There are few things in life that I am certain of, and that I never question, one of them being that I am certain I have the best sister-in-law on the planet. Ever. Brynna lost her father to suicide shortly before Josh and I moved to Florida. Her countenance through the ordeal was peaceful and brave. She shares openly today about her experience with loss and the process of moving on.
Brynna is the wife of a Misener boy, Jordan, and the mother of two littles- Aslyn and Ryker. She is infectiously witty and creative, as well as one of the few people who can manage my three without contemplating an escape route. She gets me. I get her. Be encouraged today.
My dad committed suicide when I was 23 years old. I am now 27.
I could sit here and say all the things people say when a tragedy happens like I miss him, (I do) or it feels like just yesterday (it really doesn’t) or I’m so sad he’s gone. (I am a lot of the time). But those things feel so unreal. It happened, but life goes on. My life went on.The last 6 years of my life were a whirlwind and I’ve experienced the good and bad. I got married, had my first child, my dad took his own life, I had my second child, and here we are at present day.
I do miss my Dad, I really, really do. I miss him dancing like a ridiculous fool in the kitchen while he smoked under the exhaust vent over the stove; God forbid he go outside to smoke. I miss him being absolutely terrifying with the few boys that were brave enough to come into our home, literally thumping, no, beating the King James Bible at them. I miss him eccentrically roasting his own coffee beans in a popcorn cooker in the middle of the kitchen swearing that it was the only coffee I would ever want to taste. I miss him making “THE BEST coffee ice cream you’ve ever had!” right in our garage. These things all feel like they were a MILLION years ago, I WISH they were just yesterday.
It’s strange to me how simple it can be to sum up such a long span of time (almost 8 years of mental decline) in 4 days worth of events. It is such a blur. Sorry if I sound insensitive referring to my Dad’s passing so casually. It was anything but casual. I suppose you could say I’m past the point of feeling; I’ve gone a bit numb for survival purposes. My heart breaks when I think of all the good memories I have. I miss him sometimes so much it physically hurts. He was a goofball, a lover of God, the biggest, silliest dork I knew.
He was the best. Other than the times he was not.
My Dad suffered from manic depression and bi-polar disorder. He wasn’t diagnosed until the last few years of his life, though looking back his diagnosis really explains a lot.
I wish I could sit here, writing this to tell you all that I have a magic antidote that makes all the pain go away. Something that will give you an answer to all the unknowns and questions that come along with mental health and suicide. I don’t.
All I have to share is my faith.
I was blessed enough to be raised in a Bible believing, God loving home. I learned at a young age that I was never alone. My back was always covered. I honestly don’t know what my life would look like today with out having that constant knowledge.
~For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16~
This is my hope. It’s so simple. All I had to do was believe and trust in him and I was good. I’m still good. I’ll always be good eternally. There are of course days that I will fall; I will sin. I am far from perfecting my blind faith. I question and complain along with the rest of you. I’ll stay in bed too long. I won’t get the laundry done. I’ll let the kids eat cheese slices and chips for lunch. I’ll let my mind wander thinking about the whys, why not-s, the what ifs and the how comes of my life.
But I always find myself returning to Him. In Him I find the courage to get up and start my day. In Him I have the desire to be there for my kids and my husband. In Him I have the motivation to make something of my day and my life.
~Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5 – KJV
God knew what I was going to endure before I was even a thought. He knew where I was going to struggle and where I would succeed. He knows his plan for me. This is his roller coaster; I’m just along for the ride.
I have faith that each of our lives is a tiny piece to a massive puzzle that will some day be complete. We are part of a Bride that will be the most dazzling thing you could ever possibly imagine. I have faith that there was a reason why my dad’s life was taken by suicide. I may not know it now but someday, as much as it sucks, and as painful as it is, someday I’ll understand. I know that my God is the God of all Gods and has a purpose for each and everyone of us.
Some may read this and see a naive girl with blind faith but let me tell you, my faith is clear and precise. I have a God that is my rock. Me simply being here is proof of that. I have recently been trying to be more bold and step out in my faith, move out of my comfort zones and I am the happiest I have ever been.
I like to believe my strong faith and love of God is because of my Dad. Because he loved God so, and was so eccentric in his ways, how could I not believe? I am the mother, wife, sister, and daughter I am today, because of my upbringing and because of my crazy Dad. He was nuts. I love him for it.
One of my Dad’s favorite hymns was It Is Well with My Soul. I hope it is as healing to you as it has been for me.
~It is Well with My Soul. Written by Horatio Spafford. Performed by Jeremy Riddle~
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.