The original poem has been revised to reflect all who have lost a loved one to suicide and who now must live with the ongoing and forever unanswerable “why?”
A Prayer for the Unanswerable Question of Suicide
Oh God, why? Why? Why?
It’s the unrelenting question.
It’s the soundtrack to our days; playing over & over again. Why?
With what shall we answer this painful word?
One simple & tiny word, why, encompasses so much pain.
It seems so easy to simply say:
We didn’t do enough. We didn’t love enough. We weren’t enough.
The guilt, the regret, the blame that we take on is crushing.
We bow under the weight of it. Our knees threaten to buckle.
Day by precious day we seek to explain the explainable.
If only we had known more. If only we had done more.
If only we had better understood the danger signs.
The questions must be asked.
Our minds seek answers so it attempts to make sense of such senseless loss. . .
But it hurts. Oh God, how it hurts.
The looking back hurts. The missed signs hurt.
So what can we pray for? We pray that you will be with us on this painful journey.
We, the survivors of suicide loss, want to feel your presence.
Help us Oh God;
To see and to know. To find a way to believe
That we are not to blame. It was not our fault.
We loved with all that we had.
We met their pain with compassion, their suffering with comfort and their despair with kindness.
We listened; we were present.
We reminded them that they were not alone.
We did the best we could with what we knew.
And God, in the depths of our own grief, don’t let us forget
They did love us with their full hearts.
We were enough. We mattered.
They didn’t really want to leave us.
And surely they didn’t want us to hurt as we do.
They’re so very sorry. Help us to know that.
Help us find a way to live with the question that will never be answered.
Help us to understand that it may have been an illness that took them from us-
An illness of soul & of spirit.
Unknown factors within caused them unbearable suffering, so darkness descended upon them.
They saw no hope in that moment. They saw no promise of better days.
They saw death as the only way to end the pain...
That was the hopelessness and anguish taking hold. It wasn’t the daughter or son, husband or wife, father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, brother or sister, or others whom we loved and who loved us in return, turning away from life.
It was chronic despair.
And that is the only tangible answer we’ll ever have.
Help us oh God, to find peace with that.
And one day, to free ourselves of the crushing weight
Of that one little word, why, which encompasses so much pain.
Help us to forgive ourselves enough to do that. Help us to forgive them for the question that will never be answered.
Living Backwards Going Forward I am aware, the further I come along this grief journey, the less I live forward. My Forever Son That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve, If I’d only Come to See, That might I future forward live To see all eternity. That I might know […]
Art Sketch of a tree with downward dipping branches. Dark and light shades represent sadness, loneliness, and empty arms of grief. To those of you that still feel you aren’t even sure you want to be here and you can’t imagine ever being happy again. The pain does change, it softens. You will want to […]
“My Forever Son” In the beginning, I had no words. I couldn’t speak. My voice was stilled. I lost my only child, my 20-year-old son, to suicide on June 25, 2012. In the beginning, who I was went away. What I did for a living went away. My professional life came to a grinding halt, […]
And can it be in a world so full and busy the loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up. Charles Dickens If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. Adopt Healthy Coping Strategies The aftermath […]
For Here Now I Stay And so where from here? For here now, I stayFor here now, I breathe your loveFor here now, I am with you always So many days, so much time having passed and yet, and yet, still as it has been still these past 5 years. It is sometimes, Dylan, as […]
A Poem of Love, Loss, and Hope: “Tillers of the Earth and Tenders of the Soil” A Poem of Love, Loss, and Hope: “Tillers of the Earth” Tillers of the Earth and Tenders of the Soil We are the tillers of the earth and the tenders of the soil. These trees and plants and water garden […]
A Poem About Losing a Child Where to From Here When Now I Cannot Be? Ripped here from centre where body birthed son, Where son birthed the all of who now I am. How now to be and where must I go? When between stars and here I hear your constant echo? How now to […]
I Only Hurt When I’m Breathing “I only hurt when I’m breathing,” a random post on social media, anonymous, yet so completely relevant to this grieving of losing a child. I found a Mother’s Day card a few weeks ago. Dylan’s last Mother’s Day card to me in May of 2012. (I wasn’t looking for […]
Rememberer of dreams. Whisperer of gardens green.
At the whim of "Most Beloved" and a hot cup of tea.
I live life between, straddled here now and then,
My continuity through writing--
Pen dripping ink, mind swirling confused,
Love lingering still, and Most Beloved's purring soothes.
Blogger at "Gardens at Effingham" (where cats do the talking) and "My Forever Son" (where a mother's heart runs deep after losing her son to suicide)
Musician. Writer. Literary Connoisseur.
At the whim of a calico cat and a strong cup of tea.