First, thank you all for your kind thoughts, spoken and unspoken, on my post yesterday.
1. People say "I can't imagine...", but they are wrong. I think they can imagine. They imagine it pretty correctly. It sucks just like they think it does.
2. Suicide ripples out. It effects family and friends directly and then it bounces around and has impacts on relationships between family and friends.
3. Once you get over the suicide idea and accept that in the end, it is a death like a car accident or cancer, it is still a loss. They are still gone too soon.
4. The loss of a child, for any reason, tests the parents in ways that nothing else does. Individually and in the marriage, you will find out what you are made of.
5. It happens all the time. You can't ask "Why me?" Car accidents are number one, suicide brings up second place, but there are drownings, SIDS, other accidents, childhood diseases, someone is crying over their child's body while you read this.
6. We live in relationships. My friends, both locally and on-line, were and remain, absolutely rock solid. I have made excellent friends and they showed it over and over.
7. Death does not define a life. If it did, reading biographies would be short and boring. If you are reading the biography of Gen. Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, or Winston Churchill, it is all the events, experiences, and developments you want to learn about. So, too with your loved ones, if you are remembering someone, you have to remember the totality.
8. Time doesn't heal the wound, at least not by itself. If you fight against it, you can choose to never heal. Healing starts with the decision not to be destroyed and is a ongoing process.
9. Faith helps. It doesn't provide answers, it provides hope. It doesn't have to be some traditional religion. Glen Filthie's comment fits right here: "The theoretical physicists say there’s 10 (or 11, depending on which egghead you talk to) - dimensions. We only perceive 3 or 4. We know this because elsewise, our universe would be unstable and couldn’t exist. Long story short: over an nth dimensional hill, and round a temporal corner... your boy is still alive and well. It may seem to us that he is irretrievably lost; but figuratively speaking he is still nearby, along with other loved ones. Amidst all the staggering infinities on planes we can’t perceive, our loved ones are just “across the street”."
10. Life continues both big and small. Meals are cooked, the lawn needs cutting, your child gets married, there's a new grandchild, and on and on. Life calls us forward. I choose to answer that call.