525,600+ minutes

Well, we did it. We survived the first year. When we first began this journey, a journey no parent should ever have to take, we didn't think we'd make it.
Our beautiful son Michael took his life, and left behind his devastated family and friends. He took his life. I don't like it when people say "committed suicide", because it sounds like a crime. Michael was no criminal. He was a sad, hurting, young man, who quietly fought a battle that he ultimately lost.
My husband and I have spent the last few days reminiscing. We laughed through our tears, remembering Michael from when he was a so small, butt-shuffling across our kitchen floor (he never crawled), to driving his big plastic race car down our road, making it skid sideways, doing it so often he wore out the tires. My parents then bought him a "kettle car". He tried to do that very same skid, but instead flipped and rolled the car. You see, unlike the plastic wheels (think Big Wheels) of the race car, the kettle car had rubber wheels. Michael thought he had just done the coolest thing ever. I had my first, of many, stroke. We talked about how thoughtful and caring he was. The trench he dug in the backyard when it flooded. John waking up one morning to a painted garage floor. I was in bed by ten most nights, and many of those nights Michael would come in and sit with me, talking over our day. I miss that.
So yes, we cried, a lot, but we also laughed. John thanked me for talking about Michael with him. I was struck by that. I said of course I'm talking about him. I will always by happy to talk about my Michael. John then said something that I've noticed, but hadn't mentioned. It seems that most around us (not all) are hesitant to talk about Michael. It's like people are afraid that to bring him up will make us sad. Please know this, it won't hurt us. To talk about him brings us joy. It keeps him close. My biggest fear now, concerning Michael, is that he will be forgotten. I suspect that most parents who've lost a child feel this way.
So yes, we've gotten passed our first year. It's been a really rough few days. Next up is his birthday, which is less than a week away. Another rough day. We will be celebrating him in his way though. Pizza and beer (BYOB) (BYO chair) that night, with a release of eco-friendly Chinese lanterns. Are we nuts? Perhaps, but as long as there are people willing to celebrate with us we will do this.
A gigantic THANK YOU to everyone. I'm not sure we would still be standing without you all.
Our journey is far from over, but right now we are here, and we are, as I said in a previous posting, (fake) ok.


6 thoughts on “525,600+ minutes

  1. My thoughts are with you. It is great to hear that you can still talk about Michael. I have another friend who had a great relationship with their son and they too lost their son unexpectedly due to an accident. To this day they still manage to find a way to keep his memory alive. I am sharing their link to their son’s memorial page to offer an example of how they have continued his memory all these years.

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