P. O. Box 1115
St. Peters, MO 63376

 

Michael & Kristen Curran & Baby



 

Kristen (Schurter) Curran & Baby
February 16, 1965 ~ June 30, 1993

Michael Curran
July 25, 1971 ~ August 16, 1993

 

 

 

 

 

Tragedy had a Beautiful Face

There once was a beautiful prince and princess
Their wedding was a splendorous sight to see
Their future looked as bright as can be
To live happily ever after was not meant to be

The love they shared
the cross they beared
was too much for them
and their new family

The baby to come
would not be born
an angel in heaven
she was meant to be

Their lives they ended
one by one
to have peace at last
their mental anguish
no more to be felt
and a thing of the past

Broken hearts they did leave
the void never to be replaced
the lessons to be learned
were many and displaced

Forgiveness, acceptance
love and compassion
their deaths left
us to learn

Our soul’s perfection
our unity with God
all is in divine order
was our mission to understand

Our reunion a time to behold
when all answers will be told
our anger dissolved
for love to prevail

Your path served a purpose
t’was different than mine
to be left behind
my own purpose to find

The years have gone by
the love never dies
your presence and guidance
in our heart does lie

Love and peace
My dear children
Until we are together again
Tragedy had a beautiful face

By Sandy Curran
To Michael and Kristen and baby
On the 10th anniversary of your angel date

 

Suicide Survivor’s Prayer
Let us pray together:
Dear God,
In the past weeks, months, years, our lives have changed dramatically.
Our loved ones made a decision we wish she/he had not made,
leaving us heartbroken with disbelief, guilt, anger, confusion,
so many “If only’s and Why’s”.
Help us to accept what has happened.
Help us to live with only partial answers.
Help us to find a way to cherish our memories.
Help us to find a new focus.
Help us to respond in a positive way, to go on with a renewed
faith in your everlasting love.
Amen

Finally...the morning came after the mourning.
Author Unknown

CANDLELIGHT 2011
BY SANDY CURRAN

18 YEARS AGO THESE TWO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE PICTURED BEHIND ME TOOK THEIR LIVES. KRISTEN, MY DAUGHTER IN LAW AND MY UNBORN GRANDCHILD  DIED FIRST AND 6 WEEKS LATER, MY SON, MICHAEL, KRISTEN'S HUSBAND, TOOK HIS LIFE AT THE AGE OF 22.

I WANT TO DISCUSS WITH YOU MY GRIEF JOURNEY. IT IS A JOURNEY AND A NEVER ENDING ONE. THE MAJORITY OF YOU HERE ARE EARLY IN THAT GRIEF JOURNEY. SINCE I AM FARTHER ALONG AND AM NOW A "SEASONED GREIVER", I WANT TO SHARE THE MANY LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED.  I WANT TO SHARE HOPE.

FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, MY INTUITION TOLD ME MANY TRUTHS..  MICHAEL DID NOT TAKE HIS LIFE TO HURT ME OR HURT ANYONE.  AT FIRST, MY HEART WOULD NOT ALLOW ME TO BELIEVE THIS. 

THINK OF HOW WE FEEL WHEN WE HAVE SEVERE PHYSICAL PAIN. WE WILL DO ANYTHING OR TAKE ANY MEDICATION TO RELIEVE OURSELVES OF THAT SEVERE PAIN. MICHAEL'S SEVERE MENTAL OR "BRAIN  PAIN" WAS UNSURMOUNTABLE, BUT HE DID NOT HAVE A PILL TO RELIEVE HIM OF THAT PAIN. HE KNEW OF NO OTHER WAY TO RELIEVE HIMSELF OF HIS BRAIN PAIN BUT TO TAKE HIS LIFE.  I AM SO SURE HE DID NOT WANT TO DIE, HE JUST WANTED OUT OF THE PAIN.  I DON’T THINK HE EVEN UNDERSTOOD THE FINALITY OF HIS ACTIONS.

