Almost 5 years ago our lives were changed forever. Ryan, our son, took his own life. It seems our lives now are measured by before Ryan died and since Ryan died. For a bit, we could barely function. Oh we all went to work, paid most of the bills, met with friends for dinner but there was a numbness that hadn't been there before this loss. Others who were close knew the struggle. Those who barely knew us may have never guessed from the smiles we put on our faces.
Even though we keep moving, grief is still as much a part of our lives as breathing. Since we lost Ryan, Ron and I have watched too many others walk through the pain of losing their children at their own hand. It is always indescribably raw the moments right after. I have heard some say that this can't be right because they aren't as brave as we are. It isn't courage that gets us through but faith.
My prayer is always that no other family has to lose a loved one to suicide. But the truth is suicide is too common, so families are affected. Even 5 years later, I don't know what to say to those who are grieving or those who fear for their children's safety. The right words just don't seem to come.
My prayer is that each of us has a faith that walks us through even the impossible situations of life. That we never feel like we have to face life alone. Others have been here for us, Ron and I cling to each other, but our faith is what has allowed us to live through. Step by step, day by day, month by month, and now year by year we are moving through life without Ryan in our arms. But he is always in our hearts and so often in our thoughts.