Our lives are much like a very large jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces – each piece representing a relationship or an event. Significant people (close relationships) and meaningful experiences occupy more pieces of the puzzle of our lives and as those relationships change so does the puzzle. Over the years a 26-year marriage and two growing children filled large defining pieces in the puzzle of my life. As the children grew and began to build their own puzzles – and when the marriage ended – the picture of my life changed dramatically. Adjusting to an empty nest and recovering from a divorce resulted in a shift in quite a few puzzle pieces, but the overall picture remained intact.
THE PIECES SCATTERED
On June 29, 1993 my life was shattered by the suicide of my 25 year old son, Paul. As I worked to put the pieces back together over the next five years, I began to realize that my life had changed – the pieces of the puzzle did not fit the way they had before the suicide. The reality was that there would never be any more Paul pieces. Paul was no longer physically present in my life and, because of the circumstances of his death, I would never be the same. All I had left of my son was the memory I carried in my heart and in my head. It was now up to me to heal from my emotional injuries, adjust to my loss, and restore my energy and my life.
THE PUZZLE RESTORED
With God’s help and the support of loving family and friends I have reconstructed the puzzle of my life and I am once again whole. Though forever changed by a suicide death, I am determined to make those changes positive forces in my life. I have survived – and I am stronger than ever before!
Linda L. Flatt ~ 9/18/98