Grieving In Gratitude: My Healing Journey
It’s been 4 months since my last blog post. It’s taking me this long to be in the energy to share my healing journey on A TLotus Thought: The Blog. I’ve decided to write a multi-part series sharing my experience with losing my first-born son to suicide on 1/1/21. Part journal, part blog, my intention with this series is to raise suicide awareness and save a life, provide hope and support to the loved ones who are on their own grief journey, and share the beautiful story of my continued connection with my son on the other side.
Trigger Warning: Suicide
If you're thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend or loved one, there is a free hotline available 24/7 to provide emotional support. Please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. (1-800-273-TALK)
2020 was a year of amazing growth for me as I was forced to make the sudden pivot from a full-time educational sign language interpreter to running The Sacred Path full-time from home. Throughout the challenges of the COVID pandemic, I focused on building my business and executing plans to finally launch my coaching program to the masses.
The end of the year came with hope for a fresh start in the upcoming new year. My boys and I celebrated the holidays with love and laughter. I was filled with gratitude for my family enduring the chaos of living through the pandemic. Then, on December 28th, 2020, my oldest son, Kerry went missing...and everything in my world came to a screeching halt.
On January 1st, 2021, while the world was celebrating the new year, Kerry had taken his own life...on his 29th birthday. I received the call I never wanted in the early morning of January 2nd, hours after he was found in a Target parking lot less than 10 minutes from my home. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness and sadness as I tried to process the reality of his passing.
Kerry’s brothers and I saw him on Christmas day. There was no warning, no sign or behavior that alerted me or anyone who knew and loved him of his torment. I had no clue that that day would be the last time I would ever see him alive or hug him. Kerry was his everyday, humorous, witty, playful, thoughtful, amazing self when he visited the family. He left to spend the rest of Christmas day with his girlfriend and her family, and nothing seemed “off” or unusual.
When Kerry went missing, his family, friends, and I tried everything we could to find him. It had been raining terribly hard that night and we were all concerned that perhaps he was in an accident. On January 29, his last letter was discovered on his computer as an email he wrote and sent to himself on December 22. I found myself going live on my Facebook page, desperately asking for any help to find him. A missing person flyer was created and I even begged through tears for a local media station to pick up the story to no avail. On New Year’s Eve, I put on a brave face and went live again on Facebook telling everyone to please wish him a happy birthday and show love for him. I was already grieving his loss. Although I was holding on to whatever hope I could find, I knew on a Spiritual level that he was no longer on this earthly plane. I could no longer FEEL his energy. My boys are my 5 heartbeats. On January 1st, for the first time, I felt a hole in my heart.
I was never properly notified by law enforcement that Kerry was found. I got that call from his girlfriend who was mistakenly told initially that Kerry was “ok”. I went live on Facebook from the Target parking lot where Kerry took his life and asked that people please bring flowers and honor my son. Literally 2 minutes into going live, friends showed up with flowers and candles. That evening, the area grew into a beautiful memorial of flowers, candles, cards, and mementos.
The next day, all of it was taken and disposed of by Target employees. I never had a chance to read any of the cards and notes.
These are just a few of the things that compounded my grief...and it led me into the deepest depression I had ever experienced. I poured myself into planning his memorial and became overwhelmed and exhausted. I decided that a private viewing with his family and closest friends would be appropriate.
The Healer Needs Healing
After the viewing, I became a grieving hermit. I didn’t want to leave the house or talk to anyone. The entire neighborhood became a trigger to my sadness. If I had to leave the house, I always ended up a bawling mess behind the steering wheel. Doing regular “everyday” things was excruciating for me.
During the days after the viewing, I spent the majority of my time in bed. The heaviness of my grief consumed me. Repeated thoughts of “Why?’, “I’m his mother, I should’ve known.” “Why didn’t he come to me?”
I was angry. Angry at this pandemic, at Target, at the police departments who didn't notify me. Most of all, I was angry at myself. I was even angry at the Universe.
Even though I was in such a low vibration, I had enough self-awareness to remember that where there is resistance to what IS, we will attract more of what we are resisting. I knew I needed help so the only thing I knew to do was surrender to it all. I allowed my heart to break completely and in the midst of my low vibration I yelled out to Spirit, “I ACCEPT THAT IT WAS HIS TIME. I DON’T LIKE IT! HELP ME TO HEAL FROM THIS PAIN! MY BOYS NEED ME. I NEED ME! I TRUST IN THE DIVINE ORDER THAT TOOK KERRY FROM ME. HOW DO I HEAL FROM THIS? PLEASE SHOW ME.”
In my surrender to All That Is, I found relief from the heaviness of my heartbreak. The emotions came in waves, especially on the 1st of the month. I allowed myself to feel the pain.
I trusted in the Universe and my knowing that there is a Divine purpose for losing Kerry. Trusting in the Universe and holding on to my knowing of All That Is was the high vibrational action that attracted amazing friends, family, and even people I didn't know to comfort my family and help me out of the lowest vibration I have ever experienced.
There Is Light In The Darkness
As I began to emerge from my deep depression, I heard a message from Spirit during meditation; “There is light in the darkness. Look for the light, be the light for others. This is your healing journey.” Soon after I received that Divine message, doors to opportunities for me to share my journey and help people heal from their own trauma and loss appeared. I attracted new connections that led to an amazing opportunity to reach the masses with Kerry’s story and my message of love.
I miss my baby dearly yet I understand it all more clearly now. Kerry planted the seed of my Divine mission to help others the day he entered this world. And there's a beauty in knowing his death will lead to lives being saved. Perfectly bookended. I am transmuting my pain into purpose. I know no other way. It's part of my healing journey.
Next week: Part 2 of the Grieving In Gratitude series. Peace Love and Light!
Read more about TLotus' healing journey in her interview with Phil LaDuke in Authority Magazine and Thrive Global!
In honor of her son, Kerry James Hill, TLotus has taken up the mission to help save lives by becoming an advocate for suicide prevention and support those who are on their own healing journey from trauma and loss. Her work is just beginning.
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TLotus co-hosts the weekly Trauma, You Are A Gift room on Clubhouse, hosted by Trauma Team 6. This room was created and is open to all as a safe space to voice their pain and find support, tips, and resources to help them on their healing journey. Follow TLotus on Clubhouse: @TLotus