It has been almost 2 years since my son took his life - at our house - and died in our arms - though the ICU unit will say it happened in the hospital.
I remember all the angst, worry, grief, pain and fear while he was alive. I remember the unending sadness, watching my son suffer. A mother in Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” said, after her son died, “His death I can get over. It’s his life that I can’t.” Though I probably paraphrased it incorrectly - but I think everyone understands.
Well, the first year is full of numbness and relief. Relief that his suffering is over. Numbness because you still can’t believe it’s true. But the second year… Well, you wake up. And the images become stronger and stronger. The memories of the suffering, his “non-life”. The guilt. The mistakes we made. The idiots we listened to when we should have listened to our intuition,
I thought I was depressed while he was living. It’s nothing compared to the depression after his death. While he was alive there was Hope. But now, even the Hope is dead.
I struggle to function every day. I often think, this is what he must have felt like every day. And then more memories flood back of his suffering, Truly, there is nothing worse than having to watch your child suffer.
The pain doesn’t stop when they’re gone. The only thing that makes life bearable is that he is in a place of joy. Now, my task is to replace the sadness with memories of good times. Sometimes it is an uphill battle.
I feel for all of you. So hard. Unending. Just remember to cherish the fleeting moments when your son/daughter is happy or content - and never give up hope.