I was lying in my bed this evening, nursing my baby girl and as I looked around my room, my eyes landed on this photo of Darren. It’s hung beautifully above the piano, positioned perfectly so that it’s the first image I see as I awake and the last image I see before I close my eyes.
As I laid there, with my baby girl all snuggled in close, my thoughts began to wander to Darren just as they always do throughout the day. Nights are different though. My mind is calm. The peace surrounds me as my children lie in slumber. Of course, the noise of my husband snoring put a damper on the peaceful silence, but I guess….well, I’ve gotten used to it! Anywho……enough rambling….
In the silence, I began to think about Darren, about how much peace he must have now. I looked at that particular picture, the way he has his hand on his cheek and I realized….that is exactly how I hold my hand when I am worried or upset. It’s funny the things we notice when we aren’t really paying attention. As a parent, I often try to look at any given situation from the perspective of my child. It was no different with Darren. I really tried to understand what he was thinking. I was often perplexed by his silence, by the false pretense of strength. He was a soft-hearted person, but he built a protective wall around his heart as most people do when trust is gone and doubt creeps into every crevice of the mind.
I started asking myself questions while I was lying there with my daughter, questions such as, “what would he be doing right now if he were still alive?” “Where would he be?” “Who would he be with?” And then, I started the inner dialogue, “He wouldn’t want us all arguing.” “He would probably be sleeping at this exact moment.” and so on, so forth. Even more than the questions and the inner dialogue, or thoughts of him as he was just before he passed away, are the memories that have been flashing through my mind lately. The memories have been specific. Today’s memories consisted of our family vacation to South Dakota! Do you know how long ago the vacation was to South Dakota? Yeah, I can’t remember either! I mean, I remember the trip, the drive, the week-long stay in the camper. I remember the activities we enjoyed, the campfires and roasting marshmallows. I remember some of our crew sleeping under the stars with Luke and some in the camper with me. I remember being 8 months pregnant, but trying really hard not to be cranky because I wanted to kiddos to enjoy the vacation.
So many memories to cherish. The loss is to much to bear sometimes. I wonder if the heartache will ever end. I worry about my other children and how they are handling the loss. It’s hard for me to understand and I’m an adult. I can’t imagine how each of them must be feeling. It’s been almost six months since Darren took his life, but I know he is at peace now and that’s brings me a little bit of peace…..not much because I still want him here with us, but his pain is gone and for that I am thankful. It breaks my heart that he saw his only option to be suicide. He is my son always and forever. I loved him when he was here, I love him now. I always have and always will.
Suicide sucks, but what sucks even more: an ugly heart. For those who can be so hateful without considering how much it hurts others….shame on them.
~ Shannon ~