The Final Photo


14 years ago today my son, Ken, ended his life. This photo was taken just a few months before his death.
This is the face of love, kindness, loyalty, stubbornness, non-judgemental empathy, and thoughtfulness. It’s also the face of depression and drug addiction.
We can never know what lies behind a beautiful smile.

Posted on August 23, 2013, in Learning From Loss. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Sending you big hugs of love and comfort Tricia today especially, but always ❤ xxx

  2. Tricia, I just couldn’t press “like” to this beautifully sensitive post! I took a few days “off” the computer, and I’m sorry I missed being with you in spirit on the anniversary of Ken’s death. Your words are so true. We never know what pain another person is carrying behind their smiles. What a handsome young man–who looked like his mum! Anniversaries must be particularly harrowing…a belated hug, my friend. oxo

    • Thank you so much, Debra. For whatever reason I’m doing it tough at the moment, your words warm and comfort me. Grief is such a roller coaster, just when I think I’m learning to live in peace with it, bam, I crumple. But I know I’ll climb up again.

  3. I’m just back from a two week break. What an avalanche of creativity has been waiting for me. And the sadness – the photo brings him to life for me. Thankyou.

  4. Sorry if it’s too personal a question to ask – in which case please ignore – but I can’t help but wonder what you think when you look at this picture? I can imagine anything from anger to sadness to fear to confusion to love – I think the list could go on and on…

    • It depends on the day and my frame of mind, Pooky. Sometimes joy, sometimes anger for all the lost potential, then there are times sorrow sears me to the depth of my being, but mostly I feel overwhelming love.
      Because of my health issues I spend most of my time in a recliner in my family room which my wonderful nephew has set up with everything at my fingertips. On the large bookcase that faces me I have an individual photo of both Ken and Rod and one of them together. I often talk to their photos, tell them things no one else would understand. I don’t believe they can hear me, yet it comforts me in some indefinable way. They are forever an absent presence in my life.
      I appreciate all questionns and will always answer as honestly as I can. One of the main aims of my blog is to create an open and honest dialogue about life and death. xo

      • I like the fact that you talk to them – I don’t suppose it’s comforting but perhaps it helps you to explore your own thoughts.

        My mother’s mother took her own life many years ago. I learnt just a few weeks ago that my grandfather (with whom I am incredibly close) did not consider her death suicide. I think perhaps he finds it easier to contend with the idea that he lost her accidentally rather than her having left on purpose?

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