If you are reading this, you know the pain that comes with child loss. It's the searing agony that feels like your heart has been ripped out of your body. It takes your breath away and all you want is for it to end.
I managed to hide the depth of my pain from everyone. I'm not sure how close I was to taking action but I knew the reason I stopped thinking those thoughts.
I sat in my daughter's bedroom every morning after the house became quiet and pleaded with God to help me to find a way to be with Katie again. I counted the sleeping pills in the vial beside the bed and I calculated which highway was the busiest single lane roadway that would be easiest to have a head-on collision on. I begged for a terminal disease that would quickly end my time in this realm.
I just couldn't do it anymore. If I couldn't live with this pain for six months, how I could I possibly live the rest of my life feeling like this?
Do you know what stopped me from taking my life? The realization that Katie would be so disappointed in me, that my son would never get get his footing, and that there was no guarantee that suicide was the way to seeing my daughter again. While I whole-heartedly believe in the afterlife, no one really knows. In my mind's eye, I saw a flash of complete destruction that I could create or prevent. It was my wake-up call.
From that moment on, I decided to do whatever it took to make Katie proud, support my son Ryan, and live for both of them. I imagined Katie standing beside me and encouraging me to stand strong. She sent me signs and dreams to keep me going. In my dreams, she told me that we are connected by love and nothing can destroy that. She told me I was needed right where I was and that I should reach out and help others. She urged me to continue on and do the things that she didn't get to do. At that point, I knew she would be with me every step of the way.
I certainly didn't want want my family destroyed all over again.
I never really told anyone about my serious contemplation with suicide because I didn't want to burden them. I only share this with you now because you may be struggling with the same thoughts.
It wasn't as simple as choosing to survive. I knew I had to change my perspective. I needed to change my words and thoughts. I needed to focus on the fact that Katie lived, not just the fact that she died.
I will never forget that moment in my life.
It has shaped me and every moment since then. I live with purpose now and I live with gratitude for everything I have in my life. Katie is with me, just in a different way, and I will work on making her proud as I live a life that honours her life and everything she stood for.
If you are still struggling with these thoughts, please reach out. If you are in a crisis, please dial 911 and get immediate help.