Time comes and goes without my really knowing how much has truly passed. I was asked by a few followers when my next blog was going to be posted. I was not certain when I was going to post again as I have difficulty with finding the lens of optimism that I have had the gift of looking through. I always attempted to write in a hopeful manner to inspire myself mostly. But, my journey cannot always be one of the rose coloured view. Sometimes spending time in the darkness of grief, loss, and loneliness is needed.
Losing a child is the greatest heartbreak I can imagine. It was always my greatest fear to have Chloe or Ryleigh die before me. But having Ryleigh make the choice to die by suicide rips my heart to shreds. Her suicide leaves me in a state of pondering—what clues were there? Was this a choice made form mental illness or from mental strength? Isolation, pain, lack of hope for a “cure”, financial and familial stressors—she experienced all of this. As a mother, how come I could not protect her from such misery. I do not blame myself but am aware of the whispers around me of doubting my abilities to really know Ryleigh. I taught both my daughters to believe in themselves, trust their decisions, and be independent. Ryleigh through her choices showed us she could be that.
I am different—losing Ryleigh has made everything different. I know I am strong and will find my way but I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am not who I used to be. In reality this has affected all parts of my life—relationships, work, self care, and every day living. It is not really negative—just different.
Those who are close to me may find the difference challenging to deal with as I am not as sensitive to other’s needs as I once was. I cannot explain this. I was once able to counsel, show empathy, mediate, create stronger bonds, forgive, create moments where others feel loved and cared for. Yet now, I cannot find the strength to be there in the way I once was and as a result some of my relationships have fractured. I am deeply sorry if I have not been the friend, sister, daughter, co-worker, teacher that I once was. I am navigating this difference in a way that only I can understand….I cannot explain it. Sometimes I may be insensitive and hurtful, it is not my intention it just happens. Perhaps one day, I will venture back to being the person others want me to be. But right now, I am who I am…please understand that my journey is now different.
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