Where Do We Go From Here?

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.

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Caleb at media night for the play.

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.

It Begins Where It Ended

What do you do when you have thousands of words, multitudes of conversations  and six-thousand questions all flying around in your head; in no certain direction; without a path? You rehash that last conversation over and over and over until your brain is numb. You like curveballs? Losing a child is one hell of a curveball. There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that could ever prepare you for this. Some can read their way through every self-help book in the world to get the necessary coping skills to go on living, for others books are bullshit. Some us write. We write until our hands, heads and heart cramp. Words jumble together in our selves and only make sense when they are on a page. Only then can some of us neatly pack those thoughts that we put on paper into a box and shove it in a far corner in our brains. I have “grief-brain” and I hate it. Our son had a blessed life in front of him and the disastrous wake that he has left behind is crippling. He was 15. Beautiful, intelligent, funny with a sarcastic wit about him that was refreshing. Everyone that met him couldn’t wait to see whet he would accomplish with his life. Wise beyond his years, an “old soul” as his other mom would call him. She misses him dearly but she is angry. So angry. I know now why she is carrying this anger, as she knows more than me. What our son did was final. Irrevocable. This is a tsunami of emotions that I wish on no one. I think that when one is experiencing grief, we should get a pass. A pass on the stupid shit that comes out of our mouths , bypassing ANY filter we thought that we had. A pass on remembering something so damn simple that toddlers look at us as if we are savants.  A pass. I want a pass.

The Anger

The anger, the way your head feels as if it is in a bubble that is losing air. The way you feel if one more person asks you if you are doing ..”ok”..what else do you have left? Your brain allows you a moment of laughter only to steal it and replace it with a barrage of tears that could envelope Niagara Falls. I can’t even trust my head to get me through the day.

I have so much to say, so much to write. How do I do this, this grieving, without losing so much of myself? Regardless of how it happened, why it happened, how do I breathe without tears?