Here we are again, friends. Another year has gone by, which means that it’s time for another birthday. This time, it’s my father’s 67th birthday. It’s still hard to believe he’s gone, but I’m thankful for all the memories that make me smile. Those memories are reminders that he’s still with me, especially when I think about the journey I’ve been on since losing a parent…
I struggled so long with “why?” Why did this happen? Why didn’t I see any signs? Suicide leaves behind so much confusion and even now, 15 years later, I still struggle with that confusion. Also, the societal stigma attached to suicide makes it really hard for survivors to feel heard sometimes. But that’s never stopped me from writing and talking about my experience because I think it’s so important for others left behind to know that they’re not alone.
I know I say this so much, but I don’t think I would have gotten through the last 15 years without the love and support of my mom and sister. The three of us banded together in our darkest hours and I am so grateful for them. Also, writing has been such a therapeutic tool for me. It’s helped me heal and work through my grief. I feel like I can express myself fully and find the right words through writing so much better than if I try to say them out loud.
The death of a loved from suicide — any death, really — is something you never get over. You may work through your grief and get to a point where it no longer consumes your entire being, but you never fully get over that pain and loss. Grief isn’t linear. It’s a process, full of winding roads and paths that sometimes go backwards before they go forwards.
How I’ve dealt with my father’s death might not be how other people would do it, but it’s the way I’ve chosen to do it. And it’s been an incredibly transforming experience for me. I’m remembering him today and always. I like to think he’s tucked somewhere in my heart and that definitely brings me an incredible amount of comfort. Losing a parent is a confusing journey at times, but I know he’ll ALWAYS be with me… xoxo
[Bottom photo via We Heart It]