I awaken every day only to remember there is something missing in my life. Someone. A huge part of our family dynamic was taken but not destroyed. Brandon will never be destroyed as the devil wanted but rather was saved and taken to the safest place. Brandon’s name remains on the hearts and lips of anyone who truly loved him. I continue in this life only because God hasn’t answered my fervent, genuine prayers that beg to be with Him…and with my son. Grief can make a mother ask for any end to the painfulness of the loss of her precious child/children. I guess it must be part of the process to recovery. I have been taken to depths of sorrow never experienced before Brandon left us. Recovery is a relative term.
Do you know how often you hear the word ‘suicide’ on a daily basis? For someone who has lost a child to it, it seems too, too much. The television ads for any type of medication, it seems, comes with a warning about “suicial thoughts or feelings.” The word permeates the newscast morning, noon, and night, as we are reminded of fanatical terrorist who become martyrs for their hate-filled cause, on any given day someone falls by their own hand because of frailty of mind. It is staggering. Never more have I noticed this than since it was told to us that our son took his own life that Friday night on March 6th, 2009. It is still so hard to believe.
My Brandon. You would have loved him if you had known him. How could you not? I speak from a mother’s heart but I think I also knew my son in ways others did not. He was a sensitive, passionate young man. Fearless. God fearing. Creative, filled with imaginative ideas that fostered a desire to write and paint. His dreams had no end. He was a fierce patriot…ready to go to war for all the right reasons. He had a strong sense of what is right and wrong. He was self disciplined and aware of his bodily strength at all times. He was a hard worker. Intelligent, deep thinker. His humor was so very entertaining. My Brandon was a good guy.
It seems like a cruel joke played on those of us left behind. A precious jewel excavated from our midst. While I focus on all the positive traits that made up my son’s character, I am no less aware of the weaker traits that balanced the whole.
Because Brandon was prone to passion and sensitivity, he was a romantic. Love was the compulsion behind much of what he ever did. He loved deeply and was hurt much. Love has uplifted as many as it has brought down. Brandon always fell victim to it. He was prone to moods that dictated his actions and words. He used laughter to medicate and soothe. He seemed to look for happiness outside himself. Others mattered too much probably.
Perhaps, it is the very nature of someone with such a character profile that is the most vulnerable to suicide. I am the lonely self appointed profiler who still sorts through my memory for answers. It is all too true that suicide invites complicated grief to come stay a while…or forever. Recovery is relative. While I have made strides toward it, it still seems so very distant and almost unobtainable. Yet, I have felt God’s divine hand in this darkness.
Darkness is just how it feels these last days of shortened daylight, gray rain and wind. Winter has lasted too long. I believe March will always “come in like a lion” for me. Lions and lambs…two good metaphors for the strong and the weak…both describe my Brandon.