Seven years, 11 days and five hours. That’s how long I’ve lived without Drey’s physical presence. I spent a lot of time reflecting at the five and a half year mark and I’m finding myself revisiting these same thoughts. I re-read some of my blogs and I have been more deliberate and mindful as I have faced “mile markers.”
Last year LOSS hosted a CALM (Counseling on Access to Lethal Means) train the trainer workshop. That was a mile marker for me. I took that exact training in the Fall of 2015. It had been just over three years since Drey had died. I do not remember what I learned. Some things are vaguely familiar – like asking for my group’s role play to involve something – anything – other than a firearm scenario. Apart from this I remember very little. Clearly there has been continued healing, but unless I deliberately reflect on this I miss it. I miss the slow, steady movement from surviving to thriving.
Without taking time to occasionally reflect on these past grieving years, I also miss out on opportunities to be more present to others. My desire is to be mindful of each survivor and where they are in their journey. I don’t believe I’m naturally an overly empathetic person. I’m too busy much of the time doing who knows what. So unless I take the time to deliberately reflect on how God has brought me through these past seven+ years, I miss opportunities to be fully present to other suicide loss survivors.
Slow down. Breathe, love, laugh. Be content by simply being and not doing. Find joy in longer than planned on conversations. Take time to discover and even marvel over the courage and healing newfound friends are experiencing. Celebrate special occasions. Laugh together. Cry together. There are still blessings in every single day. Thank You God.