Darren has been gone 3.5 months – May 17 will forever be a day etched into my memory for two reasons:
- My niece was born in 2002 and
- Darren took his life.
It’s funny how dates will stick in our minds, but other stuff seem to drift out even when we need to remember it. At least, that’s how my memory works.
Anyway, he’s been gone 3.5 months. The first day of school came and went. It’s already been almost 2 weeks since school started! Where does the time go?
With all but one of the kids in school, I have much more time to think, to stay busy, or not stay busy. I choose to try to stay busy so I won’t focus so much on what happened as it is a heartache that will never heal. But, I do need to learn to live with it, unfortunately. Not something I want, but something I need.
I continue to talk about Darren because he’s my son and no matter if he’s with us or not, he will always be my son. Plus, I don’t find it so easy to not ever talk about him. My big fear with that is that he will be forgotten and I just can’t allow that. In my home, we will always remember him. I understand he’s not here and he never will be again, but he was. He made a difference in our lives and for that reason, he will be remembered. In fact, when people act as if he didn’t exist, my heart breaks a little more.
I will say, though, that the days are getting a little easier. I still cry at night and during the day. I still tear up at a memory or a thought. The tears are not constant anymore, but my breathe catches at the mention of his name sometimes. I visit his grave multiple times a week. A few of his friends keep in contact with me with their memories and talk about their own sadness over losing Darren.
Really, my goal now is to keep him alive in my heart and to help others who may be contemplating suicide. However, I want to focus not only on helping keep others alive, but also to change the way people think about pain (all sorts) so they never reach that point.
September is Suicide Prevention month. As we draw closer and closer to September, I ask you to remember the lives that have been lost to suicide as well as take a stand against suicide by reaching out to others who may be in a dark place. You can prevent suicide! We all can! We don’t need a degree in psychology, social work or mental health. Here are five ways you can do your part to prevent suicide:
- First and foremost, be a friend. Always. Be kind.
- Get educated about suicide: warning signs, causes
- Show compassion
- Talk about it! Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Rather than hide from it, confront it. Take away the stigma.
- Take threats seriously, Always. This is crucial!
For me, my involvement begins with the Out of the Darkness walk in my area taking place on September 14. However, the walks occur around the country in the month of September. Find one close to you and take part in it.