Saturday I wasn't sure how I would feel. It was a day of anniversaries--of deaths. Two years ago, it was David, my son-in-law, who lost his battle with depression, bi-polar disease, and whatever else was going on with him, when he took his own life. I can honestly say it was the most gut wrenching day of my life. Nothing could have prepared me for that. And the guilt, the blame, the anger, the grief--they haven't gone away, just got a little more recessed away in my heart and brain. I finally realized at the beginning of the year that I had to stop blaming myself and grieving for this young man. Yes, I miss him still. It wasn't always a great relationship we had, but having known him for 15 years where almost every day of those 15 years he was the type who was "in your face" about something--good or bad--leaves a lot of unresolved conflicts. And always the question of "WHY???" Why did he want to end his life, leaving so much undone? Why did he want to leave his kids behind to never understand or know what was going on to cause this? Why did he not think about anything but his own despair? None of those things will ever be answered. I only hope God has shown mercy upon his soul and has given him peace.
The other death anniversary was for one year. One year ago a lovely young woman was killed in a car accident, taking her away from family and friends. That too was a tragedy and no one can ever explain the why here either. Hopefully her family has had some time to heal and find comfort in her memories.
It didn't really hit me until going to the cemeteries and seeing the headstones, seeing the names, birth and death dates, and realizing that here was proof of an existence, however short the lives. It made the days of the tragedies come back so fully in my mind.
They say it takes about 2 years to get over a death, divorce, job loss, or any other type of loss or tragedy. Its been two years for David, and the hurt is still there, but at least I am moving forward out of my own depression and grief.
I remember the times we ran together, and how much he loved my bike (I still wear his helmet). He wanted my bike in the worst way, and I figured whenever I upgraded I would give it to him as a surprise. That never happened, and I find myself not necessarily wanting to get rid of the bike for any reason right now. He had wanted to do a triathlon, and swimming was a goal he needed to work on. But he let those dreams get away from him and got mixed up in things that only proved to be a negative for him. He never made the opportunity to get things right and get back on track with his triathlon dream. I never got the chance to bring him out of that funk and help him toward that goal. That's what makes this whole thing hard.
So maybe that's why I am turning a page here and starting to get back to my old self, training, planning, and hopefully soon racing again. I can't fall into the same hole he fell into because I couldn't save him. And I could no longer grieve and let that dictate what was going to happen to me over the next several years. I chose life. I only wish David had.