Friday, March 12, 2010

In the thick of it

The last month I have spent off and on trying to get myself past the death of my cousin. I also lost my grandma, Marie in October which is bringing up other situations which aren't pleasant. Here's my rough draft "letter to the dead" written to my cousin, I am submitting to Ren Allen. Writing has been helpful to me this past week. I need to spend some time getting past this so I can be fully present with my husband and boys. The past is not where I want to live.

March 12, 2010

Dearest Michael,

We love you and we miss you. The shock of your August suicide officially wore off about 2 weeks ago and left me feeling like a blob of moody jello. I joined a support group this week near me in Des Moines just for Survivors of Suicide. I was surprised to learn that twice as many people die from suicide than homicide. The people at the support group are really understanding. They don't judge. Judgment is not what I want or need.

Your mom has been a huge inspiration to me. We email and talk on the phone several times a week. She drives to Houston from Austin at least once a month to see your little girl, Yin. Your mom and dad keep me updated on Yin through pictures and notes. I saw Yin at your memorial service in September and she has many people surrounding her with love through this confusing and traumatic time. She is so cute, smart, and funny---like you and beautiful like her mother.

We are all so sad you are gone. We thought you were so strong and would always be here to lean on. We never knew the pain you kept buried so deep in your soul. Your mom sees now that you were never able to express many frustrations you kept bottled inside. She knows you wanted your marriage to work out and did not want to be separated from Xin. You didn't want Yin to be torn in two by a divorce like you were. You and Xin both needed to get some help with depression and being laid off in June didn't help matters. We don't agree with you shooting your wife, Xin and then yourself, but we forgive you. We know it was a terrible moment of insanity. We all thought the worst was behind you once you moved to Houston with your dad's help. We're sorry Xin hated the cute house that was your grandfather's and the neighborhood. Things didn't turn out as expected.

We all wish we could have helped somehow. We wish we could have known how tired and stressed out you both were from all the moves and life transitions. We miss you and your wonderful quick sense of humor and smile. You always said what was on your mind, but never the hurt that was in your heart. You were a one of a kind and will never be forgotten. Sometimes I hear a song on the radio and it reminds me of you. I can't help but tear up. You were like the big brother I always wanted. Cliff and I have so many fond memories of you and crazy things we used to do before we had kids. We all loved and adored you. We always will.

Your cousin,


(Top photo: You and my two boys in 2008 after a fun visit at your place in Austin; Bottom photo: my sister, Heidi and Yin at your dad's house in Houston after your memorial service.)

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