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Coping with suicide Grief Guilt Parents Who Have Lost a Child to Suicide Poems Poems about Losing a Child to Suicide Poems about Loss poems of love and loss Reflections after Suicide Loss Suicide loss survivors of suicide loss

“There is a Hole in My Heart Where You Used to Be”-Shattered by Suicide

Imagine Sunshine

Imagine awakening to sunshine. Birds sing-songing their morning choruses. Joy in the nesting season. Joy in raising their young. The hardwood floor creaks its familiar sounds on the way to the kitchen where you are greeted by Cerelean blue and Schoolbus yellow walls.

Ceramic red, green, and yellow chili peppers (which are all connected as part of an artistic sculpture from New Mexico) adorn the walls by the stove. Water swooshing in the tea kettle. Irish Breakfast tea brewing in the cup. As always, good, strong, hearty–dependable.

Life before suicide. But life changes in an instant, doesn’t it? A secondhand on a school clock’s wall, a heartbeat, a millimeter of a second. And in that single breath inhaled, the shattering of a life exhaled by suicide. In the name of a child. Your son. Your daughter. Children.We say their names because we call them ours. Our son. Our daughter. Our child.

Shattered by Suicide: And in your After Suicide Life? Grief, Guilt, Regret, Remorse, Sorrow, Longing, Despair. All now yours. All needing reckoned with. Dealt with. And overwhelmingly deep. Dark. Anguish. Against the impermeability of all expectations. Things taken for granted. A rhythm and flow, ebb and tide to life. The circle of life. Broken. For now. Forever. For he was your son.

How now to sing on? To find joy in the morning and reason to go on? How now to say all that needs saying only in hindsight? Only in the glare of headlights. Too late. Too fast. Too soon. Too young.

Solace in writing. Solace in poems of the heart, poems of love and loss, poetry in the shape and motion of my son. His heartbeat now my own, my words written in ways that march on past the pain, past the sorrow, past the anguish. Words reckoning with guilt, wrestling with regret, tallying pain and remorse. “That All of Time Could Sweep Love Back” came from pain. A crippling pain.

“That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back”

“That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back”

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 when and where somehow, 
And here and now then see,
To erase the dark and stay the day
To bring back you to me.

If only and What If now child
and why couldn't I just see
To hold you close forever
and stay the light just you and me.

That darkness might not permeate
my heart now and yours then,
that all of love could sweep time back
and bring back you again. 

©Beth Brown, 2021 

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

How Are You Filling the Hole Left by Your Son or Daughter?

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

E.E. Cummings, Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J., Poetry Foundation

“How are you filling the hole left by your son or daughter?” someone asked.

I leapt almost immediately to a thought—maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m not filling the hole. Maybe because of the profound loss of losing my only child to suicide, I’m forever aware of and walking around with the Dylan-sized hole inside me.

It has been nearly a decade of grief. I find this impossible to fathom, though somehow, I have walked out the past 10 years of my life without my son. The days, months, and cumulative years march by without Dylan physically here, but I live on as I have always lived—with my son a constant part of me. I have learned to live as is, as now, though find my life quite different. The Holidays are approaching and making my life bearable (and even at times happy and in the moment), I find myself running in circles. Frantic energy, but more to distract myself than to accomplish much of anything.

Losing My Only Child

I have worked hard to find myself again. Losing my only child ingrained in me a sorrow I wish I could change, yet cannot; a sorrow that even when unspoken to others, rests alongside the all of me that greets, moves through, and closes each day.

I have learned to love gardening again. I always did, but I lost myself completely into the throes of an abyss that seemed hopeless in the first 4 years of grieving Dylan. I grieved acutely for at least 2 years. Fifteen months into my grief journey, I became aware of my surroundings outside. Dylan died in June 2012, and it wasn’t until September 2013 that I noticed it was a beautiful, 73 degree day, early fall/late summer.

I saw, for the first time in 15 months of a heart so broken I had to be reminded to breathe, my neighbors across the street, their boys playing basketball in their driveway just like they always had, the steady Ker-thump, Ker-thump, Ker-thump of the ball being dribbled on blacktop. I saw a blue sky and puffy clouds, and I saw sunshine. Finally, I was grounded enough to see where I was. For me, this was the beginning of my again being present in my own life.

