As I write this, it has been 2 years, 0 months, 16 days and 17 minutes since my son committed suicide at the age of 15. Feels like forever and yesterday at the same time. I can’t believe that I am still here because, believe me, there have been days..moments..when I didn’t want to continue. I have enough common sense to realize that those days will come and go and how I handle those storms when they rise; is who I am. That’s all I know about who I am anymore. I was “Caleb’s mom”. Now, I just don’t know. I have been told that I will always be Caleb’s mom, that will never change.
Some days I just don’t know. How can you be a parent to a child that is gone? To a child that didn’t want to be here with you or anyone else. How do you even begin to make sense of that? You can’t. We still don’t know why. We may never. My son left a ten page letter in his notebook, which I have yet to read. The first psychologist that I went to after his death has it locked in her safe. I keep meaning to call her, email her to have it sent to me, but I just can’t yet and I don’t know when or if I will be able to. Ever.
Caleb was exceptional. A true heart. His suicide left a path of destruction that I am sure resonates with other survivors, parents, friends and relatives. They know what I am talking about. His manner of death doesn’t take away from how beautiful he was. It does take the conversation in a different direction, though. I have experienced the downward gaze, the changing of the subject and the outright gasp of people when I tell them. I do tell them and I don’t care what they think because my son was not damaged goods. He was not “crazy” or a substance abuser. I am not saying that these are the only people that commit suicide, but these are the comments and questions that have been thrown at me. He was an empath. A kind, old soul that loved animals, nature, the ocean and beauty. What he didn’t care for were people that were mean, rude, entitled and self-absorbed. He had an amazing sense of humor and a better grasp of politics than most adults twice his age. Caleb loved to play Portal on his Xbox and watch American Horror Story. We watched “The Strain” its first season and talked about how we couldn’t wait for season 2. I can’t bring myself to watch it at all anymore. My son was artistic. A perfectionist. A beautiful child.
My life has become divided into BC (Before Caleb) and AC (After Caleb). I have changed. I no longer have the tolerance that I used to. Nor the patience. When I hear parents complaining about there kids over something so inane and childish, I want to slap them. At least they HAVE their child. Yes, I know what people think, that Caleb “made his choice” or “he decided to commit suicide”. Wrong. He was a 15 year old boy who was suffering. He isn’t in pain anymore. I couldn’t make everything all better, the way that parents are supposed to and that breaks my heart. Every. Single. Day.
I screamed at the sky after he died and sometimes I still do. I know that he hears me. I promised him that I will keep showing up until it’s my time. I know that this is going to be a long journey, one that I wouldn’t have picked for either one of us but I don’t have any other choice.
I miss you my son.