One of the remarkable things I remember the most about those first few moments and days was my heart, as though it was pounding its way out of my chest. No amount of Xanax could slow it down.
As revelations came to light about my life and shards of the facade fell away, it was my heartbeat that I could not escape, perhaps pounding out the years of frustration at having been ignored throughout our history together.
I felt it break, not once, but many times that week. More like a tear I suppose, for the heart is a muscle after all. Sharp stabs and stretching, as though it was increasing its capacity for incoming pain. The excruciating ache left me breathless at times. I even went to the doctor, convinced I was having a heart attack.
The worst of it, when I thought my heart could stretch no further, was standing on the driveway that night, holding my children as the news of their father’s death landed in their young hearts. As I watched them assimilate the information, each feature on their faces irrevocably changing, I realized I was witnessing the end of innocence. It was the beginning of helplessness so far reaching, I couldn’t feel the edges of it for a long time.
No one explains this part of being a mother.
No one tells you, as you are perusing the stroller aisle and choosing the perfect paint color for your baby’s room, that one day your heart might be ripped apart as you fall into an endless void.
A few weeks after the suicide, my astute yoga teacher said to the class, as we struggled with a particularly difficult posture:
“If you are in a position or situation you don’t like, find something about it you can believe in and devote yourself to it.”
It was as though he shone a light on the path out of that cavernous void, a simple moment that anchored me to the future I wanted to create for my children. Because, I have to be honest, suicide introduces a lot of uncomfortable possibilities into the fabric of a family. It is without a doubt the most difficult situation I have had to wrestle with as a mother.
Devoting myself to loving these children into their best possibilities opened our family up to the beauty of where we are today. Accepting what was and talking about it openly created a safe vessel that allowed us to travel through the pain and remain, somewhat, in tact. Although we are all irrevocably changed, the loss has created space for a deeper understanding of life: it is wildly unpredictable.
I have come to see these events like a river flowing through our lives. At times violent and raging, at others a gentle trickle. By standing in the middle of it, rather than running from it, I became attuned to the lessons and messages contained in the ebb and flow of the current.
One cannot learn to swim standing on the shore.
Thankfully, my heart doesn’t pound like a drum these days, but quietly beats as a gentle reminder of the wisdom held within the billions of cells of my being.
Have you had to reinvent your life after loss?
Who is Dianna Bonny?
Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.