Believe in Yourself

After my son died, I had a lot of questions. So many of them were around his suicide. Why did he do it? Why didn’t he come to me? What was so bad that he chose death over life? Why didn’t I see it coming? Why didn’t I listen more? Why didn’t I give him money? These questions, based on why, is what makes surviving the suicide of my son so complicated and messy.  I soon found out that I would not find the answers I so desperately sought. You may find yourself in the same position.

I did learn that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, men have a higher suicide rate, but women have a higher attempt rate and male suicide to female suicide is 4:1. These statistics helped me to understand the depth of suicide and that I was not alone. Suicide is a global health issue. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have lost someone to suicide.

Suicide attempt survivors shed some light about why death over life. They indicate there is some sort of pain, mental or physical that is so inescapable, so intense, so horrible that they cannot stand it anymore. They may have tried everything they knew or tried nothing because they did not know there was help. The final answer was to end the pain by ending their life. As a suicide loss survivor, this is difficult for me to understand because I have not had mental health challenges or debilitating physical pain.

I could have even gone onto blaming myself for his actions. It was tempting and I could have very easy fallen into that trap. I could have also fallen into the mindset that I would never heal. After all, this was my second child loss and how much more as a mom could I endure? What the heck?!?!?! Once was enough but twice? It was actually the fact that I survived the loss of my 9-month-old daughter that helped me to survive my son’s suicide.

I navigated my daughter’s death 30 years ago and now I needed to walk the child loss journey once again. It was my thoughts, beliefs, and actions that pushed me forward. I looked back at how I did it. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to live my life though. I was young, 30 years old and I had a full life ahead of me. If I were to keep a mindset that my future was destroyed, then it would have been destroyed. I could have told myself there was no purpose to living and that God had ruined my life. It would have been a vicious circle. The more negative thoughts I told myself, the worse things could have gotten.

The thoughts I believed determined the person I wanted to become. I made up my mind that I wanted to enjoy life, that there was life after child loss.

What was it that I needed to believe in order to get those things I wanted? If I kept focusing on my loss and missing my daughter, and now my son, I would be miserable, unhappy, and stuck. My grief would be unresolved. It is the strongest thoughts, the ones that dominate my mind that determine the outcome of the days, weeks and years that lie before me.

I asked myself this question:

  • Who do I want to be?

I wanted to be a mom again. I would always be a mom to my first daughter, and I wanted more children. I wanted to be happy. Life had a lot to offer. I had a lot to offer to the world. These answers were the guiding light in changing the way I thought about my tragedies and the actions I took to move forward. I believed I could do it again. I had proof because I had done it once. I allowed myself to think and dream about being happy. I built a belief in myself and built the mentality that I was a suicide loss survivor on the can-do attitude. Think about it like the little engine that could.

On the other hand, it was also necessary to get rid of the beliefs that stopped me from healing. I let go of others’ expectations on how to grief. I let go of others’ judgment that he died by suicide. I let go of blaming myself.  

It has been 4 years since my son’s death. I am the person I wanted to become. I was intentional in my healing. I worked on my attitude, thoughts, and beliefs. I am happy. I am joyful. I am grateful. I am MorMor. I am loved. I love others. I am a mom and always will be. I am a child of God.  Because of my losses, I am more than I ever dreamed of. 

My experience is helping others. This is not a path I would have chosen. However, I am grateful that it is my gift to others.






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