By Faith Sims
It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for that long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security. [Anne Morrow Lindbergh]
“My son, my son.”
These were the barely audible, barely understandable words of my husband as he called to tell me our son had died. That’s all it took for me to throw the phone across the room trying to make the true untrue.
Our son had taken his life, and this was inconsistent with the way he had lived it. There was nothing to prepare us for such a shock. Could there ever be? He was a brilliant, handsome, successful attorney. He had two beautiful little girls, whom he absolutely treasured. His death was unthinkable and couldn’t have happened. I just wanted to wake up from this nightmare.
It wasn’t to be.
The death of a child, no matter the age of the child, is such an unnatural loss. Our children should bury us, not the other way around. When I became a mother, I understood the possible risks involved in having children and loving them so much. Something could happen, accidents, sickness, death. Never this, though. Never suicide.
The suicide of a loved one brings with it a tremendous amount of anguish due to guilt. The what-if’s, the maybe’s, the if -only’s. There are a plethora of emotions that add up to layers upon layers of desperate grief. It is easy to fall into that dark pit of despair and choose to remain there, hidden away from the taboo that our society places on suicide. An “unspeakable” tragedy that happens every day. Whisper the word because it is simply too hard to comprehend. We don’t want to believe it can happen in our little corner of the world. It becomes the elephant in the room.
After Stuart’s death, I woke up most mornings disappointed and a little mad at God that I woke up at all. I wanted the pain to end. I wanted to be with him. My heart was too broken to go on.
I did wake up though, day after day. Eventually, I was okay with it and finally, thankful for it. I am thankful that God loved me enough to continue to hold me when I didn’t even want to be held. I cried out to Him in my hurt, my anger, my shock, my brokenness – and He met me there. He has always been there– my hope. I knew He understood my pain, His Son, too, had died.
My faith in Jesus (and his faith in Jesus) and knowing I will spend eternity with my son is what gets me up in the mornings and propels me forward during the day. The love I have for my family pushes me to look for joy, and the sweet memories of Stuart keep him very much at the forefront of my mind.
The depth of our grief is in direct correlation with the width and breadth of our love.
My son died on April 1, 2014, that date will always loom heavily as it approaches. Its weight is heavy and its burden overwhelming. We buried him on April 5th, one day before his 35th birthday. It’s a hard time for our family. The first year was naturally devastating. The second year took me by surprise, as it increased the awareness that this loss is permanent. Now, I see each year will be a mark on the calendar of how much we lost that day. But… There is hope because we also get closer to seeing him again. Oh, that makes me smile!
I’ve learned so much during the past two years. Some, I wish I didn’t have to know, but there is so much wisdom that comes from loss, grief, and brokenness that couldn’t come any other way.
My hope is that I can be a light for others who find themselves on the path of brokenness. My prayer is to be a comfort to those in need, as I have been comforted. My desire is to show the love and hope that we have in Christ, even in (especially in) our struggles.
The pain is real. The tears are hot and streaming – But God!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. [2 Corinthians 1:3-4]
Faith Sims first and foremost a child of God she’s the wife to the one her soul loves, mom to six and Mia (grandmother) to 16. She blogs at http://faithonthejourney.com and can be found on Instagram .