Hillary's comment about being "deep in the thickets" can also describe your feelings of grief, loss and guilt following the suicide of someone you love. Especially when it is still so fresh- all of that is combined with a sense of disbelief and unreality -- it truly does seep into how you see and feel about everything else. And you feel that way for a long time- but- eventually it will get easier to carry the truth of it around.
My son's oldest and closest friend took his own life almost exactly a year before Aaron. He was 1 month away from his 16th birthday. Brilliant,fiercely independent thinker who went where his intellect took him but was so gentle, funny and kind. He, like Aaron, had beautiful brown eyes and a mop of unruly black hair that he was just not interested in combing!
The first year was very hard - there were 2 more suicides and we felt scared - as if our whole town was falling apart. All I can say is that we all supported each other, the schools, hospital, mental health facilities and experts,houses of worship, friends - in large settings and small. Many of us dreaded the 1st anniversary, as the pain we had just barely learned to carry around would come roaring back. But we got through it together - his mother's house full of friends and love.
Cory- it's now been 2 years (Jan. 9) and I can look back and see the ups and downs, but mostly going forward and things getting better. A year ago I couldn't have seen this - I was so worried, so sunk into sadness and guilt, feeling so powerless and ineffectual. You've been fighting big, difficult public battles- but you've also suffered the personal loss of a friend- an unrepeatable miracle- to suicide. Your feelings are understandable. If your experience is anything like mine- you will find the worst of it easing over time as you figure out how to live in this "new" world. We leaned on a lot of people, and we tried to find moments of joy to keep us going - music, nature, 3 season marathons of Modern Family, Parks and Rec and Arrested Development.
I probably haven't said anything that you haven't heard already- but sometimes it helps to be reminded to step back and get a fresh perspective. Thank you for all your good work - take care of yourself.