Our most difficult task as a friend is to offer understanding when we don’t understand.
―Robert Brault

To grieve is not for pity’s sake. To hurt is not to be blind to life’s blessings. To survive a suicide loss, is to walk through the battlefield… It is not for the faint of heart. To ask for patience, understanding and compassion is not to be selfish. To know one’s limits and lay down boundaries is an act of self preservation. To feel broken is not visible to the naked eye. It requires a willingness to look deeper & harder. To heal is a process, it takes time. To love someone for 46 years and lose them should allow for time to mourn, to face each first, to slowly learn how to live in a world without them. To lose someone to suicide should come with a handbook, to help others understand what we pray they will never know. To be a friend to someone in grief and to accompany them on the road they must travel, is to offer safety, love, light in the storm. To hurt and grieve is human. So is forgiveness. I’m human. I’m doing the best that I can. I still savor the sunrise and sunset over the mountains. I still relish the sound of my children laughing. I still know, feel and give love. I still count my blessings. And I honor the strength and resilience that is evident each day that I get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. Pity is misplaced on me. I’m a goddamn battle tested warrior. It is not selfish to tend to myself. I am a loving mother and wife. I’m a good friend, fallible and capable of faltering… but good. I did not ask for this loss, this trauma, this grief… but it does not define me. It is a part of me… he was my father, I was his daughter, he ended his own life and I’m contending with it daily. To love me on this journey is a gift you give me… to leave me on this journey… will sometimes happen. It’s not easy. I know. It can be tiring. But to spit on my journey, belittle it or throw spiteful stones of pity and judgement… well, that speaks far more about the ones casting the stones than it does about me! And though they hurt, they will not stop me from looking ahead, striving towards healing and offering gratitude for those who love me in my brokenness and allow me to love them in turn. And even as the stones pierce my skin, they will not harden my heart. I will love and I will grieve with openness & with honesty and I pray, with grace.  Because that is the essence of who I am, in love, in loss & in life.

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” 

― C. JoyBell C

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