The Things I Want to Say

Seventeen months ago, my youngest son died by suicide. Four months later, my oldest son attempted to do the same thing. Three months after that, I no longer cared about life and didn’t care if I lived or died. Two months further along the track, Gary started having suicidal thoughts too.

Seven months have passed since then and we all seem to have found a quiet place to settle down in and call life (except Barry, of course).

To the world we are finding a new normality and are coping well. To each other I guess this is almost true too. Yet, we can never be sure of how another person feels, can we? And when that person has adapted to pretending and they are extremely good at it, it becomes more difficult to see potential problems. However, maybe there are no problems to be seen. Maybe it’s just the imaginings of an active imagination. Whatever it is, the vigilance and fear have never left me completely. I wonder if they ever will.

There are things I want to write about, things that are troubling me, but this blog is frequented by many people who know my family (and who are my family) and that stops me from writing about some of the things I want to say. Words can build and they can destroy. I can’t afford for my words to be misinterpreted. But they are my words and now I feel I have to censor them.

Things happen and feelings change on a daily basis. A simple action or statement can make a huge difference in a family who have suffered a death by suicide. Knowing what to do with information shared is no easy task. Trusting your gut instincts are often relied upon. Thing is, my gut has already let me down and I can’t afford to let that happen again. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last seventeen months … it is to ask questions. I’m not saying this is always a good thing, because asking questions can lead to half answered replies and that only leads to more anxiety. Asking questions can open doors to the unknown where much can be learned, but it can also cause worry, and even more fear, when you suspect the whole truth is not being told.

Masks are worn in life…and I don’t mean by the grieving only. We hide ourselves and then feel let down and overlooked, which only disappoints us. The longer we hide, the harder it is to become visible again. Most of us don’t care much about this, but when we are always watching and waiting those masks become something evil. Barry moulded his mask to perfection. Now his family have learned to mould their own flawless masks. If only I could destroy the masks…

I’m tired of worrying. I’m tired of the fear. These things are leaving me feeling exhausted and defeated. When can I cast aside everything that is holding me in this cage and be free? When will I learn to trust again? When will I fall asleep at night and feel whole (and rested) in the morning?

I wish I could write the things I wish to say.

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3 thoughts on “The Things I Want to Say

  1. Our family feels much the same. We can’t write all that we know, for fear of the misinterpretations, the misconceptions. We know things that could help the police figure out what happened to Owen, but they have been so reluctant to help…from the very beginning, when he was missing for four days. Why is a missing 20-year-old less important than a missing 17-year-old? (Is it the same in Australia, as here in the U.S.?) We’ll never know. But, we speculate, daily.

    Our family reaches out to you in a common bond of loss, and we pray you find the same peace we seek. Your son was beautiful and precious in ways only you can know.

  2. Four months after I lost my youngest son, my older son went missing. He was suicidal and I phoned the police. They told me I couldn’t make a missing person’s report for 24 hours. I was beside myself with worry. I explained our situation, but I was told there was nothing they could do.

    Luckily, Daniel came home safe and sound, but it could have been different and what would have happened then? Who would have looked me in the eye and told me they had waited too long? 24 hours is a long time when someone is suicidal.

    I can’t understand how you feel, Linda. I can only guess, but that guess would say you feel let down and betrayed…and angry! And rightly so.

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