Dealing with the Heartbreak of Losing a Child to Suicide: My Personal Journey
In this heartfelt post, I share a deeply personal experience of loss and grief. This is a story that speaks to the pain of losing a child to suicide and the journey of healing and remembrance.
My Forever Son, My Beloved Dylan
Losing a child to suicide shatters a parent’s heart and plunges them into a world of grief that is overwhelming and unrelenting.
In this blog, My Forever Son, I seek to honor the memory of my forever son, Dylan.Through words filled with both sorrow and love, I hope to shed light on the profound impact that his loss has had on my life, and to offer solace and understanding to others who may have experienced similar pain.
In memory of My Forever Son and in heartfelt solidarity with the grieving parents who have endured the unimaginable loss of a child to suicide, this space is dedicated to sharing their stories and offering compassionate support.
By shining a light on their struggles with utmost empathy and understanding, it is my sincere wish to raise awareness about mental health and provide solace to parents navigating profound grief. You are not alone on this difficult journey, and may the shared experiences and guidance found here help ease your sorrows and offer a beacon of hope.
Remembering Dylan through Poetry
Alongside this post, I have also written a collection of poignant poems titled Bury My Heart: Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide. This book is a tribute to my cherished child and an expression of the emotions that have flooded my soul since his departure. Each poem encapsulates a different facet of my grief, capturing the rawness of my pain and the enduring love I have for my son.
May this post serve as a beacon of hope and healing for those who are navigating the turbulent waters of loss. You are not alone, and together, we can raise awareness, share stories, and support one another on this difficult journey.
Grief Comes In Tidal Waves
The Heartbreak of Losing a Child to Suicide: My Personal Journey
Grief Comes in Tidal Waves (In the Beginning)
Grief After Losing a Child to Suicide Feels Overwhelming
What follows is my account of what losing Dylan felt like to me.
In the Beginning
Insides feel like outsides, and suddenly, nothing is real. Or matters–
Desperate, mind whirls around what makes sense. Nothing makes sense.
A film descends. Covers thick. Shadows reality. Feels unreal. Filters truth like shadows. Hollow. Suspended disbelief. A wicked nightmare. Hell on earth. Protects you for now.
People tell you they can’t imagine losing their child to suicide–that they couldn’t live without their child. This is, of course, none of it true. We can and do lose children to suicide, and yes, we can go on. In going on, our child does too. In the beginning, I didn’t think I could go on. (Read More: The First Year of Grief After Losing My Son to Suicide)
Keeping on Keeping on
Unfortunately, there are no short cuts to “healing,” to being able to even come to terms with wanting to keep on keeping on. One day, one hour, one breath at a time.
Grieving is painstakingly lonely. Intensely introspective. There are no wrong or right answers or ways to “do” this kind of grief.
Sometimes all we can do is hold on.
Hold on to Hope
Remember to breathe. I had to be reminded to breathe. Losing Dylan literally took my breath away.
One second at a time, one breath at a time, a grieving parent told me, means to carry your own child’s light to those who remember and to those who never had the joy or opportunity to know all the wonders of your child.
How Long Has It Been?
Beth Brown, My Forever Son
I have been at this journey over 1 0years. In the beginning, I didn’t even know how to survive the first week, month, year. I wanted to know what the first year is like, I wanted to hear from bereaved parents who have been there–and lived to tell.
I have read volumes, volumes! of everything everywhere by anybody who’s ever written and spoken out and about a parent’s grief, a survivor of suicide’s grief, the grieving process, suicide, bereavement. (Find Books, Support, and Resources here: Help, Hope, Healing After Suicide Loss: Support, Books, Resources)
I have read (and continue to read) books, blogs, excerpts, whatever I can find, not just on suicide, but also on how to prevent it from happening to kids who still have a fighting chance. I know now that suicide takes a new life every 40 seconds. This is so, so sad.
I do not know if my son’s suicide could have been prevented. My own jury in my own head, heart, heartbreak, and sorrow are still out on that debate. Dylan struggled with depression, manic depression, so inaptly named “bipolar” in today’s jargon. He lived hell on earth battling demons in his head, and he fell into what so many young people fall into–self medicating with drugs and alcohol, in the end only fueling the enemies he so bravely fought against.
I live that my child might live, too.
