Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Journey Continues

The news yesterday and again this morning (especially on the sports channels) was filled with something that always commands my attention ... another suicide.  This time it was a professional football player who killed his girlfriend and then himself.  Whenever I hear something like this it brings my own experience back to the surface.  I feel for the families because I know exactly what they are going through - the shock and disbelief now and what lies ahead for them - the denial, questions, anger, and guilt.  I know this is something that will stay with them every day for the rest of their lives just as it has stayed with me for the last four years.  While I have made great strides in moving on with my life, not a day goes by that I don't remember and think about what happened.  Even though I know I'll never get any answers, I still ask questions.  It is impossible, at least for me, to understand someone completely giving up the will to live.  Because I don't understand the choice that was made, acceptance has been difficult.

I now know that suicide is a desperate, irrational, irreversible, and extremely selfish act.  It is a traumatic event that changes the lives of those left behind forever.  As a survivor I have learned to adapt while also accepting that nothing will ever be the same.  Holidays, special days, and anniversaries are difficult, no matter how many years have passed.  I still find it hard to attend parties, weddings, and graduations - events that should be happy occasions.  While working to put my life back together I have had to deal with the unfinished business created by Eddie's suicide.  There were disagreements that weren't settled, decisions that weren't made, and words that were left unsaid.  Letting go of those regrets hasn't been an easy thing to do.

I have been forced to take a journey that was not of my choosing.  Along the way I have learned to cope with what happened and to rebuild my life piece by piece.  I have struggled, but I have also found strength I never knew I had.  I've had to accept that I'll never "get over" what happened - I just learn to live with it.  The recovery process is a long, slow test of patience and endurance - one that may never be completely finished.  But I have learned it is possible to survive and to slowly move forward one step at the time.

Prayer of Faith
We trust that beyond absence
there is a presence.
That beyond pain
there can be healing.
That beyond the brokenness
there can be wholeness.
That beyond the anger
there may be peace.
That beyond the hurting
there may be forgiveness.
That beyond the silence
there may be the Word.
That beyond the Word
there may be understanding.
That through understanding
there is love.
~author unknown

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