Find the Silver Lining

I have debated back in forth whether or not to write this post.

One year ago today, on March 28, 2015, I lost my 16 year old son to depression and suicide.  I have never experienced depression or anxiety – not outside of what I consider regular ups and downs. I don’t understand it and still find myself wondering if that is really what happened to Brice. He didn’t “seem” depressed – whatever that means.

Grief is nothing like I anticipated.  I go through all the different stages of grief on a regular basis. I have blamed myself.  I have blamed his friends.  I have accepted it and denied it.  I get so angry some days and take it out on everyone in my path by being hateful and ugly. Fortunately this mood doesn’t last long because it’s so counter intuitive to my nature. I don’t miss him every day, but  sometimes I miss him all day long.  I cry at random times and sometimes still want to scream at the top of my lungs.  I panic when my kids don’t respond to a text or phone call. I panic when Wayne calls me at work.  I panic when he doesn’t call. I check on Chelsea before I leave the house or go to bed, just in case. I know that I cannot change the past, but sometimes I wish I could, and then I look at what has changed since he died and think I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe everything happens for a reason, but don’t still don’t know why his death had to be part of that plan.  I feel like I’m the only one that must know how this feels but then quickly realize that I’m not and that someone, somewhere dies every day.  Death is just as much a part of life as birth, but I don’t have a very good grasp on the death part.  I gave birth to that little boy, and I should have never had to experience his death.

Over the past year, I have learned and realized a lot of things I did not before.  I have changed behaviors and modified some perspectives. I’m more forgiving and accepting than before. I value my time at home more than I used to.  I appreciate my husband more. I spend more time with Chelsea. I care a lot less about trivial things, like dust and dandelions. I have more compassion for others and realize there’s a lot of things I don’t know anything about or have any understanding of – like depression.  I’ve learned that sometimes there really isn’t thing you can say to make it better. Some days are still very hard, and not necessarily the days that I expect.  Most days I accept my new normal and enjoy life as it is now.

My heart aches for people that think that taking their own life is an option or an answer.  It’s not.

I wish I could tell people how valuable their lives are.

I wish I could tell them how much they are loved.

I wish I could help the people that feel hopeless.

There is hope.

There is always other options.

There is someone that cares.

Yes it will matter.

Yes you will be missed.

The voice in your head that tells you otherwise is a liar.

You are valuable.

You are important.

I can’t change the past. None of us can. As I sit here writing, my chest starts to heave. It’s been a year.

 

If you are having thoughts about harming yourself or thinking about suicide, say something.  Say anything. Call 911.  Tell a friend or relative or a stranger.  Tell them you need help. If you know someone that has mentioned suicide or self-harm, tell someone.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.  

You can call the Suicide Prevention hotline any time at 1 (800) 273-8255 or go to their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. 

 

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19 comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child, and I am in awe of the strength you continue to find and display every day. Thank you for using your experience to bring hope and help to other people.

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  2. Respect. I know so much of what you’ve been through and continue to go through, yet at the same time I know so little of it. You are strong, brave, and inspiring. You were all of those things to me 13 months ago. Since then there are just more reasons. Always here for you.

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  3. So sorry for this horrible and unspeakable event in your life. I don’t know you that well, but what I do know is that although you may think you’re “all over the place,” you really do have it together!
    I hope writing about this helps others and you as well.
    Big hugs from Deb in Texas!

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  4. As a mother of 2, I am sitting here crying as I read your post. I can’t imagine what it feels like to loose a child. But i know the thought alone brings me to tears. I wish I could give you a great big hug. I admire your strength and courage. Thank you for sharing your personal story! xo

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  5. I’m Sorry Angela. Thinking of You, Wayne, and Chelsea. Your Alaska friends will keep you in our prayers. Try that Kendal Mountain run out of Silverton. 13 mile run. 13000′ peak. Awesome view from the top. It is wonderful for putting the mind in a good place.

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