Say Their Name
I am here to say Dylan’s name, share his memories, bring awareness that all illnesses can be fatal, including mental illness. Suicide is not a choice; Suicide–like all other illnesses–is the end result of all that medicine knows about treating illness not working. (Read More: Suicide is Not a Choice: Surviving Your Child’s Suicide
If You Have Cause to Read this Now–I am so sorry for your loss. Please know my heart aches for you. There are no words. (Read More: What to Say to Parents Who Lose a Child to Suicide)
I lost my son, Dylan, to suicide on June 12, 2012. All of me broke into a million pieces oceans wide and galaxies deep. I entered into darkness–and grieving.
I have had to learn to want to live again. This is harder than it sounds when you’ve lost your only child to suicide.Beth, Dylan’s Mom, My Forever Son
Telling My Story
I tell the story of my ongoing grief journey and struggle to find and dwell in hope at My Forever Son. Dylan’s story has become my story. I carry him with me through my writing, reflections, and grief journal that I began in late 2012.
My years of healing do not reflect calendar years. My first year of grieving, each minute, hour, day, month, and finally, 12-month memorial date, ticked away so slowly and agonizingly I felt eternally stuck on June 25, 2012.
A Decade of Grief
After these 10 years out from losing Dylan, I do not always feel so grief-stricken that I cannot breathe, move, sleep, eat, and function. I have had to learn to live again. I have not moved on from the loss of my son, but I have moved forward carrying the loss of my son alongside the immense love I have for him. (Read More: Carrying Ache and Love In Suicide Loss)
My life will always live at the crossroads of a 20-year-old son coming of age and that part of me who can never grow older than the age I was the day he died.
Dylan’s story is my story, for who I am feels forever attached to the day before I lost Dylan. (Read More: https://myforeverson.com/2022/04/24/losing-my-only-child-to-suicide-my-forever-son-backstory/ Losing My Only Child to Suicide: The Backstory)
What Helped Me
I have sought help (and hope) along the way. I have included Books and Resources (and continue to update this list), and I have added links to support groups that have helped and to which I still belong: Parents of Suicides and The Compassionate Friends.
It is in these groups where I first connected with other grieving parents. They’ve given me a place to fall apart, grieve, and heal enough to want learn to live again.
In these groups, we tell stories, our children’s stories as well as our own, and we share lives. I found hope when I needed it most. (Read More: When Grief Lingers: A Letter to My Son)
For as long as I have breath–and journey on–so does my child.
Still A Mom
I write as I live now, post-suicide, life forever changed, always a mom, still a mom, forever Dylan’s Mom, but as is, as now.
I post my struggles, hopes, insights, glimpses of “healing,” memories, relevant articles, essays, blogs, and facts about suicide, especially losing a child to suicide.
A sad welcome from one who knows. Hold on to HOPE. Hold On Pain Eases (HOPE).
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My Forever Son, My Beloved Dylan : A Sad Welcome if You’ve Found Me Here: If you have cause to read this now– Suicide of a child shatters a parent’s heart Please know my heart aches for you. I am so s…
Bury My Heart: Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide
Bury My Heart: Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide is a deeply emotional and poignant collection of poems that explore the depths of grief, loss, and the journey towards healing. Through beautiful and evocative verses, the poet delves into the pain of losing a loved one and examines the complexity of emotions experienced in the aftermath of such a tragic event.
The poems in Bury My Heart: Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide reflect the author’s personal journey of grieving the loss of a child to suicide, allowing the reader to glimpse into the raw and intimate moments of sorrow and heartache. With each poem, the author explores themes of despair and anguish, but also hope and resilience in the face of unimaginable pain.
This collection serves as both a cathartic outlet for the author and a source of solace for those who have experienced similar loss. Bury My Heart: Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the complexity of human emotions and to provide a healing balm for wounded souls. It offers a heartfelt portrayal of grief and invites readers to find solace and understanding within its delicate lines.
Note: Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to mental health organizations dedicated to suicide awareness and prevention.
- Coping with Guilt After Losing a Child to Suicide: Strategies and Support
- Find Hope After Suicide Loss
- Find Hope Here: Featuring Poems About Losing a Child to Suicide
- Find Hope Here: Poems of Love, Loss, and Losing a Child
- Grief After Losing a Child to Suicide
- Table of Contents: My Forever Son
- Welcome to My Forever Son
- What Happened?
- About My Forever Son
- Categories: My Forever Son