I know when the darkness comes because I can no longer read. Reading has always been my escape, and yet I find myself skimming over the same paragraph, unable to comprehend the words on the page. For a college student (more on that later), it is definitely not ideal. It’s not due to distraction, or a need to have my eyes checked. The combination of contacts and cheaters suit me well enough. It boils down to the simple fact that one cannot read in the dark. That is where I am finding myself again. In the last 5 1/2 years, I’ve learned to recognize the shadows when they descend, but sometimes I am blindsided to the pain. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt me”. At times it starts from the lies my brain tells me, and other times it begins from lies told by others. Whether it’s from hatred, social anonymity, or blatant disregard for human empathy, the comments I have been subjected to since Devin’s death still astonish me. After putting it off, here are a smattering of comments I have received:
“I’m so sorry he had you for a mother. He probably would still be alive if he didn’t.” (social anonymity)
“How dare you mourn a child who chose to take his life, when mine fought for theirs for years?” (mother of a child who died from cancer)
“Who are you to ask for prayers? Your son committed a mortal sin, and he will burn in hell.” (so-called Catholic)
“How can you relate to my pain? I have wanted a child desperately and my miscarriage has nothing to do with the fact your son committed suicide. Maybe you should do the same.” (woman suffering from fertility issues)
“I pity you. Not because your child died, but because your child had you for a mom.” (I won’t disclose this author)
I gave you 5 examples, one for each year he has been dead. That number far exceeds the amount I’ve actually received. The worst are from the people you share children with. Bonus parent or biological parent? Be a human. Sometimes it’s the one you thought were close to you. Dear people? Be a human. The ones who don’t understand the difference between sympathy and empathy? Read up on it and be a human.
I don’t have words of wisdom. I don’t know what it will take to pull me back to the light. I take my medication, I participate in therapy, and some nights, I still sleep on his grave.
If you take anything from this post, please let it be that kindness matters. And be a fucking human.