After my son Christopher died I thought my life was also over. My family, friends, job and everything else seemed to disappear into the vortex of hopelessness and pain that had become my life. I had become extremely suicidal at times and thought there may come a point where I would have to go to the hospital and ask for help. If I had not had the love and constant support of my husband, sons, parents and friends to hold me together, I fear I may not have survived. Yet, here I am!
I went to a counselor but was afraid it would be futile. To my surprise he was very helpful and let me vent all of my sadness, hopelessness, anger and pain. He helped me with talk therapy, coping skills, and suggested relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. I also spoke with a psychiatrist who helped with medication for my depression and anxiety. I have now reached a point in my therapy where the anxiety attacks are few and lesser in severity. I can leave my home knowing how unlikely the series of possible disaster scenarios have become. I will not only survive, I can thrive in this life!
I was dealt a hand that I never would have imagined could enter my life. When a child dies by suicide it’s normal to feel disillusionment, anger and regret. I felt all of these and much more! These feelings lasted in different degrees for much of the last year and a half. Recently however, after our home was nearly destroyed by a flood, in which my husband and I could have drowned, there were two new feelings permeating my being. This broken person I had become somehow felt a glimpse of life’s sometimes elusive gifts of hope and acceptance. At first I felt it would be fleeting. It could not be realistic to expect such a gift after the loss of one of my sons. However, to my amazement the feelings grew stronger and lasted in longer and more pronounced increments. I’ve replaced “why try and what’s the point” with “I can do this” and “I am a survivor”!
Recently we were driving to dinner with one of Christopher’s friends and his family when we saw a funeral procession. I started to cry and he ask what was wrong. I think he assumed I was crying about Christopher and remembering his funeral. My thoughts had drifted there for a second or two but the real reason I cried was for the family of the deceased and what they were feeling. I had reached a milestone in my recovery! I could feel empathy for someone else’s grief and not be transported in that instant back to my own.
I have joined the YMCA and a support group for mother’s who have lost children. I am going to fight for my life and my happiness. It may not be the same life I was accustomed too but I have lots of reasons to survive. I get up each day and look in the mirror and recite my daily confirmation “you’ve got this!”.
I hope this will help someone who feels the hopelessness and pain a mother feels when she loses her child. Remember there is help available: http://www.allianceofhope.org/
Now next on the list: check out that Yoga class!
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