Wednesday, February 04, 2015

My Father's Suicide: On learning how to keep going

I've always hated this time of year. Actually, the time period from November through March can feel like one giant tunnel of painful memories and anniversaries. It wasn't always that way, of course, but since my father got cancer in November 2002, underwent six weeks of treatment and then committed suicide in March 2003, I'm just not too keen on these months. It's not like I haven't had some 12 years of these months since my father died, but that doesn't mean it gets any easier.

And if I'm being completely honest, maybe a part of me doesn't want to forget these tough months. Sure, I most definitely wouldn't ever want to relive them again -- no one should ever have to go through something like that -- but I often wonder if I'd know what I know now had I not gone through it. Does that make sense?

A couple years ago, I found myself listening to FUN.'s Carry On on repeat for the longest time. The lyrics just stuck with me, burrowing their way into my heart, and I felt like I carried them with me everywhere I went.

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground 
Carry on

It's something to think about, isn't it? Each new step we take is an indication of our past -- maybe even a recognition of it, of its passage, of a welcoming of the future. It's a melancholy goodbye but a hopeful hello. Life is messy. Life is chaotic. Still, that doesn't mean we throw our hands up in the air in frustration and just crawl in some hole until the storm passes. We may want to. We may be *thisclose* to doing so. But we don't. And, we all change. We're not the same people we were then. Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it's a bad thing. Or maybe it's neither good nor bad. Maybe it just is.
How have you learned to keep going during those hard times, friends? How do you think those times have changed you as a person? How do you feel when you look back on those days now? I'd love to hear any lessons you've learned! xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. Our most difficult family loss was the Patriarch of our family - my grandpa. He would have been 101 today!! Feb 4 is happy for us though - we always do something to celebrate him. He passed when i was 18. a "few" decades later, we all live to the fullest, happiest, and together (well not together -but for all holidays, weekends, etc) You are a different person and you appreciate them more than ever as time goes by. LOVE THE LYRICS - Carry on !!

  2. I lost my mother on February 6 fifty years ago. Death is a major kick in the pants, for sure! ... Thanks for the wise words ��

  3. I don't know. I'm still trying to learn how to deal with it. Some days are tough, some moments are horrible, and some are just there. And I have no control over it and that's okay.

  4. Mid-February to April has been tough for my since my grandma passed away suddenly 3 years ago. I'm already starting to get the "feeling" of sadness, but I try to look at all the good I have to help me get through it; My husband was (and is) an amazing support when I'm feeling down and I have such an amazing little girl, it's hard to stay bummed for long, even when she's driving me batty.

    The biggest lesson I've learned when it comes to sadness is to try not to dwell on things for too long. By all means, throw yourself a pity party, but then get your act together and focus on everything that is good in your life.

  5. When my Grandma passed, I felt lost. Eight years on, I don't fester on the thought of her long, painful death, I don't think about it. She wouldn't have wanted me to. I love her and she knows that, but remembering the bad times devalue the rest of her life- the happy parts.


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