Saturday, September 19, 2009

Loving When No Love Flows Back

What I learned right off after Joshua died? The pain feels physical. The pain cuts like nothing I'd experienced. I still loved this young man, but no love flowed back from son to mother.

I can say it helped only a bit, at first, that Joshua pushed us all away before he left. That every waking day during his last two years he grew more miserable. I could feel his pain. When he walked into a room, doom hovered over him, although, I never dreamed he would resort to suicide. Or did I not want to consider that?

I'm still glad I kept Joshua's surroundings comfortable and loving for him. I often wonder though, if I should have taken a break and stood back to see him through fresh eyes.

What I've learned since Joshua? Do love when no love flows back.

To all of us who've lost love to suicide . . . just breathe and pray.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Joshua As A Baby

After reading Danielle Steel's His Bright Light, I stand amazed at how another son who took his life started life so like my Joshua.

Josh was born November 27, 1978 to a family of four. He had the most beautiful coal black eyes and hair. The first time the nurse brought him to me, I held him up to meet him face to face. His eyes drank in every part of me, and if it were possible, even my soul. As our eyes locked, I said, "Hi, son," over and over again. I fell so in love with this long awaited child. And I pushed the doctor for us to go home at the twenty-four hour mark to join our little guy to the family. The doctor agreed.

We had three boy names we liked, and we scrambled as a family to decide on one. When my husband asked me which do we choose, I couldn't come to a decision. I would have named him Jacob Joshua Joseph, but that would have seemed too much. So, I said, "you and the kids choose his name."

Jim went out into the hall to our waiting children, Jami and Jason, and they decided upon Joshua. When Jim came back to tell me, I was pleased! When I asked about a middle name, Jim said, "The name Joshua is good, all by itself."

So, we signed the papers and made it legal, and we took our baby home.

Until next time . . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

Regrets, But Not Guilty

After Josh died, I suffered tremendous guilt for years. At times, I still do, but mostly it's regrets. I wish I would have done this for him. I wish I would have better understood his illness. I wish I would have been smarter. I wish, I wish, I wish . . .

Most days, now, I seek God to remember the better and good times we had with Joshua. Hard work, no doubt, but, rewarded often for my efforts.

On a side note, I just read Danielle Steel's book His Bright Light. This story helped me tremendously to better understand my own son. It's amazing how similar our sons acted as a babies.

Rest in Christ . . . and breathe . . .

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

After Five Years, I Still Miss You, Son

Hello parents and siblings who have lost loved ones to suicide. I have a dream. I dream I wake and the nightmare never happens. Our son, Joshua, never died. But, it is not a dream and we live with our reality.

I start this blog, today, with a new dream. One that may, God willing, help others cope and even develope hope after suicide. A blog that may help the loved ones Joshua left behind.

On my writer's blog, I wrote about how much courage it takes to write our son's story. People said to me a many times how courageous I am. I never felt it. Until now.

Five years, five months, and two weeks after Josh took his life, I see a dawn of courage. I have to say, though, I didn't get this way over night or on my own. (And I know I'll lose this hint of courage, only to gain it back, time and again, before I complete our son's story.) I have the hourly help from God our Lord, and the folks he often sends my way.

I plan to post my progress on writing our son's story, so to begin, I want to share something. Last week, I gathered my nerve and brought from the closet Joshua's box of journals. The journals he wrote in the last few years of his illness. Joshua's last written words now sit next to my writing desk, waiting for my courage to lift off the tapped lid and begin to read what he wrote.

Am I full of courage? Yes! Yes, I shout, with God's hand upon me.

Until next time, breathe . . .