On April 29, 2008 my son Aaron walked against the traffic on the main highway leading out of town. Head bent down texting a friend, “it’s over”, he then walked in front of a truck and was killed instantly. Aaron was 28 years old, I was 59.
Six & a half years later I am starting this blog writing about my personal experiences as a father who lost a son. It’s not about Aaron and what he did and why he did it. I can’t speak for him. It’s not about his mother or brothers and sisters whose loss was in no way any less traumatic for them as it was for me. I can’t speak for them nor do I feel I have the right to.
But I do intend to be as honest about his suicide and its effect on my life.
I write in hope that I might be able to connect with others who may have had the same experience or who knows someone who did. I believe we are put on this earth to help each other in some way make sense of the truth in our lives whatever that may be.
At the same all these memories and experiences are like pieces to a puzzle. As I write, I hope each piece will find its way into the bigger picture.
I had to decide whether to write a private journal that I might someday turn into a book or a blog that I can immediately share my experiences with others who could use some solidarity and companionship through someone who has been subject to the same grief, heartbreak, anger, compassion, understanding and unconditional love because of the loss of a well-beloved child.
They say time is a great healer and for me this has been true. I tested my emotional metal by watching a video clip that a family friend put together for us to play at Aaron’s funeral. He used a song from one of Aaron’s favorite bands along with photos from birth to a grown man. In the six and a half years that followed I tried to watch it again one time about a year after his death. I got no further than the first few photos before I had to turn it off.
When I decided to write this blog I wanted to see how strong I have grown since that fateful day by watching this video clip once again. The turmoil that erupted inside was no less violent than the day he died, but I made it to the end. I had come a very long way.
When I was twenty two I was camping in the mountains of New Jersey for an extended period of time. I was going through the DIM (do it myself phase in my life) I had this massive hunting knife that made Crocodile Dundee’s double-edged look like a pen knife.
I was making my own bread at the time. This particular loaf was hard as a rock. I tried to slice a piece and my knife bounced off the bread into my index finger. It cut deep and hurt like the dickens.When my finger sewed itself up the cut must have damaged a nerve because whenever I touched it I felt a sharp pain. For many years that followed the pain from this cut was still quite evident and constant.
Eventually the pain subsided but the small scar remains to this day which reminds me of the mishap forty-four years ago.
The pain from Aaron’s death is still very painful when I allow myself to touch it. It is getting easier as each day or month passes but the scar I know will remain forever.
Everyone has their own way of mourning the death of a loved one. Everyone has their own healing process.
If I can help make that process easier for others by sharing my story then this blog will be worth its weight in gold.
Thanks for visiting,