March is a month that will forever bring a chance for me to reflect on the life I have lived and what the future may bring. Seven years ago today my son took his life. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible it’s been that long. At the same time, when I allow myself to think about the events of that day, it seems as if it were minutes ago. The pain comes rushing back as if I just heard those unforgettable words… “Logan killed himself”. The pain, the disbelief, the shock….all of those ugly emotions that come along with a traumatic event.
I think of Logan often. Every morning I wake up and thank him for being in my life. When I go to bed at night I say goodnight to him and tell him that I love him. Let’s face it, anytime a song comes on the radio, I hear a voice that sounds like his did, or something happens that he would have enjoyed, I think of him. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. And when that happens, I may even share a few words with him.
Some would say, 7 years, you should be over this by now. Move on with your life! You can’t change it so why do you “dwell” on it. For those who say this, let me try to explain. Talking about him or sharing memories of him is embracing what was. For me, I get to keep him alive through sharing those memories. His life and his death will forever be with me and those who knew and loved him so much.
Logan crossed over at the early age of 19. There are many beautiful, funny, loving memories. There are memories that weren’t so beautiful as well. We fought, like all parents and children. He made me crazy at times because no matter what I tried, I couldn’t make it better for him. So, when I remember the good times, I also remember the times that weren’t so good.
Does time really heal? I would say that time allows for you to work through the healing process. If you dedicate time and energy to working through the most painful things, it will help you get through the most difficult times. Allowing yourself to feel what you need to feel. Work through the emotions of guilt, blame, shame, the what ifs, the if only’s. It gives you time to rationalize things, to break through the cement block on your back and the vice on your heart. It allows you to work through all those emotions and eventually forgive those you have blamed including yourself.
What healing doesn’t mean is that you ever forget. You desperately want to keep your child’s name alive. You want people to remember him like you do daily. You don’t want people to forget the amazing being he was while he was here. So you talk about him. You share your memories with anyone that will listen. The way you describe him is a bit different each day that passes but you never forget and you never will fully be able to heal the pain you feel when you are brought back to the moment you found out that your child is no longer on this earth in a physical way. You learn to communicate with your loved one through thoughts and events that occur that remind you of him.
My daughter once said to me that “I have to learn how to walk all over again. I don’t remember life without him.” It’s heartbreaking when you think of it with only the pain you feel in those words but there is more to it. You can utilize your painful experience to leave an impact on this earth. He has taught us that no matter how painful something seems at the time, you will continue on in life. Once you get through the most difficult pain, you begin to realize that each day is a day to be cherished. He taught me that his name can live on in a positive way. He can live on in us and how we decide to proceed in our lives. We can honor him by providing tools and resources for others so they don’t get to the place Logan ended up. Being disconnected from life.
What I do in life is because of him. He broke me open instead of breaking me. I have learned to be grateful for all the good and bad in life. Live each day as if it was your last. Treat people with respect and love. I will forever be grateful for the time I had with him and the time I get with him still today. He guides me daily.
The question is, does time really heal? I would say no, what heals is forgiveness, authenticity, and willingness to work through the painful emotions that at times makes you feel like you want to die too. If you work through all those emotions, you will be able to remember your loved one in a new light. You realize that life is just different. That they never really go away, it is just their physical presents that no longer exists. You don’t get to touch them, kiss them or hear their laughter. What you do get, if you invest in your healing, is the opportunity to share your life with them through your heart. Through your love for them and their love for you.
Start today but doing something special for you. Allow yourself to cry. Write out your feelings, go for a walk in the woods or along the beach. Your loved one is waiting for you to see how close they really are to you.
How will you choose to live your life?