March 31, 2015

I Have Let Go


So here I go...I have been thinking about writing this blog for a long time but I just wasn't ready. After 2 and a half long years since my husband died, something in me shifted. I have started to laugh more, taste my food, drink less (coffee and wine), read again, work out, eat better and smile more. Why?

I finally let go. 

I looked at my two boys, Jack and Charlie, and thought "we have walked a long dark road together but I know we are going to be ok". We finally let go.

Anger, fear, guilt, terror, spite, despair, paranoia, rage...at times they had taken me over but I am done with them. I have let them go.

My deep sorrow, pain and heartache is quieter. It is still there but softer. Grief will live with us forever. It hits us and takes our breath away but we know how to work through it with the tools 2 years of grief counseling has given us. 

I've accepted the new me. I've accepted we are now 3 instead of 4. I've accepted the boys lives are taking a different path if Pat wouldn't have died. I have accepted we all are surviving the trauma of suicide and are taking it one day at a time. I have accepted we now live a strange life I never could have imagined unless you are in it. Strange but good again.

Time does heal. Cliche yes, but time has healed the boys and I. With help from our loving family, dear friends, grief counselors and acts of kindness from strangers, we are healing and so grateful.

We are o.k. We finally let go.

If you have just started down your journey as a suicide survivor, I want you to know you and your children will be o.k. again. I just wanted somebody who had lived it to tell me their kids were not just o.k., but amazing. Actually, my kids are amazing.  Jack and Charlie are kind, funny, beautiful old souls who every day amaze me with their courage and strength. Kids are tougher than we think. Be as honest and open with them. Talk to them about their grief even though it hurts like hell. Give them a voice - their voice as a suicide survivor.

I'm not an amazing writer. I can be crass and raw and use too much profanity. People have tagged me as a "straight talker" and "bitch" for years. It never really bothered me.  I stood and still do stand up for what is right and I believe in.  Maybe that straight talk saved me and gave me the strength to be honest, open, raw and real with my boys and myself. Honesty so many survivors of suicide struggle with because of the stigma attached to mental illness and suicide. We all choose our journey of grief, and I choose to be as open as I can be. It has been a process to get here but I'm talking about suicide. I'm talking about mental illness. I'm talking about grief counseling and school psychologists and crazy situations I have been in. It may not always be comfortable and safe. But I finally let go.

I'm not afraid of what people will think. All that matters is what my 2 boys think. They are amazing and support me writing this blog. No fear here. I give myself permission to live again. I hope this blog will help you live again too.

17 comments:

Audra said...

Great job Sandra! So proud of you and the boys...

Sandra Began said...

Thank you Audra! I'm proud of the boys, my family and friends too. Suicide can make people uncomfortable because of the unknown, but those like you who have supported us have shown grace and love unconditionally.

Lynn Prowitt said...

This is perfection! Congratulations, you're off! So happy and honored to be one of your new friends. Looking forward to blog posts, basketball games and lots of fun times with you and the boys in the years ahead. Xoxo

phylliscollar said...

You are one of the bravest women I ever knew! Good luck with this. I will read always.

Keevie Bremhorst said...

Many blessings to you and your boys Sandra! This blog will be a welcomed support to those suffering through the loss of a loved one via suicide and for anyone going through the grieving process. You project is a relevant and important work.

steve said...

Dear Sugar,

This is badass and beautiful. I am so happy that you and the boys are healing. Keep speaking your truth. If people can't handle it, fuck 'em.

Lovelove,
Nutshell

Angie C. said...

Sandra!
So proud of you...
So humbled by your courage...
And so grateful to know you :)

Here's to burning brightly!

Empower Yoga Teacher Training said...

Thank you for sharing your self and your journey. You are amazing and thank you for your contribution that will help so many.

sandy carpenter said...

Sandra, what an amazing,beautiful,inspiring gift to the world, like it's author. What a privilege it is to witness your gift and celebrate it from beyond! Big hugs to you and the boys!

Kris Malmberg said...

Sandra your words make me think about my mom. She was a widow at 32. She was such a strong woman facing the world with 2 small girls. She moved us closer to her family to help raise us. She struggled with a tight budget to make sure she was there each morning and afternoon when we were not in school. I can not even image her own struggle but as a mom she kept us ground. She is an amazing woman and she raised two woman what are proud to be her daughters. Thank you for your wonderful words and making think of my own mom.

Chris Draeger said...

Sandra,
So very happy to hear you and the boys are healing and getting better everyday. I will always keep you, the boys and your entire family in my heart forever. My thoughts and prayers will continue for you and your family. Love you.

Chris Draeger

Disequilibrium equals growth said...

Beautifully written and so inspiring. I look forward to reading more.

Sandra, The Widow Project said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alissa Hutton said...

I can't tell you how much it meant to me to read this. I have been thinking about you a lot over the last few years, wondering how you were doing. Reading you blog....I am so proud of you Sandy and feel a sense of peace. I know you are strong and working through this. Thank you for using your experience to help others and thank you for your courage. You are an inspiration. Miss you!

Sandra Began said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra, The Widow Project said...

To all of you who commented, thank you so much for your support and kind words. I am grateful.

Betsy said...

Sandra, your beautiful blog was shared with me today by a mutual NHS friend and I'm so grateful! You and the boys have been in my thoughts frequently over the past 2 1/2 years and though you don't know me, I have felt that Ive known you for a long time just based on my brief interactions with Pat over the years. He was SO damn proud of you... I remember thinking that he spoke of you & the boys like this GIFT he had been given that he wasn't quite sure he deserved. Sad foreshadowing, that? It is lovely to read your words, no matter how difficult and raw they might be, you keep sharing and letting your lessons out! What a tribute to the man who once reached out to me during a very dark time in my life, just based on his intuition from a lack of funny FB posts. Pat helped me back then, how I wish I could have helped him in his own moment of darkness, and with your words maybe you'll help someone else.
Thank you for your honesty & courage... You & the boys are never far from my thoughts & prayers!
Xoxo
Betsy Van Etten (Bayley)
NHS '89