I would like to send a warm hug to my fellow survivors and also share some of my journey following the loss of my beautiful son Ben. Ben took his life on the 29th of January 2008. He was one day, one month off turning 29. My life as it was prior to his death will never be the same. I am not the same Sue, I never will be. When a child dies I believe part of us goes with them and at times the rest of me felt like I wanted to be with him as well. I am 5 years down the road and yes I am still here.
I made a decision on the fifth anniversary of his death. I sat under the stars and spoke to him and this is what I said ‘I love you, I miss you, but I can’t go on like this. I am consumed with grief, your death has been defining me when I need to be honouring your life. I need to start living because I am only existing, one foot in front of the other, day to day. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, I have searched and analysed; I blamed myself, where did I go wrong? I am your mum, why was I not able to fix it for you?”
I remember him as a child with his beautiful blue eyes and his curly blonde hair. I put band aids on his scrapes, I rubbed his bruises and I held him close. He was my baby and I kept him safe, but our babies grow up and they make their own decisions. He chose to check out, he must have been in a very dark place and he was good at hiding it. I knew he was down, I knew his marriage was breaking down, I knew things were not good, but to do this? My God the horror…but like he wrote in his letter to me “Life goes on mum” and there it was, not for him but for me!
So here I am, studying, working as a volunteer with B.T.S. I still trip up, I am surviving, I have bad days but I also have good days, I laugh sometimes, I look for beauty and I see it. Ben is with me, I know he is because as E.E. Cummings wrote “I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart”.
I hope this helps a little, there is life after being bereaved through suicide, there is love and there is beauty, just through very different eyes.
Sue – BTS Member