a letter to my son…
You ended your life and a part of ours ended as well. Last week we said goodbye to you again on the anniversary of your death. Your sisters, your nephews and your two beautiful children… all gathered together at your favorite beach spot to say our farewells.
Its been a hard year to say the least. First of all I can’t even believe it has been a year. It seems like yesterday you decided you couldn’t deal with all the pain you were feeling and so you ended your life. I knew you were in pain. I knew how much you hurt. I knew you were suffering. I only wish I could have taken away that pain and suffering so you wouldn’t have had to do what you did that hot summer day last year. The day that changed me forever.
As I said, it has been a hard year…a year of firsts without you. Holidays without you, our birthdays, your birthday, birthdays of your two beautiful children. The children who are now a year older and miss their Daddy as much now as they did a year ago. The children you helped raise and mold into what they are today, Children who have respect and are caring about each other and the people who surround them. You did an amazing job as a Father, considering you didn’t have one in your life to help guide you as you grew into an adult. In fact he wasn’t there through most of your life and never really tried to help you or reach out to you.
Your children are the legacy you left here on this earth. Those two beautiful souls are a testament to the man you were and the lessons of life you taught them so well. They are both loving, well mannered, generous and kind. Their sense of humor reminds us of you so many times, especially your son. He looks and acts just like you as a child. You had many jobs over the course of your life but the job of being a Father was the one you loved best and of which you were most proud. And Dave I must say, you did that job well.
“I do not believe the loss of a child is something one ever overcomes. One puts on the faces one needs, but inside, one bleeds and bleeds.” ~ Elizabeth Berg
I love and miss you so much Dave, my son, my little boy. I think a Mother never stops thinking of their child as a child. I am happy I had you in my life for 46 years. The years were not always happy ones and we had our moments but one thing was always, always constant….the knowledge you loved me. I am also happy we had that conversation the night before you died. The one where you told me I was the best Mom you could ever have asked for. That no matter what, you wanted me to know that anything that happened to you was not my fault and not to blame myself for things you created or did. You told me I was both a Mother and Father to you and that you knew how hard that was for me. You said that you appreciated everything I ever did to help you in life. That I was always there for you and that you loved me.
Those things you told me that night are everything a Mother really wants and needs to hear. I am forever grateful for you having that conversation with me and taking away some of the guilt I would feel forever for not doing “enough.” I didn’t know that was the last conversation we would have… until it was.
I took you to the hospital and nursed your wounds more times than I care to remember. If these things would have happened today the doctors would think I was abusing you. You always were falling off your bike or getting hit in the head by a baseball or something and we would have to go to the hospital and make it better. You would even say that… “make it better Mommy.” My only wish is that I could have made this one last pain “better” for you.
And so my son, I just wanted you to know on this anniversary of your death we are thinking of you. As I said several times now, this past year was hard and I’m not sure this year will be any easier. It will be a year without any memories of you. The past year I always thought about what we did last year and the memories of that got me through. From now on there are no days with memories of what we did last year. I think that is the hardest part for me. You will not be “in” this year. We do have tons of memories from years past and we will remember them and carry on your legacy. We will take your kids to places you loved, tell them the many stories of you growing up and keep your memory alive. We will do this until our last breath.
We were so close, Dave.. as close as any Mother and son I’d ever known. I am grateful for that and it gives me comfort. But it also leaves an even bigger hole in my heart…the part where you were is empty now. I know I am lucky to have had you for as long as I did. But I wanted more. I wanted to see you enjoy your children growing into adults. I wanted you to still be here on earth. I wanted to stop your pain one last time…so you wouldn’t have to. I hope your pain is gone and that you know how much I love and miss you. Rest well my son…Rest Well!
“I see you in the clouds. I see you in the rainbow after the summer storm. I see you in the butterflies surrounding me on my morning walk. I see you my son, I see you.” ~ me