For the first few days, this SONG kept running through my head. I couldn't seem to get it right, and I couldn't figure out where it came from, and I couldn't figure out what it meant. As I've written before, my perception of all things was fragmented and skewed. It seemed that reality as I had known it was only a small fraction of the universe I had accidentally stumbled into, and those lyrics, bits and pieces of them, were among the confusing bits of jagged glass flying around.
Eventually, obsessive M*A*S*H aficiondao that I had been been at one time, I was able to recall their origin, understand their senselessness in our new context, and put them to rest. But when I think of that first week of September, I remember the words and tune whirring through my head. "Suicide is painless; it brings on many changes . . .".
As most people have no doubt realized by now, if they didn't already know, our most beloved Chicago Son died by suicide, late on the night of last September 2. Although that fact is a constant companion in my life and although I talk about it freely, I have not blogged about it because I couldn't quite figure out how to do that. Or maybe I couldn't quite figure out whether I would be able to stand the reaction. I don't think that any of us in our family have received anything but loving support from family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances ~ and I include in that group people I know "only" from the internet, which in some cases includes people I now consider to be wonderful friends ~ but we all know that the online world is a place in which speedy and thoughtless comment often predominates, and that it's a place in which some people feel free to zap remarks in your direction which they would never (one hopes) say to anyone face-to-face. So I've been reluctant to expose myself and my family to the potential for even more pain, just in case that might even be possible.
But it seems that the time to be more forthcoming is upon me. I gave a little talk about it last week at seminary, which offered me the opportunity to organize my thoughts a bit. Only a few people showed up, but it was a beginning. I don't see my life becoming centered on suicide prevention, but I know a whole lot of stuff now that I didn't know eight months ago, and I am willing to share it if it is of any use to anyone. I'm going to add a few things to the sidebar, some resources and books that have been helpful. And I'm going to speak more freely, unless someone makes that impossible.
Our son was a wonderful young man. Creative, witty, kind, brilliant, generous. And concealing a murderous depression which destroyed him and shoved the rest of us into the alternate universe we now inhabit. How do we map this desolate and skewed territory? I guess we are learning, moment by moment.