I’ve completed my IAST challenge early this week as the challenge was Independence Day themed for those in the USA. As I have needed to crawl under my bed for weeks this time of year, I decided to post today before my eventual hiding takes place. Here is my tile. A heartfelt congratulations go out to Adele Bruno at Tickledtotangle.blogspot.com. This is her 250th challenge!
This is the most difficult holiday for me to handle. 2 years ago, a young man I loved as a son, took his own life setting in place a heart breaking series of events. A month later, his girlfriend took her life and 2 weeks after that I lost a dear friend to suicide. This was the worst year, worst pain, worst losses I’ve experienced. 2 years later, I have very few answers and I’m still very angry. I’m saying this in a public forum to share these few thoughts.
First, suicide is a huge guilt trip for those left behind. We go over and over events wondering how we could have changed things or said something different to save them. Most of the time, we couldn’t have changed it and we have to remember that their choices were not ours. We couldn’t have stopped them. I need to remind myself daily of this!
Second, the pain is something I try to deal with but can’t. It does dull a bit over time but is right there roaring back to consume me at any moment.
Last, it is okay to be angry at their choices. I hope this is true as that is still the way I feel most days.
If someone is telling you they want to make that choice, don’t wait. Call a hotline, get help, take advice from doctors. Do NOT wait and hope for the best. Whether or not they are serious, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is tel:1-800-273-8255
If you have lost a loved one to suicide, find some useful information here.
Nothing could have prepared me for the last 6 weeks. Suicides took a son, a niece, and a dear friend. I haven’t begun to process the first much less the last. My life looked unbelievably bleak and empty. Then God or Karma or Fate intervened. This week I have a 6-year-old boy who has no one and who needs me. Being granted custody of this baby is an unbelievable blessing. Much of my stress has been my fear for him and what was happening to him. Worry about his support system after losing 2 parental figures has been constant. I am not allowed to post his pictures anymore but he is a beautiful soul. Such a sweet, bright and broken child. To be given this responsiblity is immense and yet I believe we will help heal each other. I am no longer sure what this blog is about, but we will find out as we go along. My art is still blocked and will be hard now to find time for but with the little guy we will be doing lots of creative projects.
All of our lives look different from the reality before July 4, 2016. I’m going to have to figure out OUR new reality now. We will remake our reality until we find our joy again.
This lovely lady is Sherry. She and my Sean were in a year long relationship when he ended his life. This picture is from his funeral on July 10, 2016. Today, August 6, 2016, she was remembered in her own memorial service. Sherry ended her life on Sean’s grave August 2, 2016, leaving a 7 year old son with no parents after making me promise her I’d be here for her son and her mom “in case anything happens”.
There’s nothing left inside for me. I don’t know how to begin to express feelings about this. Except a lot of anger for her deciding her son “would be fine” without her. I don’t know how to do anything but stare at the wall. I have 4 unfinished blog posts. Many half-finished watercolors. I’m just filled with nothing and pain. Nothing and despair. Nothing and panic. Nothing and tears and nothing. How am I to be here for a child when I’m not here for myself. Everytime I close my eyes I’m waiting for the next person to quit. I don’t blame anyone. I don’t want to keep going either. I feel obligated to post, but don’t want to depress everyone. This is all I’ve got to share though. Nothing.
I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to say goodbye to the most important person in my life. Sean is not my biological son. He came to live with me at age 15 years. I accepted him and 5 friends when they had nowhere to go. Only Sean expressed gratitude, only Sean came around to help me as my health failed. He’s been my primary caregiver for the past 5 years. He was my landscaper, Hvac repairman, car mechanic, ride to the doctor, plumber, painter and anything else I needed. He dropped by almost daily even though he was so busy he barely slept. If I was sick he stopped in multiple times a day. He gave me grandchildren to care for and love. None of that comes close to the loss of a friend and confidante. Sean was one of the finest people I’ve ever known and for some reason he loved me like a mother. My mind is the hamster wheel and I just can’t stop losing him again and again. I know why but I don’t understand quitting because my Sean never ever quit. I know he thought it would protect his kids, but I know they wouldn’t care why, they just want daddy back. I worry most about his 2 non biological sons. These 2 boys never, before Sean, had any male role models and now their futures are unsure. I seem to be one of a few who understand what these 2 boys lost. I saw him tonight and I almost wish I hadn’t gone. He wouldn’t want the boys to see him this way but they are having an open casket. I’m not sure I even want to go and say goodbye for the last time. Are you there Sean? Come back so I can kick your ass for leaving us all. I am getting up everyday for your children and believe me, I don’t want to but I won’t abandon them. I will wait and say goodbye to you tomorrow, but you will live on in my heart, as my child, forever. Forever.
Tomorrow, July 11, 2016, it will be one week since the death of my son Sean. This week has been full of calls, texts, visits and family trying to come together. Words cannot describe the emotional and physical exhaustion or the physical pain involved in being up and walking so much this week. It’s also so hard to be the emotional support for so many others when all I want to do is cry myself to sleep every night. Having his children around is both a balm and a heartache. As I have been overwhelmed with the number of people deeply affected by his death I keep asking myself why this beautiful man gave up and didn’t fight. I know this is a question I’ll never be able to answer which just makes it all harder.
This quotation was something I received at an interpreting convention (sign language). I was going through old boxes I re-read it and remembered why I’d saved it. When I let Sean read it, he immediately wanted a copy. A friend made it into a poster and he took 3 copies. He hung one up in his shop at work and read it to his crew and new hires because this is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life. I believe this wholeheartedly and so did Sean. Read and think or not, the choice is yours. (I may have just channeled yoda)
Our single greatest gift is the freedom to choose our attitude.
Your Attitude is more important than knowledge, education, background, wealth, position, talent or appearance.
It is even more powerful than what other people think, or say or do.
It will make or break a team…a company …a person…a relationship…a home.
I am convinced that life is 5% what happens to me and 95% how I choose to look and react to it.
And so it is with you! Your attitude is your choice!
Ellen A. Miller
If you can wrap your mind around this you’ll be way ahead in life. Choose to be positive!
This is the concept to which I’m clinging. What will you choose?
I’m so lost I struggle to write. The thoughts in my head are jumbled, confused, sporadic. Plenty to say but I’m completely unable to form cogent thoughts. I still seem to be able to create, but not well. So I’m trying to stick with watercolor but needed some zenspiration.
This pattern/ tangle is called ribbon petals and was created (or deconstructed) by an artist from Australia named Helen Williams. Check out some amazing art as well as her wonderful tangle patterns here: Helen Williams site alittlelime.blogspot.com
I can’t continue so I will see you tomorrow. Happy #worldwatercolormonth