The middle of January marked 17 years since my son, David’s death. After visiting the cemetery, I paged through reams of photographs and was pleased we’d taken so many snapshots capturing David and his sisters … smiling, defiant and loving. I ache with memories. I remember the happy times and long for a hug. I wish I could tell him again about all the times he’d made me proud and brought me joy.
Ever since I can remember, I’d hoped that a super-therapist would find the miracle drug to cure our son’s paranoid schizophrenia, but that was not to be. David’s suicide had drawn an invisible line between the world and me. We received a tremendous outpouring of support and love, but no condolence cards. I doubt whether I’ve ever seen one with appropriate sentiments for a family whose son has ended his life.
When the people who had been in the same social group as David – run by the mental health association , came to pay their respects, I was touched to the deepest crevices of my being. They understood David’s suffering and maybe even felt a sense of relief for him, knowing tha his agony was over. But, I’ll never know.
It is 17 years since my son died and I still cringe when I meet new people who are bound to ask; ‘How many children do you have?” It’s a perfectly acceptable question and I might have been guilty of doing the same thing, but it makes everything come flooding back.
We could all have gone to pieces and sunk into deep depressions, but after many family discussions, we made the decision that we had to pick up the pieces and strive to carry on, no matter how hard that would be. Each one of us did it in his/her own way. I tried not to feel bitter and angry, but David was gone. Someone had turned out the lights.
ANOTHER OF DAVID’S POEMS FOUND AFTER HE DIED
Death waits at the door,
Waits around the corner
And I know it is near
yet … far away
I don’t want to die
But THEY won’t let me live.