I told the truth
…when I wrote my son’s eulogy. I did not lie. I said what I felt and I did not hold back. And not for one second did I ever hide that he had taken his own life- that he had wrapped the rope around his own neck and he was taken by suicide- by his own hand. I did not lie to anyone. I did not lie to myself. I did not lie to myself.
A lie can take a lot of forms and wear a lot of faces. But the truth? The truth is just the truth. It is- when it is jagged and harsh- only jagged and harsh. When it is hard it is hard. When it is lost it is lost. And when it is soft it is soft. Where the lie can spin itself words to hide and cushion and mask… the truth has few words. Where the lie can tell you it exists for a reason, the only reason for the truth is the truth.
I wish there were someway to say something different. I wish I could put you at ease and put myself at ease and say something comforting and nice. Something less honest. Less true. But he is dead and if there is some way the truth can shine a little bit of light on suicide… on those voices in the darkness of your soul that will nag you to death… on the stigma and shame, then if nothing else, I need to tell the truth. Maybe it will help lift that taboo. Maybe it can help save a life. Maybe yours. Maybe your child’s . Maybe my own.
And sometimes in those quiet moments when I can just imagine that he is coming home from college this weekend- I still do not lie. And I remind myself that he is as much home as he will ever be. That he is gone and his ashes are in that beautiful glass urn. Is he in a better place?
I don’t lie about how difficult this is. Or how lonely this feels. Or how the pain persists day after day. I did not lie about anger. I did not pass off my pain as something else. Sometimes it is easier to be tough. To be angry. Than to be simply hurt and broken and helpless.
And if you ask me if I am okay… I will always pause. Because I will tell you the truth.
And I didn’t cover up the truth with alcohol or drugs. I didn’t numb it out or wash it down with something strong enough not to feel something- anything for that moment.