Gardening Again

I gardened then, where I was, at the house where I raised Dylan, and I garden now, yet again, even more magnificently because I have more space and an incredible array of plants and flowers. Yes, I have had to —and sometimes still do—push through pain when I’m gardening, but I also find the soil forgiving, the trees healing, the flowers opening at just the right time a joy, and my life thoroughly grounded when I’m outdoors.

It is spring here. Beautiful, temperate day. My windows are open, songbirds are singing, someone somewhere is mowing their lawn. I can hear cars on the freeway, smell the sweet fragrance of daffodils, tulips, rhododendrons, peach-colored flowering quince, my Stella Magnolia tree. To walk around my house is to see my dogwood tree just opening its delicate white puffy blossoms and my rose garden only now budding up in preparation of opening fully come May. Bees have awakened (and I realize I have to do something about all of the dandelions in my front yard, more so for my neighbors’ sake than mine as dandelions are bees’ first spring food source), insects are stirring, and a family of gray squirrels chase one another up and down the Hemlocks, Serviceberry trees, Apple trees, and Black Walnut trees (my neighbor’s tree, not mine, as black walnuts leach toxins into the soil that injure other plants and trees and besides, they make a terrible mess of my driveway).

I used to dread gardening because Dylan and I gardened together. I have such a love of the land (was raised summers in a 100-acre orchard), and I shared this love of all things green and growing with Dylan. He and I would haul wheelbarrows of mulch and together, make of a cold winter’s dormant mess a beautiful garden come spring.

We grew vegetables too, and I had to laugh the day Dylan told me our Gordon Setter had eaten the tomatoes right off the vines! I was irritated that Dylan hadn’t told her “no,” and yes, I would give anything to feel that irritated in the moment with my son. I miss his spunk, his sense of humor, his slow smile when he was joking with me, his strength (he was 19 years old) in helping with everything and especially hauling heavy stuff.

Rediscovering Writing & Art

I have also rediscovered writing. I had no voice in the beginning of my grief journey, but I wrote anyway because someone told me in a grief-support group that I’d never remember my first year of grieving. I wrote that I might not forget. I am so grateful that I do not write in sheer anguish anymore, but now with reflection, memories, my growth on this journey we all must take without our children here now.

And I read. Again, since for a while, I simply couldn’t focus on anything. Sometimes I still can’t, but that’s okay. I’m gentler on myself these days. I have trouble with fiction—I am too easily triggered—but I read voraciously and randomly. Stacks of books around me mean I’m really reading. A single book usually means I’m trying, but not finding my focus and energy.

And I am doing art again. And music. Sometimes. Recently, and especially now, these past few months, really since at least fall or earlier, I have vacated myself. I didn’t know this, but I saw someone who said this of me. Insightful. Painful to deal with, because it means I have to put the focus on myself and come back “home” to where I still am, to where I still live, inside this self, this woman, this mother of a child I must parent from afar now.

Sometimes, I just don’t want to feel what indeed it is that I must to move through a difficult, painful place. March was Dylan’s birthday, April is too close to May and Mother’s Day and 2 previous suicide attempts where Dylan was in critical care for what seemed like forever. I hate triggers. I’d rather only feel happy, free really, but to really live, I must recognize the hole I work so hard to fill—and to my credit, oftentimes do fill with what my life is now—for what it is and for whom I bear witness the rest of my life. 

The Hole in My Heart

And so my hole, in my heart, in my soul, in my shadow even on “good” days, belongs to my son. To honor him is to open up this hole a bit deeper, go places I’d rather not go because it still feels like if I cry (and when I cry), I will never stop crying. I don’t want to feel that original pain, that terrible, infinite, shrieking pain, that place where the pain feels hopeless—and helpless, lost and without any life, any sign of daylight, anything really, just the raw splitting open of all of me over and over and over again. 

