Psychologist John Schneider advises those confronting any type of grief to consider
three questions: What is lost? What is left? What is possible? The answers for
me keep changing with each passing year after Noah’s suicide. Surely some
things are possible now that I couldn’t imagine before. The loss itself takes
up less space in my thoughts and daily life. But so, too, has the loss deepened
and solidified, a stone lodged in my heart.
A partial list of answers
to the three questions @ 4 years:
What is lost? Our
precious boy – his many gifts and how he inspired and teased and amazed and
worried and exasperated us. The things he would have done and places he would
have gone and people he would have met. The endless list of all that was
contained in a life, obliterated, never to be recovered. But most of all: the
exchange of love. A family of four. The chance for reconciliation and a return
to our lifelong conversation. The chance to see him grown and happy. A normal
What is left? A
stone in a cemetery. A stone in a park. A small box of artifacts in a closet.
Doubt. Guilt. Regret.
Questions. Tears.
The embers and tatters of
The photos he made. The
people whose lives he touched.
A living son, far from
Our puppies and spring
garden and contented chickens.
Those who understand and
share our pain, whether we’ve known them for years or just met them at a
survivors’ gathering.
The beauty and wonder of
the world.
What is possible? Remembering.
Forgetting. Seeking wholeness. Opening the heart.
Continuing to try to
Moments of happiness.
Helping others on this
Being grateful for 21 years.
Bearing unbearable loss.
To my fellow
So many questions will
never be answered after suicide. But we can try to answer for ourselves: What is lost? What is left? What is
How do these questions and their answers sit with you today?
Three Questions After the Fourth Death Anniversary

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