FROM THE FIRST DAY HE LEFT US, I FELT MICHAEL’S  PRESENCE. I FELT HE WAS WATCHING ME AND MY AGONIZING  GRIEF. I COULD FEEL HIS SUFFERING. I DID NOT WANT MY CHILD TO SUFFER ANY MORE THAN HE ALREADY HAD.  I COMMITTED MYSELF TO HOPE AND HEALING.

BUT HOW WOULD I  STOP THIS UNBEARABLE GRIEF? I SET ABOUT SEARCHING FOR  WHAT EVER I COULD. I PRAYED, I  JOINED SUPPORT GROUPS, I SOUGHT COUNSELING,  I  JOURNALED, AND I READ ANY BOOKS I COULD GET MY HANDS ON ABOUT GRIEF AND THE AFTER LIFE.

WE ALL HAVE THE NEED TO KNOW WHERE OUR CHILDREN ARE AND THAT THEY ARE HAPPY. AFTER ALL, AS PARENTS WE FELT  IT WAS OUR DUTY TO SEE THAT THEY WERE HAPPY WHILE ON THIS EARTH.  WHY WOULD WE NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE AFTER DEATH?  EACH OF US HAS TO SEARCH FOR OUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AND FIND OUR OWN TRUTHS  OF WHERE OUR CHILD IS NOW AND IF WE WILL SEE THEM AGAIN.

AFTER WE LOSE A CHILD, I FEEL MOST PARENTS DISREGARD BELIEF’S THAT  DO NOT GIVE THEM COMFORT AND GRAVITATE  TOWARDS WHAT BELIEFS WILL GIVE THEM COMFORT.. IT BECOMES “OUR” CHOICE TO MAKE THESE TRUTHS "OURS".

AUTHOR, GEORGE ANDERSON TELLS US THAT “ANYTHING WE LOVE, THAT LOVES US IN RETURN, NEVER DIES”.  IT GIVES ME COMFORT TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS AN AFTER LIFE AND THAT I WILL SEE MY CHILD AGAIN.  THAT IS A BELIEF “I” CHOOSE  FOR MYSELF.

DEATH ENDS A LIFE, BUT NOT A RELATIONSHIP. IT IS OKAY TO CONTINUE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR DECEASED CHILD EVEN THOUGH IT IS ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL. IT IS OKAY TO SHARE OUR THOUGHTS AND GRIEF WITH OUR LOST CHILD. IT IS OKAY TO TALK WITH THEM AND TELL THEM HOW MUCH WE LOVE THEM AND MISS THEM. IT IS OKAY TO ASK THEM FOR HELP. 

INTELLECTUALLY I KNOW THAT I MAY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DELAY MY CHILD’S DEATH BUT I WAS NOT ABLE TO PREVENT IT.   AS PARENTS, WE BELIEVE THERE IS AN 11TH COMMANDMENT: “THOU SHALT NOT LET MY CHILD DIE” I HAD FELT  RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY ASPECT OF MY CHILD’S LIFE SINCE THE DAY HE WAS BORN. THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT GOOD MOTHER’S SHOULD DO. MY JOB WAS TO PROTECT HIM.

I WORKED DILIGENTLY AT COMING TO A LEVEL OF ACCEPTANCE OF MICHAEL’S DEATH. IT TOOK MANY YEARS FOR THE INTENSITY OF THE PAIN TO LESSEN, BUT IT FINALLY DID. NO, THE GRIEF NEVER LEAVES US, BUT THE INTENSITY DOES.  WE NEVER GET OVER OUR CHILD’S DEATH, WE JUST GET THROUGH IT. A DAY DOES NOT GO BY THAT WE DO NOT MISS OUR CHILD. WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE THOSE MOMENTS AND THOSE GRIEF TRIGGERS THE REST OF OUR LIVES. IT IS JUST A FACT. IT IS THE WAY IT IS, AND IT IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AS PARENTS.