But in the end, honor Dylan I must and hopefully, at this point in my journey, still unbearable at points but having to bear less frequently these tidal waves so constant at the beginning of my journey. I am about to go for a walk and just for now, I will be here now.

But I get Edna St. Vincent Millay, that when the darkness comes (and be it night or the darkness of my Dylan-sized hole does come), I fall into that hole and miss my son, all the time but especially in the dark edges, like hell. Perhaps it really is hell to walk out my journey without Dylan here, but for whatever reason, here I am, loving the spring all the while missing my son. My life has gone on and I have not moved on without Dylan, but forward with Dylan always in me. 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

E.E. Cummings, Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J., Poetry Foundation

“If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)”

If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)

“If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)”
By Beth Brown

If earth were sky and sky above
Then heart could hold this ache of love,
Suspended, like rain, in clouds wanting to fall,
But bound to sun’s joy because heart touches all.

I fall ‘ere so slowly most cannot yet tell
My pain lives so deep and my heart goes through hell.
I crawl more than walk through days such as these
Heavy with sorrow, wanting only ache relieved.

And yet truly what is can’t be undone,
I’ve lost my life in the loss of my son.
For seven years counting this marking of time
Having lost in him life, both his then and mine.

I stay hollow inside though try as I might
Come to from the damage of my now soiled life.
I’d rather be still with my son by my side
My heart filled with love and my joy still alive.

For Dylan, Always for Dylan

©Beth Brown, 2021
Categories
Grief Healing Heart songs: Poetry from the Heart Hope Hope and Healing Poems Poems about Loss poems of love and loss

“Tillers of the Earth and Tenders of the Soil”: A Poem about Grief and Losing a Child

“Tillers of the Earth,

Tenders of the Soil”

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 were here before us, and they will be here after we go.

We take care of them that they might take care of us and that love might be this caring for one another. 


We are the tillers of the earth and the wakers of the soil.
 
How wonderful to see purple this late in the fall and orange on the kindling.
 
Insects swarm madly. What are they doing? Where are they going?

Where go all of us when stand we no longer (further) on grounds hallowed and loved?


We are all tired of blooming, and so rest we now where hallowed love lies and dreams live on even past this point where we are one.
 
We sit, we watch, we wait, for time has a way of catching us all a little off guard and unwilling to wield yield.


Tired I rest, tired I fall, and so wonder when, then, I can no longer be this tiller of earth, tender of soil?

When no longer I can mother these roots, bark, leaves, budding and blooming, where then must I go?
 
Where must I be when all that mothers me isn’t any more green and growing?
 
Where must we be when tender no more this sky-earth reach where love in-between sends nights' sky sleep songs to ease her sorrow? 

  
That always we could be crickets at dusk and water-lilies opening.
 
That always we could be skimming iridescent hues past this pain of knowing that even seasons lose their way.
 
That Sun-sky could hold ache of us now–tangled branches caught in January, berries spindled against stark limbs.

Beth Brown, 2021
 

           

What Happened?

“He Left Too Soon”-A Poem about Losing a Child to Suicide He Left Too Soon He left too soon, lifting life from June, Casting torrents of rain, and in his absence, heaving beating of tears. I knew him from his first breath to his last.   He came a month early on cusp of spring,…

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Every 11 Minutes, Someone Dies by Suicide: A Look at the Staggering Suicide Statistics, Facts, and Figures From 2020

You Are Not Alone– If You’ve Lost A Child to Suicide If you’ve lost a child to suicide, The Compassionate Friends offers a resource for parents: ” Surviving Your Child’s Suicide.” AFSP, the American Foundation for Suicide prevention provides numerous resources for where to turn after losing a loved one to suicide. AFSP is “dedicated…

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Rising Up–Because Love Lives Forever

Rising Up because… Love lives forever. My son lives yet still. I will be with Dylan again. As long I live, Dylan lives too. Dylan lives on through all that I am. Dylan’s voice is now my own. Rising Up because… I will not let the world forget my son lived. My memories, stories, and…

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On My Own
Categories
Child Loss Grief Heart songs: Poetry from the Heart Parents Who Have Lost a Child to Suicide Poems Poems about Losing a Child to Suicide Poems about Loss poems of love and loss Suicide loss

A Poem of Love and Loss After the Death of My Son to Suicide: “If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)

If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)

A Poem of Love and Loss After the Death of My Son to Suicide

“If Earth Were Sky (And Sky Above)”

By Beth Brown
If earth were sky and sky above
Then heart could hold this ache of love,
Suspended, like rain, in clouds wanting to fall,
But bound to sun’s joy because heart touches all.

