I was asked months ago to write a blog for this site and I tried many times but I couldn’t find the right words. That is until now. Right now it is 3am in the morning sitting in my kitchen on a snowy night. As all of us know, when you lose a love one to suicide, sleep can be sporadic, sleep can allude us.
I lost my son Sean, two and half years ago, to be exact 881 days ago. He was 23 years old. Sean was a great kid. He was six foot four, blond hair, blue eyes. A tremendous athlete, a three time Academic All American, played in March Madness for the University of Delaware, a college graduate with a fantastic job. He had more friends who loved him than anyone I have ever known.
However, also a kid who suffered in silence battling with the disease of depression and anxiety. You see, Sean like so many people with depression and anxiety kept his disease quiet from all the people who would have done anything and everything to help him. The darkness and despair of depression snuffed out his amazing light on July 18, 2018. The Holiday season (in our case Christmas) is so much different now that my son Sean is no longer here. We have a large family so there will still be the traditional get together, giving of gifts and eating our favorite foods. However, we all know that Christmas is not the same because Sean is not here with us. His absence is larger than his presence ever was, which is really saying something since Sean loved Christmas and followed his favorite movie, ELF, advice and sang Christmas songs “loud and clear for all to hear near and far.” As we all know, Christmas can be very tough when you have lost a loved one to suicide.
It is hard to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”, without thinking and wondering where was our loved one’s Clarence the Angel, to show them NOT to end their life. To show them that it really is a wonderful life. Like in the Christmas Carol, we think about Christmas Past and all the memories we had with our loved ones and how happy we all were. We think of Christmas Present and would do anything to have the ultimate gift of seeing our loved ones, hearing them laugh and hugging them. We think of Christmas Future, knowing that the stocking with our beloved names will never be taken from the mantle and opened again.
Christmas was Sean’s favorite time of the year. His favorite movie was ELF, he knew every word. His favorite song “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by NSYNC. Sean’s love for Christmas was like that of a six year old, who woke up at 4am and ran down the stairs to open every present in ten minutes.
Sean’s Spirit, like all of your loved ones, are all around us. They are the Christmas spirit, if we allow them into our hearts. For us to heal from the trauma of losing our loved ones to suicide, we have to constantly remind ourselves of the joy and love they brought to us in Christmas Past to help ease our longing of love in Christmas Present and to help carry their beautiful spirit into Christmas Future.
I know it is hard. I struggle each day to try and do it but I know that is what Sean and all of your loved ones would want for each of us. So I will sing loud and clear for all to hear.
That’s my Christmas wish for each of you.
Founder of SL24 UnLockethelight