Suzanne, the mother of a young woman who died from suicide, gave me permission to share her article. — Carol Loehr

It has now been two years (November 16, 2009) since my sweet Jessica died from suicide. Each day, I fight back the tears of her loss and try to “get on with life,” but late at night I find the tears rolling at will down my face.

I have been reading web posts about suicide, and I can’t help but feel for the other survivors of suicide who open their hearts and share about their loved one lost. It is a balm to my aching heart to read the encouragement they write, and I wanted to thank each of you for sharing.

I read about Helen releasing the balloons on her daughter’s one-year loss and it brings me back to November 16, 2010 and the sight of those 32 heart shaped balloons with messages written from all who loved Jessica slowly floating up into the overcast sky. As they picked up speed, the sun decided to come out and welcome them into its embrace.

She was now gone one year and my pain was still so fresh and raw that the tears fell unchecked. November 16th was also her birthday. How do you combine such a wonderful event as her birth with the mind jarring loss of her death both possessing the same day?

I ask the same questions all of us ask and the whys don’t get answered, which leaves a gaping hole in my heart. As a parent, you can’t help but try and find blame in yourself for the loss of your first born. Why didn’t I see this? Would I have been able to stop it? I should have been a better mother and seen she was in such pain. I know from Grief Share classes and talking to others that this is a dangerous way to feel but how do I stop the pain? As one person wrote, it is for life and it will never go away.

One way I am coping is to build a small garden in remembrance of her. My husband broke the ground on the second year anniversary and we await good weather to start on the waterfall that will hopefully absorb our tears. Our plans are to have the base of the garden cobbled with handmade stones each one having a loving wish for her from family and friends.

I don’t have a place to go see her as her ashes were never laid to rest in a plot. Her wishes were to be laid to rest on top of the mountain close to God and nature. I will take pictures during our progress and hope to share them with this group in the near future. Maybe this is one step towards my healing as well.

Suzanne, Jessica’s mom

Carol Loehr

Carol Loehr is the author of My Uncle Keith Died (Trafford), which addresses children’s questions about suicide and depression. Carol’s only son, Keith Loehr, died at the age of 29 by suicide in 1999. Carol has been an elementary and special-education teacher. She created and continues to maintain, a web site to help comfort and educate survivors of suicide, as well as clergy, health care professionals, and counselors. Carol appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Honoring a Child Who Died By Suicide.” To hear Carol being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:

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