Life is Fragile

I remember only small frames in the days after the suicide.

I remember driving my son to the trauma counselor.

I remember sitting in Little Annie’s with him afterwards;

his grilled cheese and fries and my iced tea.

I remember sitting there is tears, REM the background soundtrack to my grief

I remember  the waitress saying,

“Hang in there, OK?” her hand gentle on my shoulder.

My husband grew up in a small town and everyone knew;

Suicide. We lost him to suicide.

I did not pay for that meal;

I walked out and that was how it was in a small town in the Colorado Rockies

when a town loses one of their own.

We were taken care of.

I remember my husband sitting in front of the fireplace

and people coming and going from all over the country.

We were Tribe surviving that first week together.

We were Family propped up by the love of our family and our community.

I remember Trish taking care of all the details:

Mortgage: paid

Will’s birthday: organized

Funeral clothes: taken care of

Playdates: scheduled

I remember the intense loss and longing


I remember being taken care of.

A mothers intuition is a wonder.

I wrote yesterday that my Kid needed me;

He does.

His school, a very small school, went into lock down mode yesterday

hours after I wrote my post.

Parents were sent an email:

Lockdown for students safety. There will not be early dismissal.

Few details.

No details.

Only fear.

I drove to the school and things had returned to normal.

I knew my son would take this to heart;

he is like that.

Hours later the news broke in the way it does in a small community;

One of the parents had committed suicide.

A child was left without a parent and a wife without her husband.

I remember only small frames in the days after our suicide.

I know that is where this family will live for many months to come;

flashes of memory and the support of a community.

The school called me last night,

“We will be addressing this issue at school tomorrow.

It might be best to have Will at home. He has been through enough.”



These are the things that matter and count and make a difference.

It will soon to time to make the frozen meals,

to be there for the moms who will support this family.

I will never ask,

“Why? How could he?”

I know there is no answer and I know the pain inherent in the hearing of  the question.

I will do what needs to be done,

for my son first

for my community next.

I will not ever ask that question.

I know the answers are too complicated and the pondering

belongs to the family; not me.

A mothers intuition is an amazing gift.

Life is fragile.

Children are resilient.

Community is a blessing.

It is a mystery.

Life goes on when all around is crashing down.

I know that things will right themselves for this family

I know that things will never be the same.

We move on even from the hardest of places.

My prayers are with this family.

My hope is for those frames of memory

to hold moments of Love and Community.


Peace; again in pieces,



~ by Step On a Crack on March 20, 2012.

23 Responses to “Life is Fragile”

  1. Again, hard to “like” this post. But it is wise, honest, heartbreaking TRUE and unbelievably unfair, but it is a hard life. Too much of the bad stuff happens, and a lot of that bad stuff happens to you in one way or another. My God: Community indeed! Your heart is huge! You know how destroyed that family will be. The man, the husband he had his reasons, and it is not ours to ask “why” ABSOLUTELY not (wise mom) … instincts are astute and razor sharp. I pray for Will. I pray for you (or the other way around) ;-).

    Hold on to your pieces. I’m sending you tons of gluey love. Holding your pieces together. Holding you guys tight.

    That sweet boy has a tender heart. Hang on to him, sweet, Jen. xoxoxo Mel


    • My dear friend,

      Your gluey love in all your glory is holding the pieces…

      My gluey love is yours for the taking as you wander this path…

      YOU are in my Heart my Love…

      Mel, I wish we could teleport like on Star Trek. I wish we could

      Love Jen


  2. Good post- sorry for it to be dredged up for you all. I have not heard much but please let me know what you hear about ways that we can help. Thanks.


    • Trish,

      I hope you know how important everything you did to keep my family going in those awful months was to us.

      You saved us.

      I will let you know what I hear…

      wow. Hard.

      XO Jen


  3. Powerful

    Take care of both of you.


    • Louise, YOU I was thinking of you and Paulann of Growthlines; thinking of my sons amazing therapist and hoping that this family will be blessed to find therapists like you! YOU make a difference!

      XO Jen


  4. I am so sorry–I write through tear-blurred eyes. Please know that my heart and prayers are sent hurrying with my words. God bless you all.


  5. Beautiful, painful, sad, hurting words. The empathy you have, compassionate…grace-giving. You know, Jen, just what is needed. By them and by Will. You know how to give care because you do. Sadly, you know. A wonderful tribute to your community. Still reasons to give thanks even in times of sorrow. peace and grace, my friend. xo


    • Debby, I have been holding you in my prayers! You know, it is weird how a tragedy 7 years ago does show up as a gift now. Daddy always said, “we don’t know why this is happening now, but someday we will.” He was right. sometimes you see the gift in moments; sometimes decades later.

      I am looking at my sons community and the moms and I am grateful. I know that this family is in good hands. THAT makes all the difference and they may not know that for a long long time. But it is there. Thank you for being here! Love, Jen


  6. Sorrow flows through my heart…for you, your son, and the family that just lost a loved one. You know how difficult this road is, and you know there are no answers. By looking for answers others don’t realize it can add to the pain and guilt the family is already enduring. But they mean well. Remember to take care of yourself.


    • Thank you so much for being here and reminding me that compassion is the correct response. People still say things that make me bristle about our family suicide and you are right: they mean well.

      I am painfully aware of how daunting this will be for the family. I am also grateful that the child is in a school that can pull it together; a community. That is what helped us the most, community. I think that is something that is a gift from one death. Weird how the Universe hands us a gift during times of darkness.

      Peace, Jen


  7. Difficult to tick “Like” but WP gives no choice.

    My heart goes out to you, Jen…words fail me. I’ll pray…


  8. I’m so not surprised by your intuitive genius. The truly amazing part of this post, I think, is that you have healed enough to be able to comfort others whereby you’ve been comforted. Just having survived a family tragedy doesn’t enable us to be helpful. Having risen from the ashes of the devastation is what makes us useful. You know more than what to say. You know what NOT to say! That is wisdom from the pain. Wisdom that protects. I’m so glad you were able to protect Will this week. If there were a Mom Knows Best award, you’d get it!


  9. Very insightful post…hugs.


  10. “Can relate.”
    Button pushed.
    Your knowledge of that pain will help another.


  11. Thinking of you and Will. Your super strength shines through your writing. Loving thoughts go out to you. Hope to see you soon.
    Love, Sue


  12. Life is fragile indeed. But you are not. Not in an easily breakable way. Your super glue holds strong. Cracks are like wrinkles-they tell stories of a life lived. Both the good times, and the not so good. My thoughts are with you Jen. xon


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