I’m happy to say that life, in general, is as normal as it can be right now. Each day we move forward, each of us dealing with our grief in a slightly different way.
Speaking for myself, I still think about Barry every day. I doubt that will change any time soon. Whilst I think about him all the time, I no longer feel the need to say his name every five minutes. Sometimes a whole day slips by and his name isn’t uttered once. Deep in my heart, I’ve accepted that Barry did exist and always will in the memories of those who loved him. Sometimes I bring his image into my mind to ensure I can still remember what he looks like. Some days the image is a bit fuzzy, other days it is sharp and clear and that makes me smile. I find I think of him mostly in “still” photo images now. It’s been 17 months since I saw the living, moving version of him and I guess I’m finding it harder and harder to picture a moving, talking Barry in my mind because of that. I try not to let this upset me.
This morning, I sat on Barry’s bed and looked around his room. Nothing is different in there, except for the fact that he’s no longer there and we can no longer smell the aroma of his deodorant. I just sat quietly and looked at his surfing posters stuck to the walls, at the writing on his wardrobe (I love Natty; Nor loves Mark), the DVD’s in a stand near the door (Seinfeld, Terminator, Jackass, Blade, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle and so many more), the pile of empty cardboard boxes hidden beside the wardrobe (he was a hoarder and loved boxes), the row of shoes beneath the window, the CD player connected to large speakers sitting on top of his chest of drawers, the TV rigged up to the Playstation in the corner of the room and the Bulldogs clock and mug sitting on his bedside table. I sat there, looking at all these things, knowing they are reminders of the boy who once lived in the room and dreading the day that I would have to pack it all away.
Of course, my gaze then found the large photo of Barry, which we have placed in the room since his death. I sat and studied my son’s features and, even after all this time, I tried to understand why. I read something a few days ago that I tend to agree with. I can’t remember the exact words, but the writer said that even if we managed to sit down and ask the person who died by suicide why they did it, their reasoning would probably be unclear…even to them. I understand I’ll never really understand why any of this happened, but I do need to accept it (which I haven’t done 100% yet).
Life goes on. My family and I are carving a new life out of the rubble. What we have forged isn’t as smooth and elegant as before, but it’s liveable and that’s all we can really ask for right now.