Monday, August 11, 2008

If Only


If Only It Really Worked
Originally uploaded by KateSowa
We barreled into my parents house this weekend with the 10,000 essential things you simply must bring with you for the baby and I heard the words that I dread. We have some bad news. A cousin of mine took her own life.

My father’s family is large. He is one of seven brothers and sisters and so the cousins are numerous. She wasn’t one that I knew very well, but my memories of her are fond. She was bright and energetic, loved to talk and loved to dote on the barn kittens that lived on my uncle’s farm in rural Iowa. Her immediate family is devastated, obviously, and the rest of us are left wondering what could have gone so terribly wrong?

I feel so badly for her mother. The sheer powerlessness she must feel after discovering that her daughter’s frequent calls home were leaving out what must have been a lot of pain. As a parent your biggest fear and ultimate goal are the same thing: to prepare your child for a life that is independent from yours. I don’t expect to always be able to be there to comfort Luke. I know that there will be times when he doesn’t share everything with me and may bear certain burdens alone; we have all done that from time to time. As I look at him now, smiling his gummy smile and chewing on his fingers, it’s hard to imagine that there will be a time when I will have to let him go. News like this makes me want to hold on a little tighter.

Now her family is left with the “if only’s”. They are left behind to replay every conversation and every day, looking for clues that are too late to discover now. There is no crystal ball to look into and no way of knowing what our future will hold. One thing I do know is that she deserved better than to end up alone, in a room, far from home. I hope she found the peace she was looking for.

16 comments:

MrsSpock said...

So sorry for your loss.

Fertilized said...

Kate - such strong emotions. I am so sorry to read of your family's loss

Stella said...

Oh I am so very sorry for your family's loss.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers. So very sad! I'm sorry

Blissfully Teal said...

This is horrible. I am so sorry Kate.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

Amanda said...

That is so sad. A friend of ours committed suicide a couple of weeks after our daughter was born...you're right, everyone who is left behind just wonders what could have been if things had gone differently, if they had only known how bad the situation truly was...

Delenn said...

My condolences to you and your family. Of all the ways to have someone pass on, suicide is one of the most painful.

Elizabeth said...

wow, that is hard. I lost a cousin to suicide ten years ago in october; there is always the if-onlys and what-ifs... like you, I hope my cousin is now at peace. Thinking of you all.

Cibele said...

I am so sorry. it is very tragic. HUGS

sara said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I will definitely keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Chris said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

me. said...

I am so sorry. Please let me know if you need anything.
With my husband's family attempts at their own lives and with a beloved friend trying the same, I live in that constant fear of those words.
Take care and extra snuggles
M

Jason and Samantha said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!

Piccinigirl said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss Kate, you'll all be in my thoughts.

Suzanna Catherine said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Any loss is sad, but suicide is doubly sad. There are only questions, no real answers.

We never know what goes on in the mind of our closest relatives/friends. We don't know their secrets. In June of 2001 my brother took his own life. He was one month past his 50th birthday. Still so young. He seemed to have everything to live for. He didn't leave a note. We had no idea. It was a total shock.

Somewhere I read that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I don't know who said it, but it seems so true. My heart goes out to anyone who is touched by the pain of suicide.

Nine said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss.