The month of May felt like an emotional game of jenga.  With big beautiful swooping moments of transparency.  So clear I’m positive that if we crossed paths you could see my where my whole heart and heartache was exposed.  And immediately after, much like pulling out the wrong jenga block, I’d come crashing down forcing hibernation in order to gather strength for my next move.

I have felt Ian, in the sweetest and most tangible moments.  If you have been reading this blog from the beginning I can remember writing to you last June, a month after Ian’s suicide, practically begging to feel him near.  Today I still feel like a recent amputee and Ian is my ghost limb.  If I were to have lost an arm, my center of gravity would be affected.  I still have both my arms but there are so many days that I need a wall to help me keep my balance.  If my arm was cut off and I suddenly tripped, reflexively I would put out my real arm and my imaginary one to catch myself.  I catch myself turning to talk to him in the car, he’s not physically here, but I feel him.

May, you motherfucker, you have been impossible to maneuver.

It was early in the month one day and my coffee pot had just finished is morning brew.  I heard the front door open and shut and slight quiet footsteps danced in the hallway.  The dogs weren’t barking, Kat and Bella weren’t around and I couldn’t quite answer why.  I am home, I feel safe, and all I need to do is pull my gaze around the corner of the kitchen to the hallway and to the dancing footsteps.  Ian is standing there.  My eyes take him all in, he looks taller, fuller and more man like than I remember him from a year ago.  I feel my tears sting my cheeks and once again the lump in my throat is holding every breath and my chest gets tighter by the second.  I put both hands on my knees to hold myself up and I hear myself cry out “Ian, where have you been?”  He keeps his eyes on me and whispers back, exhausted “Momma, I am just so tired.”  and he walks himself into his bedroom and crawls into his bed and curls up tight like he used to when he was little .  I follow him, slipping into his bed behind him and bring my nose into that full head of hair that smells like kukui nut and old spice.  And then I wake.  The tears are still streaming my cheeks.  The morning sun is reflecting off  the Olympics in the distance.  Kat and the dogs are asleep next to me and Bella asleep in her room.  The morning is calm and I hold my heart and close my eyes and thank my son for the visit in my dreams.  Thank you sweet boy.  Please come again.

I don’t know why Ian killed himself.  I don’t know why he didn’t share his pain with me, or with Bella or Kat.  I do know that the three of us have done more in this once single month to move the conversation out in the open and we cannot stop now.  Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for teenagers and our entire community is suffering at the hands of this epidemic.  We will continue to fight for those that are hurting like Ian.  As uncomfortable as it is to say the word suicide out loud, I am positive that it does not compare to what Ian must have been feeling in his last days, hours and moments.  As we imagine his heartache, it is that exact feeling that fuels us to keep sharing Ian with you, to talk about his life, share his message and fight for those that feel like him.

You are not alone.  You do not have to do the hard stuff by yourself.  We are all the same and we will fight with you, hold your tears, keep your pain and get you the help you so richly deserve.  Live out loud, Live Hard, Live.

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