“You know,” I said to my therapist when we were both sitting down. “I told my daughter that I didn’t think I needed to come any more. And she said; what? You’ve had two sessions and you think you’re done?”
“Why do think that?” my therapist asked in her quiet, even voice that was in such a contrast to the storm raging outside.
“I mean, you are never going to be able to tell me why my son killed himself. You didn’t even know him.”
“Ah, you want answers. That we will really never know, but you might get clarity about other issues.”
“Do you have any idea,” I asked. “What it is like to have a child kill himself out of the blue. Not to have known that anything was wrong. Not to have had the chance to help. But to suddenly be summoned to a hospital where your beloved, healthy, beautiful inside and out, accomplished child is lying dead?”
“Talk to me about that,” she encouraged. “Do you think that there was something you could have done to prevent it?”
“I used to nag him about cutting the lawn. I used to nag him about tidying up his room. When he graduated from high school I told him that he needed to get a job for part of the summer. In fact I drove him around the local restaurants until he found a job as a busboy at a restaurant in the next town.”
By the end of the session I realized that all these things that I had felt bad about, had nothing to do with Andrew’s death. Voicing them allowed me to “see” them for what they were; perfectly normal interactions between parent and child.
We talked more, we talked about Andrew’s personality, the things he liked and things he didn’t like and so on.
By the end of the session I felt better. I felt “cleaner.”
“Shall I come at the same time next week?”
“Yes, I’ll make the appointment for you,” she said, and I left.
My husband pulled up outside just as I came out. The rain hadn’t let up while I had been inside, huge puddles made driving treacherous and broken tree branches were scattered everywhere.
“What a nice day for staying at home,” I told my husband. “I think I’ll do some ironing after lunch.”
I caught a few minutes of Oprah’s interview with Rosie O’Donnell yesterday.
“People who know me,” Rosie told Oprah. “Know to leave the room if I stand up when I am angry.”
Well, in my case, when you see me stand up and get the ironing board out to iron a pile of shirts, you’ll know that all is well.
I love you Andrew, always!