When I first knew you, it was as you within my body
Part of me, yet your own being
Your first kicks felt; a sign of your separateness and independence of me
Your movements growing stronger and more frequent; signifying the coming end of our physical bond
You were born strong and fierce, crying to announce your arrival and your place in the world
Your first resting place my belly, both inside and out; placed upon me to see you for the first time
I looked at you and wished you Happy Birthday, as I smiled, amazed yet again at the miracle
Feeding you, holding you close, sharing those moments of just you and I
Letting you go from that nurturing eventually, my tears so much more than yours at losing that
Watching you walk and run, moving more into being yourself, so proud of you with every new step
Hearing your voice move to words and expressions, so clearly you
Being secretly so proud that you didn’t bend, but stood for what you knew was right, fighting back
Seeing in you already all of the qualities that I had so wished to instill in you
Little glimpses of the man you were going to be starting to peek through
It all ending before it could be realized
I carry you now, forever, as I did at first; you within me, separate but a part of me, always.

6 Months

Mourning what’s lost and what will never be
6 months today and not any easier to understand why my son chose to end his life. As I was crying today and being held by my sweetie I tried to explain why it hurts so much … how I can’t make sense of the “why”. How I am tormented by thoughts of his last hours and days and weeks and what he must have been going through that drove him to decide that not being alive was preferable to continuing on with the life he was living.
It’s the guilt and the feeling that while I know that we did everything, the fact remains that he’s gone.
I hold very firm to the truth that, as a Mother, it is my purpose above all else, to protect and nurture and love my children. To bring them safely through the infant years, the toddler age and school years into adulthood. To keep them safe from the bumps and bruises, both physical and emotional as much as I can. To be there for them when I can’t protect them and to hold them close or let them go as the moment dictates. The most basic, fundamental truth, for me, is that it’s my role as their Mom to keep them safe. To have them know that no matter what else, they will always have someone on their side and a safe place to land when they need it.
The guilt and the pain is knowing that, no matter what, it comes down to the simple fact that Willie is dead and I failed to keep him safe, even from himself.
My sweetie pointed out the old adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink and that Willie was like that. We did everything we could…therapy, hospitalization, counselling, medication…everything…. but he didn’t want and wouldn’t accept help. He didn’t want to get “better” – he wanted to end it the way he eventually did. Nothing we did could sway him from that.
Spending today looking through his pictures and videos on his iPod, seeing what he saw in his life I am struck by the duality of it all. The beauty of the pictures he took of sunsets and reflections coupled with the images of depression and bleakness that he chose to capture. His journals show the same sense of conflict but on a much deeper and more troubling level. Trying to make sense of him and his choices. Coming slowly to the truth that I will never be able to. Accepting that is almost impossible.
Knowing that healing won’t happen until I learn to say goodbye is the hardest truth because I’m not ready to bid him farewell. People tell me all the time that he won’t ever be gone, that he’ll always be alive in my thoughts and in my heart. I know that and agree and recognize that…but what I want more than anything else is to see him again, to hold him or just touch him…to see that silly smirk on his face or his loping walk down the hallway…to tell him to stop biting his nails….to yell at him again to not jump down the last 4 stairs instead of walking down them… to eat something other than crackers or pretzels … The everyday things that are gone and will never be again.
It’s not just learning to say goodbye to the things that are gone but also saying goodbye to the things that never will be at all. No graduation, no first dates, no first love or first heartbreak….none of it will be for him. Never watching him grow to adulthood and mature fully to the man he was on his way to becoming. Letting go of all that won’t ever be is unimaginable because saying goodbye to that means accepting that he’s gone…