Letting him leave

A funny thing happened lately. Not funny ha ha, but funny odd. I let someone I love, leave.

That’s odd because I didn’t even know I was holding onto what it was that I let go of.

These past two and a half years have brought me to the place where I found myself a couple of weeks ago. Seeing that a corner was there to turn. I thought, and felt, that the guilt, the sadness and the “what-if’s” were needing to be released. As I stood and screamed and pulled against the hurt inside of my heart what I found was a drawing in instead. A drawing close, to hold, then let go.

My son, Willie made his choice on that morning two and a half years ago. He stood strong in his convictions of what he felt was the right choice for him. I have struggled with not feeling anger at him, not even able to understand how I could be angry at him for that… he was mentally ill, it wasn’t him, it was his illness, it was out of his control. Even though I know from his writings that he knew what he planned, he knew the finality of it, he knew, and he wanted it.

Then feeling that anger, eventually. I felt it consume me and overwhelm me and fill me with guilt. Guilt added to the already heavy load built on how I failed to keep him safe, to help him see it could be ok, to make him “better”. Then I let it go. I forgave him and I understood. My own path through grief and pain finding me in that same place and finally seeing and feeling how badly it hurts to not hurt at all, to not care, to just be so tired as to want it all to be gone away. That path giving me the gift to be able to let go of that anger towards him.
Replaced, again, with the heaviness, the sadness, the pain of him being gone.

All of that stays with me, and will always be with me. Just as he is always with me, and always will be.

That is the clarity. It’s him that needs to be released, not the memories, not my love for him. Not to let him go, because I never can, but to let him leave. To honour his wish and to say goodbye to him. He wrote his goodbye to me, but I never got to say goodbye to him. Never got to say that I understand and accept his choice. That was impossible at his memorial – too raw and filled with shock. It was surreal.

I sat on that hill then, a couple of weeks ago, and said my goodbye.. Him held in my heart for a moment, feeling him as I needed to, one last time. Feeling him in my arms as I have always needed to one more time. I held him close, memories of how he felt and smelled and looked filling my mind. Seeing his smile and remembering his moments of joy. He was with me as I said goodbye, told him it was ok, that I understood…then I let him leave.

Drawn in, held close.. and released.


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