When my brother died, I made the analogy that it was like a big black mountain just appeared overnight in my landscape. It was huge and scary and blocked everything out, even the sun.
As time went on, the mountain was closer and further, sometimes I didn't even think about it, but it was always there. I knew that it would always be a part of my landscape.
The other night, a few days after crying (again) over how much I missed him, I realized that in some ways I am grateful for that mountain.
If I hadn't had to climb it, deal with it and explore it, I would know very little about life. I have gained so much perspective standing on it. I have met wonderful travelers on its slopes. People have carried me over the tough spots; others have pointed out bridges and rest areas.
It has been a journey no one would willingly take. If the cost was my brother's life, there is no question that I would gladly never know what I know.
The fact is that so many of us go on this journey and I am proud to be in this company. I have battled the mountain and forced it to give me its gifts. I am grateful for them.
This is meant to give hope to those who have just found the mountain and are struggling to deal with it. I hope, in some small way, to express my immense gratitude for my fellow travellers. There are gifts on this trip.
This post first appeared on the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors forum. Reprinted with the permission of the author. Visit our moderated community of support to those who have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.