The Lingering Effects of Loss

I’m acutely aware of our mortality. That’s not to say that I thought anyone lived forever. Lord knows I haven’t led the easiest of lives up until this point, either.

There’s still something about losing a loved one so suddenly and brutally; it messes with you.

One day you have him. The next day, he’s long gone. He’s physically in the car, but all that remains is sadness and pain and loss. One gun, one bullet, and your life is completely destroyed. What used to be is no longer here. The steadiness, the predictability of life is gone as well.

My husband flipped our world upside down when he took his life. My children are different than what they would have been otherwise. I don’t know if it’s a huge difference or a subtle one, but I know they aren’t the same.

I also feel the lingering effects of his loss. I feel the weight of mortality. I am much more anxious about losing another person I care about, though maybe not in the same way. I wonder if one day I’ll get a phone call and hear I’ve lost a child or find a similar scene somewhere down the line.

My children also worry of future loss. Our youngest child constantly tells me he hates that we age, that we all eventually have to die. He does not want to ever have to bury me. Even when I promise to live to 100, praying to the universe that it not make me a liar, he’s not appeased. He worries of his own mortality. Our oldest worries of illnesses and other such things.

Suicide, loss, this giant grief that weighs heavily on us, continues to take its toll. I wish I could have an answer of when it’ll stop.

Milestones are the Hardest

After my husband died, I thought that holidays would be hard. I cringed a little before Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Father’s Day. But I found that I was wrong.

Milestones are the hardest moments.

Our children were 2 and 4 years old when he took his life. Not only did suicide rob me of a husband, rob the boys of a father … It robbed him out of watching and experiencing his boys grow up.

He never got to see the first days of school. He never got to be the father encouraging his son to pick up his bike and try again. Every time either boy has shown me a new ability with pride, there’s a small pain my heart that goes along with it.

Their father will never get to see any of this. Nor will our children ever be able to see their father beam with pride when they get their drivers license. They won’t be able to wave at their dad when they graduate high school.

The pain is two-fold in that I mourn for the memories that will never come to fruition and also for the losses my boys continuously receive.

I hate that our oldest always tries to dig deep and try to remember the choppy memories of him and his dad. I hate that our youngest makes up memories to feel included.

The loss of a loved one isn’t just felt for a small amount of time. It continues throughout a lifetime.