Why I’ve been missing, part 2

(For the record, I asked his family for permission before writing about this.)
A few weeks ago, my cousin’s teenage son took his own life. Like people tend to do, my first reaction was about me. What could I have done, how did I fail him, that sort of thing. When he was younger, Christian and I had a really nice relationship, although I saw him infrequently. We talked about books and music and he was excited and interesting and interested. As he got older, we talked less. I regret not making more of an effort to connect with him. This kid was bright and funny and engaging, but he was no saint, and I’m sure his issues weighed on him. The funeral was sad, but also incredibly positive. The minister was very open about it being suicide, and very forgiving. He encouraged all of the kids there (and there were a LOT) to talk to someone, even if it is just each other, about their emotions. The eulogy by one of his friends gave me the back of the head smack that I needed. Christian had a wealth of people around him who loved him and supported him. My relationship with him was… well, if not incidental, then very close to it. His mother and grandparents in particular were there for him if he had just been able to articulate his need. I still regret, but without that heavy feeling of responsibility.

His grandmother is part of our Stitch & Bitch group. A few years ago, Christian created a design for school that is essentially a quilt pattern. My aunt brought it to me to draft in EQ7, and I wrote out instructions. We discussed whether she wanted to share the pattern with others, within the family or otherwise. She decided that yes, she would like to share it. In the next few days, I’ll be posting a pattern for Christian’s Puzzle, but for now here’s a peek at his design.

Christian's Puzzle

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12 thoughts on “Why I’ve been missing, part 2

  1. I hope working on the instructions for this quilt brings you comfort. It is like he left you and your family a gift to remember him by. Every time someone wraps themselves in this quilt it will be like having his arms around you.

    Hope all your health problems get solved. I have had that snipping procedure done as well. Not fun.

    May god bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

  2. My sincere condolences in your loss. May the good memories you have of Christian comfort you and instill in you a feeling of peace and grace. I think sharing his pattern for this quilt is a wonderful tribute to him. May God bless you and your family in this diffiuclt time.

  3. Hugs for your family’s loss. Suicide is hard to deal with. It’s a big issue here in NZ and almost never reported by the media, so no-one really knows how to deal with it, least of all our teenagers. The quilt pattern looks great, I hope working on it will bring you some peace and closure.

    Hugs too for the Women’s issue, been on the other side of that more times than I’d like, grateful (finally) for the hysterectomy I had last yar, however I still have a smal problem and need to get it checked. I’m a bit put out that I still have to go expose myself at the doctors, I though I was over that 😦 At least we have a decent public health system here.

  4. I’m sorry for your (and their) loss; suicide can be very ugly indeed, and it’s heartening to know that all involved are taking a clean approach. My own early exerience was quite unlike, with accusations and the preacher ranting about brimstone, the works. It sounds like the community is right there for the family, which will make all the difference in the world, as will your quilt pattern work. A blanket is supposed to provide comfort and your project will do so in huge measure.

  5. Oh Sandi, I’m so sorry. There aren’t any answers, are there? Just a lot of questions, and loss, and grief.

    The pattern is a great tribute, and a wonderful way to remember him.

    Hugs to you and your family.

  6. Sandie, Thoughs and prayers coming your way for you and your family. It is always tragic when someone so young takes their own life. In many cases their are no clues and they outwardly appear okay. The human body is such a complex thing it takes very little for something to be out of wack chemically and everything goes in the wrong directions. Keep persuing your own female probles until you get them resolved and don’t be to hard on yourself.

  7. So sorry to hear of your family’s loss. It is devastating but I’m glad to hear it is in the open and that he knew he was loved. My 17 year old nephew took his own life 5 years ago and it is still really difficult at times for my sister. We talk about Jake all the time and remember him well. He struggled very hard with ADHD and lots of failures; he always said he never wanted to grow up. And so he didn’t.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I try to reply to every comment, but sometimes it takes a few days. And sometimes, well... it has been known to drop off the radar. I'm easily distracted by shiny things.

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