“I would rather have the worst day with you than the best day without you” ….That’s what I said to Willie when asked me why I wouldn’t just accept that he wanted to kill himself. That was the day before he died. We were on our way to what would be his last counselling session and he had tried to explain to me that while he understood that I would be sad at first, that, in the long run, I would “get over it” and life would be ok again. I’ll admit that I looked at him like he had lost all sense… and in a way, he had.
I didn’t know then that it was one of the last conversations that I would have with him or that, in all likelihood, he knew what he was going to do the next day and this was his way of saying goodbye…one last attempt to help me understand and accept his choice.
This isn’t to dwell or re-live though… this is to say that while life does indeed go on and that joy does creep back in and that I do see now that I can live my life with him missing… the truth is that I still feel exactly the same way as I did that day. I accept that I have to live every day of the rest of my life without one of my sons; it doesn’t change what I said that day to him, and it doesn’t change the truth of it. The loss of him will always be there, it won’t ever go away or be not a part of my life. But… it’s not who I am.
We all have a story of our lives. That’s what this thing called life is. Our story of this journey. But who we are… really are… is not our story – we’re not that small and limited. No matter how “big” we feel our stories are, we are more. We are limitless and boundless and unable to be confined and corralled in by beliefs that stop us from living beyond the cages we put ourselves in. A story tells about something… it’s a message, not the subject. Losing Willie is something that happened to me, it’s not who I am. He’s gone and I go on. Just as my other children are part of my story, Willie is and alway will be as well. Just in a different way.