I was listening to the radio when a song came on called Even If by Mercy Me.

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

My mind immediately went to the thought of “yeah, but” as in yeah, but your son didn’t take his life. Because everyone knows that is the worst thing that could possibly happen. Every parent’s nightmare. I will never be the same.

I’ve begun to realize this is part of the story I tell myself, and while it is a fact, it is only one element of the journey but what if I decided to change the story?

What if I decide not to focus on just the facts of my son’s death, but on the possibilities. Not the possibilities as in there is something here which is “good” or “worthwhile”.There is nothing that can happen as a result of my son’s death which makes it ok that he died. Absolutely nothing. You will never, ever be able to convince me otherwise.

However. What if I decide to change the story? What if I choose to tell a story where my son killed himself and through the process of grief, resiliency, introspection and growth, I am able to make his life continue to mean something?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always hated the expression “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and no more so than the last couple of years. I may not die from grief but do I feel stronger? Hell no. I feel out of control and nuts.

But. My story is not over.

While I am often angry at a world that continues on without my son, I am also aware I have a deeper level of compassion for hurting people. While I rail at shallow people, I’m now certain that most people fight battles we know little about. While in the past I judged people who showed too much of their emotions or those who showed too little, now I acknowledge that we are all doing the best we can.

What if my story becomes that my son took his life and I will always grieve that loss. That as a result of my grief, I am a better person who is capable of greater compassion and caring than before. What if, as a result of his death, I am more engaged in my community and more in tune with the people around me?