Focusing today on who I’ve become

Focusing today on who I’ve become

World Suicide Prevention Day. My 7th since becoming a survivor of suicide loss. With every passing year I become more distant from that event, although I still feel compelled- maybe obligated is a better word -to say something.

I haven’t written anything here in months. I was interviewed for an article for WomensRunning.com in the spring in which I said something about it not being a good idea to train for a marathon if you’re also starting a new job or planning a wedding or moving. The only thing I haven’t done this summer is move. Or write a blog post.

So, yeah. Kurt and I got married on August 24th. I’ve written a blog post about that – in my head. I went back to working full time with the Chicago Area Runners Association on June 22nd. I’ve written blog posts in my head about that too and a lot of other things but haven’t dedicated the time to put anything “down on paper” so to speak. I will. I promise.

Much of that, I believe – and my conscious decision back in January to no longer be a slave to weekly blog posts – is that much of the purpose this blog served was bridging the gap between who I was in the year following my husband’s suicide and who I was becoming. 

We will “Never Forget” 9-11, but the 20th Anniversary tomorrow, after eighteen months of quarantines, mask mandates, working from home, vaccines, and 4.6 million dead worldwide (674,547 in the US), will pass somewhat unceremoniously. We will be at the Cubs game.

I guess what I’m trying to say is life goes on. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

We cope.

We survive.

We grow.

We thrive.

We never forget, but we learn to live and love again.  And maybe we no longer want to be defined by the tragedy, but by who we’ve become. We honor our losses with our resilience. We become better people from the experience.

I will always be an advocate for mental healthcare. I will tell my story to anyone who needs to hear it. I will urge people to look out for each other; to never take a loved ones mental health for granted. I will support legislation that makes life easier to live. I will do all of that every day if I can.

I’ve had a lot to say in the last six years:

Please feel free to re-read them, and share them. I just think I want to focus now on who I’ve become. I no longer want be to someone who commemorates World Suicide Prevention Day with a blog post.

Vernon Hills, Illinois. September 2021
My Story (Part 4): Beyond Surviving

My Story (Part 4): Beyond Surviving

I realized about the time I turned 50 (three years ago this coming weekend) that I was just getting started. I had spent my 30s building my career and creating my family. I had spent most of my 40s working a lot of hours at stressful, and some unfulfilling, jobs to pay my mortgage, save for college, and keep my family afloat. I was sandwiched between my school-aged daughter and elderly parents. I wasn’t unhappy. But my life was about the roles I played, what I was to everyone else, being needed, not personally fulfilled. Read more