Grieving In Gratitude: Privacy Kills
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.
Read Parts 1 - 3 of the Grieving In Gratitude Series
Trigger Warning: Suicide/Grief
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)
Silence can be deafening.
Being silent kills.
Being “private” and suffering in silence is what killed my baby.
There is someone in your life who knows how that feels. There’s someone in your life that you may be concerned about but you wait for them to reach out. Thing is, the ones who are suffering in silence WILL NOT reach out.
This is what happened with Kerry. And he got it from me.
I’ve always been a very private person. I was divorced for 18 months before I told anyone that I was single again. I didn't want anyone to know. Before that, I would only post about my boys, or happy events and achievements on social media. But no one knew that what led to me becoming a single mother almost 7 years ago was narcissistic abuse. I suffered in silence...I found the strength and made it through, but it wasn't easy doing it alone. I should have reached out for help.
Kerry got his silence from me. He did not want to burden anyone or involve anyone in his torment.
Seeing someone’s sadness and turmoil will do one of 2 things, activate empathy/sympathy and the desire to hold space/help them or, it will make people feel uncomfortable and they turn the other way. Kerry wasn’t “woo woo” but he was an empath...like his mama. The last thing he ever wanted was to make anyone feel uncomfortable. So, he didn’t reach out..and chose to endure and suffer in the silence called “being private”.
I’m sharing this because..there is someone in your life that is suffering in silence and will not reach out. You would never know it because when you see them, they smile or when you talk to them, they act like their “normal selves”. If you’re the kind of person who gets uncomfortable at witnessing someone else’s pain, my answer to you is… GET OVER IT. You may be THE ONE person that says something or does something that will help that person.
Didn't this pandemic teach you anything about our interconnectedness as human beings? It did for me. And my answer to stopping the “shadow pandemic” of suffering in silence disguised as “being private” is..
GET IN THEIR BUSINESS! Yes...do the OPPOSITE of what you would normally do.
On New Year’s Eve, I went live and I said just that to all who watched it. Your babies, your loved ones, your friends and colleagues.. GET IN THEIR BUSINESS.
How do you get in their business? With L.O.V.E.
Earlier this year, I had the honor to be interviewed and featured in Authority Magazine. One of the things I said in that interview was:
“I learned that there are many people who are suffering in silence while living through the pandemic. The silence may stem from embarrassment or fear of judgment. The silence could come from not wanting to “bother” people with what’s bothering them. Like I said above, L.O.V.E is how we can end the silence. Listen to each other. Observe humanity within each other. Validate each other with understanding. Embrace each other with our words and actions. We need to give more L.O.V.E.”
Listen to them. Hear what they say as well as what they don’t say. Hold space for them. Listen without judgment.
Observe them. See the humanity in those you are connected to in your life. If you’re used to seeing them online and they suddenly stop posting or if you see them at work and something seem’s “off”, if your intuition tells you to pay attention, take action!
Validate where they are in the present moment. This isn’t the time for “high vibrational spiritual/religious cliche’s”. You don’t have to be a coach, minister, or therapist to validate with understanding, what someone is going through. I’m saying this… as a minister myself. Sometimes, what’s needed is just you holding space and to say.. “I understand you, and I’m here for you”.
Embrace them with your words and actions. If they reach out to you, hold space for them. If you reach out to them and they don’t respond, take action. Contact ANYONE you feel or know can help...even if it’s the police. If they tell you,” I’m fine” and your instinct tells you otherwise, keep them talking! Do not let them go back to the silence. DON’T LET UP UNTIL YOU KNOW THAT THEY ARE PAST THE URGENCY OF THEIR PAIN!!!!
I wish I would have done that more with Kerry. I wish my own Scorpio way of keeping my shit to myself because I don’t want to make others uncomfortable or bother anyone had not passed down to him. He grew up seeing me be silent.
Do me a favor and hug your babies tighter during this holiday season. Call that friend or relative you’ve been meaning to call but put off.
And if you’re reading this and are suffering in silence, I understand you on such a deep level. Silence can be deafening. I know what it feels like to be surrounded by people yet, feel lonely in your sadness. I understand how it feels because I feel it every day. I also know how it feels to be exhausted with it all and the desire for relief from it all. I KNOW FIRSTHAND HOW THIS FEELS. I know how it feels to have your faith tested, to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually kicked in the gut...and all you want is for the pain to stop. Please reach out to someone. You are not alone. And if someone reaches out to you…..DON’T BE SILENT ABOUT YOUR PAIN.
Suicide is not the answer. Yet, I understand Kerry more today than ever before. So get out of your comfort zone, pick up your device, and GET IN THEIR BUSINESS WITH L.O.V.E.! Do it for me. Do it in honor of my son Kerry.
Thank you to the friend who gifted my family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Thank you to all who sent Thanksgiving wishes to my family and me. Thank you to the ones who got in my business with L.O.V.E yesterday. I’ve been reliving this tragedy all over again in my mind. My heart hurts. My womb hurts. My soul hurts. This holiday season is torturous for me. Thank you for your L.O.V.E., understanding, and patience!
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was not able to have an official memorial for my baby. There will be a public virtual memorial on December 7th, 2021 at 12 PM Pacific. Please click the picture for more info on how you can attend and support this memorial