I debated posting anything, or even writing anything today. Our grief still feels like something I need to protect and keep private.
Several events happened after Casey’s death that made me feel like I needed to say something. Because keeping quiet only amplifies the stigma. So…
The first event relates to one of my children. I’m not going to write about it because it is their story and not mine to tell. But it was pivotal for them, and for me as a parent.
The second was a girl my child went to school with opening up to him about being suicidal herself. He shared his experience, and that of his step-brother and encouraged her to talk to her parents about what she was going through. I don’t know what the end result was. But that my incredibly shy, introverted child reached out to another person and opened up and was honest about his own experience feels huge.
The third was a friend who was the person who came and sat with me the night casey died. A few months after all this occurred, he discovered his own teen was discussing suicidal thoughts with a friend. Knowing what we had been through gave him a perspective to deal with his situation.
The fourth was another friend who’s daughter confessed similar thoughts. And she reached out to me in the way only a parent can, who is experiencing this horrific reality.
There is great shame as a parent in admitting your child has slid so far down that you aren’t sure you can save them. It’s terrifying. And I’ll be honest. You can do everything “right” and the outcome might not change. Fact. But I chose to share this, for all parents. because this is reality. And if you think it can’t happen, or that it’s so far from your own reality, think again. And think hard.
So. What can you do? The problem is teens are notoriously quiet in their angst. Sure girls cry and slam things and rage, or don’t. And boys silently suffer, or don’t. It’s a mystery either way. What is teen angst and what is a real cry for help? It’s hard to tell.
Casey was in counseling. His father though he was being diligent. And in a blink of an eye he opted out. These aren’t the words parents want to hear.
All I can say is love them well.
Tomorrow we will honor Casey as best we can. We miss him.
Casey. I know you’re soul has gone on to figure some things out. I know you are ok. I know you’ll find a new spot to be in. The journey is long. We miss you. I miss your laugh. I miss your smile. I miss your enthusiasm for the things that brought you joy. I miss your kindness, and your softness. I hope that your next journey lends itself to those traits. I miss your presence in my life. You made me be a better “mother figure”. I miss your being the leader of the boys. I miss your reckless abandon. I miss watching you cringe when taylor hugged you. Because you loved us, and we loved you. But you never knew exactly how to accept or convey that. But you did. We know.
I miss you. I lament not seeing you evolve and grow and be a man. A partner. A father. You would have been great at all of those things had you chose to ride it out.
But you didn’t. And I love you anyway. Always and forever.