, not perfectly and not unscathed, but we have united together to continue our lives and to help others and to remember Ryan.
I was searching in the wrong places for God, for answers. It’s part of the grieving process with suicides, I’ve read, to lose your faith and I think that if you don’t have a strong foundation of belief to begin with then you have nothing to help you begin your search. I don’t know why I had to go through all of that. But I did and so have others.
Then happened the miracle.
One day, I picked up the Bible and began reading it again. After all, what did I have to lose?
And it made sense. I kept reading. I looked up at the sky, again, for the millionth time and I prayed for a closeness. I prayed to feel God. And I did. Can’t explain it. Maybe it was just the timing, maybe I was ready, I don’t know and I can’t explain it, but to me it was a miracle. I felt such a sense of peace. I hadn’t felt so calm and peaceful since Ryan died. I felt that God was there.
All I can say is that I feel like a miracle has happened in my life. I feel healing for the first time. It feels good and I’m going with that.
I miss you Ryan and always will. You will always be my baby. I know you’re okay.