I’ve been doing a lot of “glass half full” vs. “glass half empty” thinking on life lately. My attempt to balance out the depression and the feelings of hopelessness that accompany it. I have always been an optimistic person by nature; seeing the silver lining and the glass as half full. Consistently able to say to myself that things will get better, even in the midst of despair – or what I thought was despair at the time. Losing my son to suicide has left me with a sense of not being able to see out of how life feels right now. Forcing myself to come up with a “half full” outlook when I’m having a bad time or something crappy happens is my way of trying to get back to being myself and moving forward.

It’s been working on the little things and that’s either a testament to the anti-depressants finally working or to the simple fact that time and therapy will start to help the healing process… whichever it is, it feels good to be able to mostly see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My sense of humour is returning and sarcasm is once again bubbling to the surface (a key facet of my personality) which gives me hope. I still have times of tears and feelings of futility at the prospect of ever being “ok” again… there are still times when I struggle with self-harm and desires to just simply not have to be here anymore because the hurt is too much… but I make it through. Realizing that grief will always be with me, every moment of every day for the rest of my life – but that I can still experience happiness and joy with it there is a huge acceptance for me lately.

Spending the last few days visiting my boys has been hard, as it always is… the emptiness left by Willie’s death is very much obvious and palpable when I’m with the remaining 3 boys. Going to a restaurant and counting one less person who needs to be seated still hurts, and I think always will. Getting into the car and not having someone squished because now there’s one less to fit in brings that awareness. It’s the little things that mark such a huge void in our lives now.

Yet, being able to have a visit with laughter and fun and family time is moving forward. Yes, there were tears this weekend and times when the missing son was so painful that I could feel it physically but, and this is big, we still did smile and laugh and love each other. Life is going on. Not like it was but still going on.
At one point when we were talking this weekend I said how different our lives are now. My oldest son just nodded and said “yeah” and it was all that there was to say. So much entangled in that word “different”… so much that it’s too big to open up sometimes. So we just nod and acknowledge that it is different – and there’s nothing that will change it so we just have to move forward as it is now.


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