Is It Okay to Heal?
Dec 8, 2017
A new normal?
I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time. It’s scary. There is this unspoken law in the suicide community that survivors can’t heal all the way. That if we do, we somehow are betraying our loved ones lost to suicide. Even worse, if we are healed then we may be sending a message that suicide is okay. Or worse, that we don’t love the one we lost.
It’s a dark hole to live in especially when I’m trying to heal.
What’s the truth? What exactly does the phrase a ‘new normal’ mean? Am I doomed to grieve forever? Can I experience happiness again? Am I allowed to experience joy? What does acceptance look like? Who am I supposed to be? If I heal will kids really complete suicide thinking I’m okay so their parents will be okay too? I’ve spent hours questioning all these confusing and painful thoughts – months!
Hannah didn’t want to die. I know she didn’t. She wanted her pain to stop. Where did that pain originate from? Her thinking. Granted, her brain was damaged and she may not have been capable of challenging and changing her thinking but I am. She died while desperately seeking peace. Am I going to do the same? I may not die by suicide but am I going to kill a part of me, ignore the fact that I have every right to change, deny peace, joy, happiness out of some sick sense of guilt and obligation? I wanted Hannah to be happy. Don’t I want me to be happy too? Am I honoring her by believing I shouldn’t be happy or am I honoring her by learning from her pain and finding a way to change my thinking so I can experience peace and happiness? Am I going to keep joy from myself because I feel some sort of misplaced obligation that can’t even be proven true?
If I heal, truly heal, do I really love my daughter?
What a sad, sad question to ask given my already tremendous loss.
Today, when I think about that moment when my precious daughter ended her life, her pain, the pain in my heart is real. I can’t imagine any situation where I think about that day, those weeks that followed, and not feel the pain. The memory doesn’t go away. It’s real. However, when I focus on today, right now, and all the blessings that have come from her death and her life, all I can feel is gratitude and a deep, deep tender, quiet sacredness which encompasses heart and soul. It is beautiful.
Thankfully, I’ve allowed myself to heal and to continue to heal. Yes, it’s a new me – a new normal. A better me. A more sensitive me. A more open me. A more caring me.
How I got here is another post for another time. The very most important factor is that I give myself permission to heal.
Survivors, allow yourself to heal! It honors those who couldn’t.
About the Author
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