I just want to add Clocktower,
I spoke to my son the day before he took his life, we were very close and he had been getting 'help' from a mental health psych. He was in such good spirits and I always ended my constant talks with him by telling him that I loved him and always call if you need to. He was getting married and had not only a loving partner but also a dog that he adored.
I will never forget saying to his Dad, I know Gus gets upset and burdened by things he can't change but thank heavens he has his dog Doris with him to take for walks and love unconditionally. That was the morning of the day he died.
I still wake a lot and have dreams and thoughts of the pain he must have been in. I would dread going to sleep, dread waking up and I had a woman tell me on a city train one day, I was doing a course with her, how selfish my son was. I realised then, through my intense anger, that I don't need to hear that rubbish. I spoke my mind and I still feel I need to fight for my son, to try and change the irrational stigma that all sorts of people have.
Our Gus was not selfish, he shone brightly in his short life and the pain must have been unbearable. I tell Gus every day how sorry I am, I had failed him and my guilt will never go but it has motivated me to believe that Gus always wanted the best for us. I went back to nursing school, to meet other people and of course I'm always asked how many children do I have. I will always say what happened, not in full detail, but I will never say nothing.
Some days I get really angry at the language used in school. I have learn't to speak my truth but can be more assertive than aggressive. I have sisters and brothers who 'can't see me' since Gus died because it is too upsetting for them. This was about a week after his funeral and it was a shock to the 'elder' of our family when I said I just don't care about their 'feelings'.
I can't say things get better all the time, I have those hideous days still, but it is OK so long as we let someone know that it's a bad one. I paint and draw my son with his happy family and I never thought that would help. I've called John Faine, spoken to Headspace about Gus and even written letters re our over burdened mental health service. It helped me to know I deserved to be heard and I deserve to be in pain. I don't think i'll be happy the way I used to, but I am laughing sometimes again, and sharing Gus' life with those of us who never want to forget about him.
My daughter and their Dad don't want to talk about Gus and I know I can't be responsible for their grief. I couldn't say any of this to them as everyone does it different. I'm sorry for going on but I so understand, from my life, I know yours is a pain I can't fully know, I just know that my pain had and still does cause me such hurt. I have a saying at school when we try to ' study grief' that I wouldn't wish this pain on someone I really despised.
Then I have learnt of others here who have had such horrific traumas, I don't compare but know their is so much loss and grief in all forms and yet they have reached out to me and shared their pain.
Your son Alex, and my son Gus may have given enough and endured enough pain. I can't accept it yet there are times, after waking from my usual terror, that I tell myself there is no more pain for you and Only three times have I had a vivid dream of Gus sharing with me, and hugging me and seeing him fine.
I don't question these things but treasure those dreams. On good days I play his music and have a laugh at the good times. Other days I wallow but I know I get self destructive if I don't talk about it. I promise, no more from me now. I just hope you be caring to yourself, that's what Alex wants. I know Gus would want that for me. I can't say it gets better and acceptance has happened. Rubbish. But I can't bring him back, makes me scream sometimes, but I am learning to live a different way, as much as I don't want to, and keeping my son and the gift of loving him here for 23 years is my most precious treasure.
Of course I love my daughter dearly and like you said Clocktower, she might say she is OK but I don't hesitate talking about things. Thank you so much for sharing, I am so upset that you have had to say goodbye to Alex. Life gets really different but my Gus would be proud that I don't take crap from uncaring family and friends any more.That is just my family. I know not all families are as hung up as mine.
Ignorance becomes fear and really silly and irrational sometimes.
I hope you get some sort of solace and help on here. Be kind to yourself as your son would want you to be.