There are no two losses that are the same
My late husband had four children. Two from his first marriage and two from ours. He was a fabulous father who did so much for each of them during his lifetime. And when Carl passed away, like most blended families, everyone went their own ways.
For me, it was hard to see his son Jason, not because there were any hard feelings...I mean, sure there were plenty of times we wanted to erase each other, but the common love for Carl was what kept us on good behavior.
I had a hard time seeing Jason because he sounded and resembled his dad and it was difficult for me.
Throughout the 26 years of our marriage, Jason became a paraplegic and suffered from multiple mental health issues. Each time, Carl would take Nathan and intervene and help as best a father-son duo could for Jason.
After Carl passed away, Nathan and Jason would remain in touch but in the last year it got increasingly scarcer. So, when Adyn and I saw Jason at a mutual friend’s family birthday dinner about two months ago, he looked great. We laughed and talked and then we said our goodbyes. Not realizing so much was to happen in Jason’s life. He had mentioned his wife and him were separated, and he was living alone. Alone. As I look back and reflect on this, I know having mental health issues and living alone is not a good combination.
On Monday June 24th, I received a call from Jason’s best friend. Distraught and overwhelmed with grief, he said Jason had taken his own life.
Numb. I sat in my car on the side of the road. How? Why? What?
As I sat and listened, I realized his friends did what they could and what most families do; they turned inward. Not knowing what to do, tired from the endless work of helping someone as they spiral.
I know, because my entire life I watched and witnessed and participated in my mother’s own mental health battles.
I asked how I could best support, knowing this was not my loss to work through all the details. I talked to Nathan who sat in total disbelief, shock and sadness for someone he called Big Brother.
I sat in my office chair and watched and listened to Nathan tell his little sister that Jason was no longer here.
Sadness and confusion consumed the conversations.
It has been a week since Jason took his own life and I prayed and begged God to let him through the gates as a Healthy young man, walking into his parent’s arms in heaven. It was all I could do for someone who shared his father with me, Nathan and Adyn.
Jason will forever be the kid I met in New York City on our way to Italy, the brother who twirled Adyn around and around and the big brother who took Nathan on countless camping trips in Colorado and the beach here in Texas. Jason was Carl’s best man at our wedding and said we were the “chaos theory”. His artwork, photography and love for his savior Jesus Christ will be honored forever.
After Carl died, our blended family was deep in grief and I remember asking Jason to pray for all of us because he was the most prayerful of us all.
Suicide, no one understands it and like I said before – there are no two losses that are the same.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800- 273-8255.