Four Years Since Claude’s Suicide

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Photo By: Ann Brinkley
This day marks the fourth year anniversary of my beloved Claude who took his life on April 19, 2012. Anniversaries are always tough when we have lost someone we love. There is no way around it. We can choose avoidance by keeping ourselves busy as one possible strategy or we can be with our pain be with our sadness. Allowing it to flow and move as it needs to or simply allowing it to be with us for a time, informing us of the places inside that are still affected by this loss. This pain has become a part of the fabric of our lives. It is a part of us that we can choose to acknowledge or ignore. I choose to acknowledge it. I choose to allow myself to feel my pain as deeply as it needs to be felt. I lost my best friend and husband of 18 years in a horrendous way. This has been the single most painful event in my life. My son no longer has his dad which breaks my heart and I no longer have my life partner who I loved deeply. Life is just not the same without him. But we have found our way through this web of grief over the past four years and we have grown stronger from the experience. We have developed a “knowing” that he is close to us now in a way that he could not be when he was alive. I know that he is with me right now as I write this and that feels comforting to me.
There many ways we can honor our loved ones on these unavoidable anniversaries. For me the first anniversary was the hardest. Since Claude died by suicide I felt cheated that I was not able to be with him when he died. In response to that I set up an alter under the place where he hung himself in our attic. I lovingly placed photos, candles, burned some sage and added some things that I knew where important and special to him. I put some beautiful music on and I simply sat there on a chair just outside the room looking in and imagined that I was with him while he died. I allowed the tears to flow and allowed myself to really feel the stream of emotions that were brought up by doing this. It was hard but I felt like I was able to honor and sooth part of me that had not been satisfied before this. In years since I simply light a candle, cry, talk to him and remember him and the life we shared. I miss him so much! He was an amazing father, highly creative and generous beyond belief and made me laugh just about every day we were together even those days when we were at odds with one another. As I write this, I see another way to honor his memory. Making sure I find laughter in each day along with love and gratitude for all the gifts that are in my life. Our loved ones want us to be happy and to learn to be in the moment allowing that joy to flow embracing and touching our lives in new ways. Lets honor them by giving ourselves permission to smile and laugh today even if we are having a hard tear filled day give yourself the gift of laughter it will sooth your soul.
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