I want to reach through this screen somehow, beyond time and space, and take you on a little stroll through nature. "How the heck can I think of nature when there is 200 pounds of dark, stormy, paralyzing emotional pain in my heart following me wherever I go?" Because we have to breathe, if that's all we can do.
We have to see the sun still can shine, the rain can fall, the leaves can stir, the grass green, the sky blue, dogs still bark, birds still sing, flowers still blossom and the trees still "shush" in the wind.
The finality of it all, our scars are deep because we have loved profoundly, with every ounce of our being. Because of the depth of our love for the one we've lost, this pain cannot be avoided. Powerlessness, hopelessness and helplessness seem to be the set of cards that have been dealt with a stack of guilt. I would kindly ask you to refrain from going to the websites where you count how many signs you should have seen had you been more aware of suicide, how you should have noticed or said something to prevent this tragic loss, to just hammer yourself. Give yourself a break.
We are in disbelief at first, thinking any moment our lost loved one will walk through that door. Like a broken record, denying, ruminating, and resisting this nightmare. Yet, I would like to plant a seed that we can begin to meditate that strength will arise, that beauty can come from ashes. The day will come when your test has become a testimony, where the mess becomes a message, where his goodness and memory will be the focal point, beaming like a lighthouse to others that are shipwrecked.
You never have to "let go" of your lost loved one. When you walk in nature, we trust the universal force that allows all to happen. It becomes "second nature". This is your journey and you must find your own way. Acceptance will come. Focus on as many lovely and noble things, even for the briefest of moments. Little by little, we can find some relief and begin to accept that some questions may not have answers.
Please remember to nurture yourself as best as you can, which may come in the form of saying no to self-judgment. There is sweetness to keeping things simple. Others will judge enough. Dismiss it because they are not plodding in these ugly shoes we wear.
Whenever disturbing thoughts or mental images pop up, practice redirecting your mind to new images, powerful enough to cover that scene like a blanket. Visualize your loved one wherever you choose to imagine him. For example, instead of seeing the vacant, pale blue eyes of death, I have practiced to invite an angel whose eyes are as radiant blue as the tropical sea who tells me Capitan is where my hearts’ desire wants him to be --heaven.
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.