Today marks the 35th anniversary of my mother’s death. While the fact that she died by suicide is typically the focus my thoughts and discussions about her, this is the one day that I my mind goes to the fact that she is gone more than how it happened.
Right after she died I noted every significant chunk of time – 24 hours ago she was alive, 2 days ago she told me she loved me, last week I had no idea my mother would be dead. She dropped me off at college, but she didn’t know I quit and wasn’t around to see my sister graduate. As time passed, I counted weeks more than days, then months more than weeks, and suddenly the years started accumulating, but the actual date of January 15 is always one of reflection.
Until I had my mental breakdown/breakthrough, the anniversary was a sorrowful event. I would think a lot about what she’s missed in our family and the world and, especially if I was struggling in my life, my thoughts would be more about I may have missed not having her around as I became an adult and wonder what she would think of me now.
Since beginning The Silent Goldens project, I’ve used the day as more of a moment to connect with her and “tell” her about the progress I’ve made with the project, the people I’ve met and everything I’ve learned about suicide.
I am positive that my mom would be 100% behind the idea of this film. I am 99.9% sure she wanted me to follow in her footsteps as a social worker and am 99.8% sure if she had not died I would have, so I believe she would like get a kick of how my ‘rebel’ life in television came back to this.
The fact that she’s gone will never not make me sad, but talking about her and using her story for good is the best way I can think of to honor her and keep her memory alive.
Love you Mom!