I watched the movie Courageous this afternoon. It was a funny, sad, touching, and inspirational story that made me laugh as well as cry. It left me wanting to be not only a better parent but a better person. Although its message was aimed specifically at fathers, I believe it applies to all parents. As I watched the movie I couldn't help but think about Trey and the fact that he no longer has his father here. I know he was 25 when Eddie died, and that's older than some children are when they lose a parent, but I don't think we're ever ready no matter how old we are and certainly not in the way Trey lost his. We look to our parents for guidance, love, and acceptance. We rely on them for support and encouragement. They are supposed to be there for us, protect us, answer our questions, and make everything alright. They're supposed to take care of us when we're sick, comfort us when we're hurt, and listen to our problems. They're not supposed to be the cause of our pain.
Most of the blogs that I've written have focused on how Eddie's death affected me and how I handled it. I haven't written much about how it affected Trey, and I haven't written anything about how he has handled it. As I've said before, I read every book I could find on suicide, met regularly with a preacher, went for professional counseling, and even saw a psychiatrist. I encouraged Trey to talk to someone, to get whatever help he needed, but I never pressured him to do these things. I know everyone deals with things differently, and I wanted him to handle the situation however he felt was best. But I also know that as a survivor it is a constant fight to put the pieces of our lives back together and to reestablish who we are. I hope that in his own way Trey has been able to do this. He seems to be very happy with his life right now ... he has a beautiful daughter, a good job, a house, and a steady girlfriend.
I'm sure that like me, Trey isn't "over" what happened - we may never be. In his book Suicide and Its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling the Survivors Dr. Edward Dunne writes "Suicide destroys the original fabric of the family, forcing a reintegration of the survivors. The pace at which individual family members are ready and able to do this will vary." As he moves on with his life, I hope Trey is able to remember the good times with his father. I want him to realize that despite the circumstances he learned lessons from Eddie, both good and bad. I hope he finds positive meaning in the relationship they shared and that he carries that with him throughout his life.
"I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow and each road leads you where you want to go. And if you're faced with the choice and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you. And if one door opens to another door closed I hope you keep on walkin' til you find the window ... I hope you never look back but you never forget all the ones who love you and the place you left. I hope you always forgive and you never regret and you help somebody every chance you get. Oh you'd find God's grace in every mistake and always give more than you take ... My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, you never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you're out there gettin where you're gettin to I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same things too. Yeah this is my wish ..."
My Wish by Rascal Flatts