Age is irrelevant to me. Sharp minds usually stay sharp. It's the ears that stop listening or don't listen at all that bothers me and, I'm sure, that all the grieving parents in Arizona want is to get the same unpaid time off as someone who has a child, or cares for a sick family member, or service member. It's not about business, it's about compassion.
But I am not alone. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. This means that each year there are over a million families, like ours, living with the aftershocks of suicide. My experience has taught me a few lessons that I feel compelled to share, in the hope that shining a light on this darkness brings an opportunity for understanding.
This December marks seven years since my dear friend and lover passed away. Nothing about that winter felt merry, and I certainly didn't feel in the "holiday spirit." My heart was breaking while the rest of the world carried on singing carols and exchanging gifts, putting on their best holiday game face.
The anxiety of the looming holidays can be downright debilitating. Surviving it can often feel virtually impossible. Just remember, all you have to do is survive, and you get to decide how you'll best do that. Here is what has helped me survive the holidays these past six years as a bereaved parent. Keyword: survive.