top of page

12 Years. . .Before and After

December 1st. 12 years since that fateful day where my life moved from before to after. Before T.J. died. After T.J. died. And the before and after goes beyond death because for me it is before T.J. killed himself, to after T.J. killed himself. 12 years later those words are still so jarring. Even after all I’ve learned about suicide and those who die by suicide. How it isn’t about death at all—rather it is about stopping an unimaginable pain so intense it is beyond the capacity of mere words to describe to those who have never experienced it. Still, after all this time I continue to find it so hard to comprehend that a child I carried within my body and loved with every ounce of my soul, could be in so much pain and I didn’t know, didn’t understand, didn’t save him.

The after has been quite a journey from not believing I could survive to finding purpose through helping others. I’ve connected with so many amazing people and I am grateful for every connection, while so very sad for the reason the connection was made. I’ve learned so much about topics I never understood and now realize how important the understanding is to all who exist because everyone suffers at some point—life hurts us all at one time or another— and we can make life a little better for many and save the lives of others with a kind word, smile or taking the time to really listen after we ask, “how are you?”

12 years later I try to imagine who T.J. would be today. I know who he was before, but not after. He left us as a 16-year-old boy and would now be a 28-year-old man. I get a glimmer of who he might be through his brothers who have grown into wonderful men who fill my heart with joy, but my boys were always so different that I really don’t know the man T.J. would be today. I do know his essence was of LOVE and kindness, with a passion to right wrongs and protect those who needed some extra help. So, I choose to believe that T.J. the man would be someone who loves big, is kind and sees everyone as a beautiful soul worthy of love—so T.J. in the after would be just as he was before.

Posted with much love and T.J. hugs


bottom of page