When my son died, I thought about suicide. It’s not that I wanted to die, per se; more that I didn’t know how to go on living. How did I make sense of life again? How did I function in a world in which I barely knew my name?
choosing to live when you yearn to die
I won’t lie to you, it’s going to be hard. You may dream about him and wake up sad. You may find you can’t dream about him and that makes you sadder. It’s okay if you want to hold on to things, and also if you want everything to change. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
For more than a year after my son’s death by stillbirth, I experienced suicidal feelings and thoughts. This is my story of how I coped and finally chose to live.
I should know better. Because life is not a fairytale. I should know better, because you’re a person, just like me. And I realize I put the weight of my expectations on something that was only fleeting. And now it’s too heavy. I’m sorry it got heavy.
Because I think love includes talking about hard things. Because I think love includes telling someone, “When you fall on hard times, I am here for you. When things go terribly wrong, I won’t run away.”
The choice inside suicide—Before my son died I thought suicide was cowardly, escapist. I now realize there is so much more inside this conversation. Choosing to live after my son’s death is one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make.
I used to think that grief was this sad time that followed the death of someone you loved. I never imagined it was really this new layer, this new identity. I never imagined the loss I was grieving would include the loss and rebirth of me.