I answered the phone, and heard your voice again
But this call was different; I could hear your pain.
The words that you spoke haunt me to this day.
I thought that I could love you enough to make you want to stay.
I tried to encourage you with loving words a mom should say.
How could I have ever known you would end your life this way?
Your world held everything, or so it seemed to me,
But the pain and the hopelessness were all part of your misery.
I was sure that you could cope with whatever came your way,
Never doubting that a mother’s love could make you want to stay.
True love, a home and happiness, all these belonged to you
But behind your brilliant smile more despair than anyone knew.
Waiting for a call from you through long hours the next day;
Sure that I could love you enough to make you want to stay.
When I heard three car doors slam, my feet hit the floor.
Three officers were on the porch knocking gently at my door.
Their words were so surreal all I could do was pray
And look to God for answers for why you couldn’t stay.
“Go fast—take chances,” that’s how you used to live
Eager to take everything that this life had to give.
But somewhere life turned sad, and you couldn’t face another day.
How will I ever understand why you couldn’t stay?
Memories unfulfilled, loving words left unsaid
All of these realities spinning ‘round my head.
I watch your friends get married; I hold their babies, feel their love,
Knowing that you see all of this from your new home up above.
I miss your bear hugs and your smiles, and I ache to hear your voice.
Yet I know that in your heart you felt you had no choice.
And, as I am still grieving, getting through day by day,
Loving you, somehow accepting, I couldn’t make you want to stay.
With Love From Mom
To Luke, Forever My Leprechaun,
March 17, 1978—October 21, 2008
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About the Author
Bev, who has been married to her high-school sweetheart for forty years has spent her entire life in northern Wisconsin. Her surviving son, Jesse, is married and has two small children. A major part of Bev’s personal journey in accepting Luke’s suicide has been in her search for groups and people with whom she can share her story. She is active in www.suicide.org and in a local Survivors of Suicide support group in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. In addition to Luke’s death, she is the survivor of the 1989 suicide of her brother, Dale.