Today I celebrate life. It is a choice I make every year on April 13th. This is the first time since Sean’s suicide that the 13th has fallen on a Friday, like it did in 2012 when he took his life.
I also write this blog to reflect on my journey. After it happened, I wanted to run and hide. I did in a sense when I lived in my jeep for months. I couldn’t shake the shame and guilt. I also felt ashamed that Sean had given me a new outlook on life that I could have never imagined. It took him taking his life to breath life into mine. So much change was to come from what happened that night.
6 years post suicide, midst the anger and grief, something happened. I feel a close connection to the person I am at the core. Feeling broken and confused allowed me to seek answers that I was needing. I had to stare my pain down. I chose to acknowledge the pain and allowed it to change me. That shift in acceptance, helped me learn some important lessons in life. That day forced me into a choice: either carry the weight of the suicide and let it consume me, or look inside and accept the pain and let it change me.
Today, I am on a journey of self discovery, trekking across the north of Spain. Today I walked 22 miles with plenty of time to think. This journey has been a representation of my journey through the grief I have felt.
I know now that when you redefine what you are capable of outwardly and seek an understanding inwardly, you unlock a great love that lies within. This is a connection that is self healing. By honoring myself, I honor him.
I externalize my grief and share. If someone will listen, I will share. I feel when all the tears are gone all that is left is to smile. The strength and vulnerability in opening up is releasing. When I externalize my grief, I use it to feel and heal. I learned you can run but you can’t hide. If you try, that hurt and pain spills into all aspects of my life. Yet when I strip away the guilt, blame, anger, and so on…. This loss has become my greatest gift and the life that I chose to live is proof. Sean’s death was a reminder to go after my joy and share it with my world. For this, I am forever grateful.
It does get better, I know that the time really does heal but you must keep moving. This journey has taught me that. His loss left a huge scar but my scar has a beautiful story to tell. The scar has been a catalyst for loving myself more. Life is a gift, I intend to live it and to celebrate it.
My journey in walking in Spain is a metaphor for the journey of grief after suicide. My blisters are huge and the pain in great. Every day I chose to move forward determined to make the most of it. I listened to the following song on repeat today.
I celebrate life in the best way possible. Today, I’ll think about you………
I don’t know where you’re going but I’ll meet you there
I can’t blame you for leaving but it’s still not fair
And when I don’t know what to sing
I’d sing about you