“I wish you every happiness,” says a tearful mom to
her adult son on TV. She’d given him up for adoption as a newborn and was only
just meeting him for the first time when it became clear they would never meet
happiness. We wish it when we leave someone but still care
about them. We say it at graduations and weddings, at births and milestone
that. He thought happiness was his birthright.
all that happiness slipped from his grasp. It got dragged out to sea by a force
he couldn’t fathom or resist. Every anxiety attack stranded him further from
pursuit of the promise. I can’t see the lines/I used to think I
could read between, he wrote in his notebook, quoting Brian Eno’s GoldenHours .
lovers. Riding a wave on a surfboard for the first time. Perfecting the art of pizza-making.
Becoming French for a year.
years. No time to find his true love or vocation. No time to make that trip to
Berlin or to build a family of his own.
shot at it. Noah forfeited the game at barely quarter-time.
poised for so much happiness died in shame and despair and will never get
another shot. That he couldn’t hold on long enough
to recover his stride, and I couldn’t help him. That my husband and I lost out
on naches from Noah, Yiddish for the unique
gratification that comes from watching your child grow into a full and
To my fellow suicide loss survivors: Where did your
lost one find happiness? How did the two of you enjoy life in the years you had?