I fall ‘ere so slowly most cannot yet tell
My pain lives so deep and my heart goes through hell.
I crawl more than walk through days such as these
Heavy with sorrow, wanting only ache relieved.

And yet truly what is can’t be undone,
I’ve lost my life in the loss of my son.
For seven years counting this marking of time
Having lost in him life, both his then and mine.

I stay hollow inside though try as I might
Come to from the damage of my now soiled life.
I’d rather be still with my son by my side
My heart filled with love and my joy still alive.

For Dylan, Always for Dylan

©Beth Brown, 2021

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My Forever Son is as much about my journey to want to learn to live again as it is my son’s wanting his life to end. I have had to learn to want to live again. Writing, photographing, and remembering with love through the pain, I come to these Chronicles to find my way back…

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I Want to Believe– I Want to Believe- –that with enough love and laughter, books and reading, friends and family, children grow up to be happy –the stage is set early for dreams to come true: Skies dazzle in brilliant blue, clouds drift idly, stretches of pastures and woodlands lend serenity -all families stick together–even…

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“Bury My Heart” (for Dylan) Bury my heart I’ve come undone Sorting through this life My son left behind. And what I’m seeking I know I’ll never find His touch, his smile— His still living his life. And so instead I sift through A still life dream My heart and life with him Forever it…

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Categories
"Why?" Child Loss Depression and Mental Illness Family loss Grief Heart songs: Poetry from the Heart Parents Who Have Lost a Child to Suicide Poems Poems about Loss poems of love and loss Suicide loss

“Bury My Heart”-A Poem about Losing a Child

Hope in Early Spring

“Bury My Heart”

(for Dylan)

 
Bury my heart
I’ve come undone
Sorting through this life
My son left behind.

And what I’m seeking I know
I’ll never find
His touch, his smile—
His still living his life.

And so instead I sift through
A still life dream
My heart and life with him
Forever it seemed.

And oh my son
I’m still paralyzed
In the grief you left me
8 years behind.

Where canst I go?
Whom canst I see?
When all I want with you
Is forever to be.

And how my heart keeps on beating
Is a mystery to all
For without you beside me
I live suspended in time.

I live now life backwards
My heart beating in time,
To the life that we lived
When you, child, were mine.

Try as I might
I can’t seem to live,
For my dreams all belonged
To your future forward lived.

And so where now I goeth
And where knoweth I dwell,
Once again and all over
Life without you is hell.

I ache without breathing
For to breathe is to die,
Once again and all over
Without you in my life. 

by Beth Brown (for Dylan)

“Bury My Heart” ©Beth Brown, 2021

My Forever Son: Chronicling Grief, Hope, and Healing After the Death of My Son By Suicide

Where to Find Support, Resources, and Hope-Losing a Child to Suicide

Perhaps the figure is reeling from a loss so catastrophic that all one can do is scream to sky, to stars, to sun–to wherever forever is, to where forever is out of reach forever again.

Beth Brown, My Forever Son, From Sorrow to Joy: How Pain Colors Loss

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The Pain of Suicide: It’s Not About Wanting to Die, It’s About Wanting the Pain to Stop

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Purple phlox in bloom is next to a water pond with 2 waterfalls.

