Not really knowing the circumstances of Chris' death has really haunted me. Investigators told me it was not a suicide even though the medical examiner insisted on classifying it so. I think I know in my heart and mind what happened, but there is no one to confirm it. Two well known psychics who claimed to have contacted Chris said he told them he wanted me to know he did not kill himself. Please know, I am not endorsing psychics or recommending anyone believe in them. I am just saying early in my grief, this was something I had to do to quiet the questions swirling in my head.
I have just always believed that in the USA, people have rights. And if someone was responsible for his death, they should be brought to justice. This has been my daily prayer. Yet, it may never happen, or at least, not in my lifetime. Perhaps, it is time to reconcile this quest and begin a new prayer to accept leaving justice in God's hands.
By no means, do I think this will give me "closure." That was a term and concept developed by someone who never lost anyone close, much less a child. I feel as a parent I can come to terms with the death of my child, but not the idea of closure. The death of a child is like an unfinished book with so many chapters yet to be written. Not only do I mourn the loss of Chris, but I mourn for what his life might have been. That is the reality I have learned to live with.
Two turning points have brought me to where I am today. One thing after another had happened. Within 21 months time, I had unusually radical surgery and chemo for breast cancer, Chris died suddenly, and my husband who had been ill for a very long time, died six weeks later. I no longer wanted to live. I continued to pray, got counseling, went to grief support and my pastor supported me immensely. One morning, I woke up and sat on the side of my bed. It suddenly dawned on me, I could either let all this destroy me or go on with my life. I realized I had to make a conscious decision to get on. Things weren't going to get better by themselves. I would have to muster whatever strength I had into living. Grief is work. The path was crooked with setbacks and dark days. Given the choice, what else was there to do? I knew I didn't want to be bitter and angry as this would only drive away the people who could support me when I needed it.
This was good enough for a long time. Then I read a book, "A Death Like No Other," by Kathleen O'Hara, a mother and psychologist, whose own son was murdered. This book really helped me accept Chris' death. I would especially recommend it for any parents whose children's deaths were in any way involved with the justice system. She outlines seven steps to go through to come to terms with what has happened. I learned acceptance was key. I decided that a child being a gift from God, is only on loan to the parents. That being said, the person who ended his life, took his life from God, not me. Whoever it was needed to answer to God, not to me. This brought me much farther along in my grieving process. I was able to publish my first book, The Amberella Tales, dedicated to Chris.
Now, I think I need to do it again with giving up the idea of finally having truth and justice. Going through a court or even a conviction cannot change what has happened or ever bring Chris back. Would giving up this long quest put an answer to so many unknowns and finally let Chris rest in peace? I'm sad, Chris, I miss you terribly and I'll always love you, but I'm okay. Rest in peace.