One of the cruelties of losing a loved one to suicide is that their memory can become tarnished by the tragic circumstances of how they died. Even after years of healing, when someone asks me about our children and then follows my response with, “Oh, I’m so sorry. How did he die?” Matt’s story clouds the air between us and they stumble for what to say next. As a society, we don’t yet know how to offer all the compassion we feel or someone else needs.
So, when someone, instead, celebrates and symbolizes the precious gift of Matt’s life . . . when someone helps me wash away any stigma that darkens his memory . . . I am speechless with gratitude.
My Healing Bracelet , custom made for me by Healing Knots (www.healingknots.com) does that because it is a tribute to Matt’s extraordinary presence and the blessing of his life.
My bracelet has 35 wooden beads for each year he was with us. Then interspersed throughout those are special reminders . . .. a green bead for his love of nature (he was a wildlife biologist), a white bead for his expertise and love for golf, a blue bead for the ocean where he spent hours fishing with his dad and his friends, a red bead for the depth of his heart, a purple bead for his love and compassion for his family and friends, a gold bead for the pure gift he still is to me and a black bead to honor his intense struggle with depression. Then, all of Matt’s beads are woven together with blue elastic which reminds me of the Tenderness that holds us both . . . together . . . forever.What could be more healing than wearing next to my skin, the story of his life? What a beautiful way to celebrate him for who he truly was.