About Dylan

My Forever Son: Chronicling Grief, Hope, and Healing After the Death of My Son By Suicide And once upon a blue-sky moon, We sailed our ships in your bedroom, With stars for light, we fled the dark But the lightening flashed, And the sky grew dark. Beth Brown, “Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon” “Sometimes I […]

Why? After the Suicide of My Son-A Mother Remembers

The beat of my heart shaped by you. The song of you which still now I sing. Beth Brown, My Forever Son And yet perhaps you could not hear above the deafening roar of your heart’s ache.   Beth Brown, My Forever Son The beat of my heart shaped by you. The song of you which still […]

Dylan Andrew Brown

Oh the memories, little one-oh the memories

"As I Tuck You In"

As I tuck you in, I lay me down
As I hold you now, I lift my arms
As I fall asleep, I pray for you
My child, my love, my heart, I’m with you too

My child, my love, my heart, May God keep and love you
And you will be forevermore
Safe from this world and so adored
And God will be your comforter

And I will always thank God for rescuing you
And I will always praise God for loving you too

And so I live my life in memory
Surrendering to God, what now must be
But here on earth I know the angels sing
When I hear your voice I know God’s listening

And I will always be your mother here
And I will speak your name for all to hear
And God will be with you ’til I get there
My child on earth above in heaven’s care

My child on earth above in heaven’s care

Beth Brown, "As I Tuck You In," My Forever Son
“As I Tuck You In” by Beth Brown, Dylan’s Mom
Categories
Child Loss Grief Heart songs: Poetry from the Heart Parents Who Have Lost a Child to Suicide Poems Poems about Loss poems of love and loss Reflections after Suicide Loss Suicide loss

“Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon”-A Poem About Losing a Child to Suicide

“Once Upon a Blue Sky Moon”-

A Poem About Losing a Child to Suicide

My Forever Son

Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon

Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon

(for Dylan) 

And once upon a blue-sky moon,
We sailed our ships in your bedroom,
With stars for light, we fled the dark
But the lightening flashed, 
And the sky grew dark.

You tucked away your childhood dreams
On wings that soared beyond infinity,
Your love in me and me in you,
But out of reach, beyond what I could do.

I launched your dreams
You took great flight
On wings alone you soared too high
But you found ways to onward flee
To galaxies beyond my means.

I watched you drift through hazy sky
And chalked it up to a teenage angst,
But oh my son, if I’d only known
I’d have reached right in to your dark night’s soul--

 I would have held on
 I would have clutched you
 I would have never let you go
 But you Told me 
“Mom I love you”
 Oh my child if I’d only known.

So I kissed you and I held you,
And I said goodbye,
Not knowing, blue-star moon,
I would lose you that night.

You lived, you breathed, alive in pain
Through storm-dark nights and cloudy haze
But I didn’t know what I couldn’t see
The damage done beyond my means.

My sky is dark, my nights deep blue
My winter’s come, my star’s with you,
Without you here I cannot fly
My wings you clipped 
When you took your life.

And I live on and onward flee
Towards you my son and to infinity,
Where dreams come true and you live on,
And we fly again around planets and sun

With stars that glow against the moon,
Your love in me and me in you.

I will hold you, 
You will clutch me
We will never let go,
And you’ll tell me, 
“Mom, I love you”
And tears from earth will overflow,
And I’ll know then, blue sky-moon,
To never ever let you go.

© Beth Brown, 2021 
 All rights reserved

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Categories
Grief Guilt Parents Who Have Lost a Child to Suicide Poems about Losing a Child to Suicide Poems about Loss poems of love and loss

A Poem about Losing a Child to Suicide: “That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back”

“That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back”

A Poem about Losing a Child to Suicide

“That All of Love Could Sweep Time Back”

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 when and where somehow, 
And here and now then see,
To erase the dark and stay the day
To bring back you to me.

If only and What If now child
and why couldn't I just see
To hold you close forever
and stay the light just you and me.

That darkness might not permeate
my heart now and yours then,
that all of love could sweep time back
and bring back you again. 

©Beth Brown, 2021

 

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Where to Go for Support After Suicide Loss

. . .the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that after a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased dramatically — by 56 percent — between 2007 and 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents like…

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Is Suicide Really a Choice?

The Stigma of Suicide That we must even ponder: “Is suicide really a choice?” reflects a still pervasive stigma of suicide that somehow, losing a loved one to death by suicide can be controlled–that losing a loved one could have, might have been prevented; that we missed something, a fatal flaw in the way we…

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Purple phlox in bloom is next to a water pond with 2 waterfalls.

“Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon”–A Poem about Child Loss

Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon A Poem for Dylan by Beth Brown And once upon a blue-sky moon, We sailed our ships in your bedroom, With stars for light, we fled the dark But the lightening flashed, And the sky grew dark. You tucked away your childhood dreams On wings that soared beyond infinity, Your…

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Loss Survivors A Note About Terminology: Loss Survivors are also called Survivors of Suicide–a confusing term used to depict those left behind after the suicide of a loved one. Using Loss Survivors as a term clarifies the confusion between the semantics of Survivors of Suicide–who are loss survivors–and Suicide Survivors (those who have attempted suicide…

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Red Leaves close up on a Burning Bush (Fire Bush) in the Midwest during autumn
Burning Bush in Fall, My Forever Son

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Categories
Child Loss Family loss Grief Poems Poems about Loss Suicide loss

Derecho: A Storm Out of Nowhere

My Forever Son: Chronicling Grief, Hope, and Healing After the Death of My Son By Suicide

Storm Clouds, “Derecho”, My Forever Son

Heart heaving, this beating of tears
Breaking loose—
All hell in earth’s upturned rupture

Beth Brown, “Derecho” My Forever Son

June 29, 2012–Funeral for my son. 101 degrees dropping to 73 degrees in a matter of minutes. Whirling wind. Gusts of whipping wind. Snapping wind. Dark skies. Clotted clouds. Midday sun going away–suddenly. A piercing dark. A turbulent sky. Trying to get to the car before the rains came. Things blowing. Paper across parking lots. Light going out. Light extinguished. Darkness on the wings of violent winds. 60-80 m.p.h. Trees cracking. Branches breaking. Traffic lights swaying to and fro. As if in a dream I couldn’t break. A nightmare I’d have to live out the rest of my life.

June 29, 2012–My son’s funeral was on a day heaving itself pellmell, uprooting itself, shaking lose all grounding, breaking all that held it dear, all that called it life, all that depended upon it to be as it had always been.

A day rupturing earth in a storm violent and of epic proportion. Derecho. Unpredictable. Violent. Sudden. Never knowing we were in the path of such a storm. Having never seen let alone been through a storm capable of damaging this much to so many.

The noise of the wind. As if it were screaming. Over and over, rising and hissing, falling and rising, screaming and moaning, cracking and casting itself broken. Falling down. Tumbling down. The sudden downing of it all. Power down. Wires down. Caught in the catastrophic exhale of sky, earth, trees, and now, even light extinguished.

He Left Too Soon, Lifting Life from June

He Left Too Soon 
(Derecho)
 
He left too soon— 
Lifting life from June,
Casting torrents of rain
 
His absence—
Breath of pain whose exhale can only bring
Heart heaving, this beating of tears

Breaking loose—
All hell in earth's upturned rupture, 
Death shoveling shadows over me

As I bend to lay flowers on his name—
Inscribed and bronzed, 
A permanence come to stay
 
My love laced now with pain—
Standing over my son's grave,
Death's derecho come to stay in my shadow.

“Derecho”	
©Beth Brown, 2021

Derecho

Derecho is derived from the Spanish adjective for “straight” or “direct.” A derecho is a fast-moving (60-80 mph winds) storm seeming to come out of nowhere. A violent storm bent on destruction, a derecho is a

widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. . . Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods.

Chicago Tribune, By Russ Schumacher, The Conversation
Associated Press
Derecho: A Storm Out of Nowhere, My Forever Son

The Historic Derecho of June 29, 2012

On June 29, 2012, a devastating line of thunderstorms known as a derecho (deh REY cho) moved east-southeast at 60 miles per hour (mph) from Indiana in the early afternoon to the Mid-Atlantic region around midnight. The states most significantly impacted were Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and North Carolina, as well as Washington, D.C. Nearly every county impacted by this convective system suffered damages and power outages.

Winds were commonly above 60 mph with numerous reports of winds exceeding 80 mph. Some areas reported isolated pockets of winds greater than 100 mph. The storm resulted in 13 deaths, mainly a result of falling trees. One major impact from the derecho was widespread power outages. More than 4 million customers were without power, some for more than a week after the storms moved through. To make matters worse, the area affected was in the midst of a prolonged heat wave.

