|photo by Jean Ann Williams|
Joshua pushed his family away before he left us.
During his last few years, Joshua grew miserable, emotionally and physically. The pain was carved on his face. His poor health came to the point where he had to use a cane to walk because his pelvic bone became damaged by the arthritis. Toward the end of his life doom hovered over him.
With all the signs, the idea that my own son would die by suicide never entered my mind.
I had so many regrets over Joshua’s death that when I thought of the blessings, I hung on to them and reminded myself not to forget. For example, I was glad my husband and I had made the extra effort to keep our home as stress-free as possible for Joshua. I wondered though: Should I have stepped back and looked at my son through fresh eyes? Was there something I missed?
One month before Joshua died, he walked outside to where I was hosing off the driveway. “Mom?”
My heart leaped. Joshua spoke my name! I hadn’t heard him say my name in so long. When I looked at his solemn face, my moment of joy fell flat. Would I ever again see him smile? I pushed aside my concern for him and became grateful for a conversation with my silent and moody child. “Yes, Son?”
“It’s almost spring, isn’t it?”
What an odd question. Before I could get the words out, “Yes, and I saw a robin yesterday,” he walked away.
At the time, I didn’t realize what was behind his question. Since Joshua’s death, I now understand the highest death rate for suicides occurs in spring. Not Christmas, as people are led to believe. The reason made sense to me when I read about it. The sunny days and the birds singing do not fit the suicidal person’s mood. They can’t imagine living another day in which the earth is breaking out in song and sun.
Father, I’m grateful You allowed us to keep Joshua for as long as we had him. He was almost never born. We almost never knew him. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~