Time alone can be very painful for the bereaved. For us mothers who have lost our beautiful child to suicide it is especially hard. The house is full of pictures everywhere. On the wall, on the mantelpiece, on the dresser. Some pictures are of them as small boys, laughing and looking so happy and carefree. Others are when they were near the age they were when we lost them.
Their picture is on our wallpaper on our phone and our iPad. I still have all the text messages he sent me on my iPhone. We are torn between wanting to see the pictures everywhere and wanting to put them all away as they are so painful to see
We look at the pictures of the happy little boy and wonder what happened to them in between, in the years that led up to them deciding to end their lives.
When people die we use all different phrases to describe it. When people ask me if I have children I tell them Toby passed away or that I lost him. I got really upset with the funeral home because they put a sign on his casket saying Toby Thorn Died 10th July 2011. My son didn’t die, he is still very much alive in my heart, my mind, and my soul. I can’t accept that he is dead, even though I saw his lifeless body
In the early days of my grief I phoned a help line and the person at the end of the phone told me to imagine he had gone away to a remote part of Australia where they had no phone or Internet. I would miss him but I would know he was there. At the time I thought this was a terrible thing to say, but now later that is how I feel. I know my son is somewhere, he did not die, he just went away and I can’t see him, hold him or hear his voice on the phone. He is there though and I can talk to him and hear his voice whispering in my ear, telling me not to give up.
There are so many poems that give comfort when someone dies and so many of them are based on this theme.
‘Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there I do not sleep. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there I did not die.’
‘Death is nothing at all, I have just slipped into the next room.’
People wonder how I am coping with my loss, and I think the only way to move forwards is to keep our loved ones very much alive in our memories. To talk to them every day and hear them talking back. To tell them we love them every day. To talk of them often and to keep remembering all the precious memories, after all there are millions to recall. Some will prick our eyes with bittersweet tears, but that just reminds us we had them we loved them and though they are gone away they are still with us every day.
I’ll always love you Toby
I read the following at my Dad’s funeral. It is an excerpt from a famous love letter written my Major Sullivan to his wife Sarah in the American Civil War and I feel it has a lovely comforting sentiment. I like to think of Toby’s spirit flitting around me.
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night — amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours – always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.