by Audrey Crilley
Recently, I attended a fundraiser for a coworker who lost her 17 year old son to suicide three years ago. It would have been his 21st birthday. This woman and I would never have been friends if not for the fact that both of our sons chose to end their own lives. My son Adam died at 22.
A mother's love for her child is different than any other. Yes, when we lose them their fathers and siblings and relatives and friends grieve too. But mothers are there from the moment of conception. That child is instantly a part of us and we nurture him and look forward to his arrival. We put up with morning sickness and back pain and childbirth just to welcome an amazing new person into this crazy world.
We love them, nurse them, bathe them, kiss them, sing to them at 2 am and take them to the doctor for well and sick child visits. We hurt for them when they are teething and for diaper rash and ear aches. We make holidays and birthdays special for them because we want them to be happy and enjoy life. The life we gave them.
The first vaccination...the first boo boo...the first ear infection...the first virus...the first scolding...the first hurtful thing said to them...the first day of school...the first fight...the first ER visit....We cried along with them.
The first smile... the first step...the first word...the first belly laugh...the first happy meal...the first birthday party...the first Halloween... The first Thanksgiving and Christmas... The first Easter... The first spring when we can go for a walk and feed the ducks...the first day of kindergarten ... The first day of school...We smiled along with them.
And we would do it all again, if we had the chance. If we only had the chance.
So please remember and pray for the mothers who not only lost a child, but a part of themselves. Far from being what was once labelled as "the weaker sex," they are the strongest people you will ever know. For them to keep on breathing, living and loving takes far greater strength after the loss of their child.
I am the strongest person I know. I am also the weakest person I know. But somehow, I keep on breathing and giving because that is what I do. Because I am a Mother and always will be.
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.