I am one week away from the one year anniversary of my son’s suicide.

Stop. Pause. Breathe.

I have been spending the last 12 months describing my gratitude.  That I would not be who I am today, without the presence and love of a son that was truly meant to be mine.  I tend to focus all my energy and attention on how Ian lived his life and less attention on how he ended it.

I lost him.

Tonight I’m not grateful.  I am mad as fuck, and so full of deep, bone chilling pain.  Last week I slammed my finger in a door.  I instantly fell to the ground and stopped breathing.  I tried to breathe, but the breathing caused more pain.  Kat tried to comfort me.  She gave me some ice and wine but even the sound of her voice hurt.  I tried telling her I was okay but speaking made it worse.

I think that’s what the last 12 months have felt like… The need to breathe but the inability to pass any air through my lungs.  As hard as I try to attach words to what I feel, there’s no english word that exists that can put this feeling into text.

On May 8th 2017, my life was altered in a way that is irreparable. At 6:30 in the morning I got a call from Ian’s dad that he couldn’t find him.  That started a chain of events and a timeline that while permanently etched in my memory, the finite details are far from clear.

Other details are crystal, crystal clear;

Kat Bella and I were released at the fire station to go home and wait for the sheriff to come and take our statements.  Upon walking in our home I went into immediate Mom Mode.  I pulled out the pancake mix and the chocolate chips and make Bella and whoever else was there some breakfast.  Chocolate chip pancakes were a weekend requirement with the kids.  No syrup needed.  They just didn’t want it any other way.

Later that afternoon as Ian and Bella’s friends were getting out of school.  The text messages and phone calls of disbelief and verification started pouring in.  Later, the backyard started filling up with kids.  Our yard was small, but the grass was covered completely by blankets like a quilt and not a shred of grass was visible.

That day we fed our grieving babies with pizza, tears and love.

On Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 we will gather again to cherish a boy that was so loved but perhaps couldn’t feel it.  We will eat pizza, light a fire and watch the sunset.  And the next morning we will rise, shake of the muck and mire of another day without Ian.  And we will fight once more to hold on for another sunset.

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