The Historic Derecho of June 29, 2012
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service

A Poem Borne from the Derecho, June 25, 2012

He Left Too Soon (Derecho)

for Dylan, always for Dylan

He Left Too Soon 
(Derecho)
 
He left too soon— 
Lifting life from June,
Casting torrents of rain
 
His absence—
Breath of pain whose exhale can only bring
Heart heaving, this beating of tears

Breaking loose—
All hell in earth's upturned rupture, 
Death shoveling shadows over me

As I bend to lay flowers on his name—
Inscribed and bronzed, 
A permanence come to stay
 
My love laced now with pain—
Standing over my son's grave,
Death's derecho come to stay in my shadow.

“Derecho”	
©Beth Brown, 2021

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“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way…

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Welcome to My Forever Son

About Me Hi, I’m Beth. Join me here at My Forever Son for deep reflection about losing my son, Dylan, and Gardens at Effingham, where cats tell delightful stories about their garden adventures. I spend most of my time with Most Beloved in my music studio where I come to write, hole up, play my…

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My Forever Son is as much about my journey to want to learn to live again as it is my son’s wanting his life to end. I have had to learn to want to live again. Writing, photographing, and remembering with love through the pain, I come to these Chronicles to find my way back…

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Where to Go for Support After Suicide Loss

. . .the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that after a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased dramatically — by 56 percent — between 2007 and 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents like […]

Purple phlox in bloom is next to a water pond with 2 waterfalls.

“Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon”–A Poem about Child Loss

Once Upon a Blue-Sky Moon A Poem for Dylan by Beth Brown And once upon a blue-sky moon, We sailed our ships in your bedroom, With stars for light, we fled the dark But the lightening flashed, And the sky grew dark. You tucked away your childhood dreams On wings that soared beyond infinity, Your […]

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A Song and Lyrics About Losing a Child:”As I Tuck You In”

Schroeder and His Piano, “As I tuck you in, in Heaven’s Care”

“As I Tuck You In”

by Beth Brown (for Dylan)

I wrote and recorded this song for Dylan. I’ve written 18 songs altogether about losing my son to suicide. Each song is born from a grief too deep for expression in any language save music. “As I Tuck You In” is a lullaby. Dylan is, was, and always will be my heart’s song. I miss my son.

I remember when Dylan was 8 years old, just beginning piano lessons, and I used to drive him to a local university to take lessons in their music conservatory. We would make the same trip to the university each week for the next 6 years.

I loved hearing Dylan practice. Schroeder, from “Charlie Brown,” always sat on top of the upright Schuerman piano. Scott Joplin’s ragtime, Snoopy’s happy dance song, classical pieces, and eventually, jazz (Thelonius Monk) all wafted up from the lower level of our house into the kitchen where I was cooking dinner for the two of us. Wonderful memories. Wonderful years.

Dylan began composing music too, though mostly unbeknownst to me. Those were his teenage years. Years when his friends knew more about him than I did.

Here’s the lullaby I wrote for Dylan. I recorded a rough demo of the song on my guitar: “As I Tuck You In”

As I Tuck You In“-A lullaby for Dylan written by Beth Brown, Dylan’s Mom

“As I Tuck You In”

A Lullaby to My Son

“As I Tuck You In”

Music & Lyrics: ©Beth Brown

As I tuck you in, I lay me down
As I hold you now, I lift my arms
As I fall asleep, I pray for you
My child, my love, my heart, I’m with you too
My child, my love, my heart, may God keep and love you

And you will be forevermore
Safe from this world and so adored
And God will be your comforter
And I will always thank God for rescuing you
And I will always praise God for loving you too

And so I live my life in memory
Surrendering to God, what now must be
But here on earth I know the angels sing
When I hear your voice I know God’s listening

And I will always be your mother here
And I will speak your name for all to hear
And God will be with you ’til I get there
My child on earth above in heaven’s care
My child on earth above in heaven’s care.

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