AS TIME GOES ON, WE LEARN TO INCORPORATE OUR GRIEF INTO OUR “NEW NORMAL” WAY OF LIVING.  THE GRIEF IS ALWAYS A HEART BEAT AWAY. THIS IS NOT PROLONGED, COMPLICATED  OR  PATHOLOGICAL GRIEF. IT IS PART AND PARCEL OF BEING A PARENT. THE EXTENT TO WHICH YOU GRIEVE IS THE EXTENT OF YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR CHILD. LOVE IS FOREVER, SO WHY WOULD OUR GRIEF NOT BE FOREVER? LOVE IS FOREVER, SO WHY WOULD OUR GRIEF NOT BE FOREVER!!

 EVEN THOUGH MY INTELLECT AND INTUITION TOLD ME I HAD TO COME TO A LEVEL OF ACCEPTANCE, I STILL HAD TO SUFFER THROUGH ALL OF THE NECESSARY  STAGES OF GRIEF. THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THE GRIEF WAS WALKING THOUGH IT. “YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO  FEEL IT IN ORDER  TO HEAL IT”.

 DENIAL, BLOCKING THE LOSS OUT OF OUR MINDS, OR NUMBING THE GRIEF PAIN WITH  DRUGS, ALCOHOL, FOOD  OR WORK,WILL ONLY POSTPONE THE INEVITABLE. THE GRIEF HAS TO BE WORKED THROUGH  SOONER OR  LATER. IT “WILL” COME BACK IF IT IT IS NOT DONE. IT IS THE “ONLY” WAY TO BE RELIEVED OF THAT INTENSE PAIN.

WHAT DOES WORKING THROUGH THE GRIEF ENTAIL? THERE ARE MANY WAYS. THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME WAS LETTING THE TEARS FLOW AND TALKING TO ANYONE WHO WOULD LISTEN. HOLDING THESE EMOTIONS IN ONLY CAUSES MORE PAIN AND MAY LEAD TO PHYSICAL ILLNESSES.

THE SAFEST AND MOST UNDERSTOOD PLACE TO SHARE OUR GRIEF AND SHED THOSE TEARS  IS WITHIN OUR SUPPORT GROUPS. ONLY THOSE THAT HAVE WALKED THE SAME PATH TRULY UNDERSTAND.

AS PARENTS OF SUICIDE, WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO TAKE ON THE GUILT AND BLAME AND SHAME. WE SAY TO OURSELVES, I FAILED MY CHILD, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, I  SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT COMING, I  SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING, I  SHOULD HAVE SAID THE RIGHT THINGS, I SHOULD HAVE FOLLOWED MY INSTINCTS,  I SHOULD HAVE SAVED HIM,----I SHOULD HAVE , I SHOULD HAVE, I SHOULD HAVE. AND IT GOES ON....... IT WAS MY FAULT. I WAS A BAD MOTHER, I WAS NOT A GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER, I DID NOT DO THE RIGHT THINGS, I DID NOT DO ENOUGH,   AND ON AND ON AND ON. WORST OF ALL: WASN'T MY LOVE FOR HIM ENOUGH TO SAVE HIM OR WHY DID HE NOT LOVE ME ENOUGH TO WANT TO STAY? HOW COULD HE CHOOSE TO LEAVE ME?

 IN REALITY, HIS DEATH WAS NOONE’S FAULT!!.

IN TIME AS I PUT THE PEICES THE TOGETHER, I KNEW THAT MICHAEL HAD A CHEMCIAL IMBALANCE AND A  DISEASE OF THE BRAIN THAT CAUSED HIS DEATH.   THIS DISEASE OF THE BRAIN WAS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER DISEASES THAT TAKE A PERSON’S LIFE.   THIS DISEASE OF “DEPRESSION” CAUSED HIM TO HAVE TUNNEL VISION. HIS MENTAL PAIN WAS SO EXCRUCIATING THAT HE COULD NOT SEE OUTSIDE OF THIS TUNNEL. HE COULD NOT SEE THE EFFECT HIS DEATH WOULD HAVE ON HIS FAMILY AND LOVED ONES. HE THOUGHT WE WOULD ALL BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM. HE JUST WANTED OUT OF HIS PAIN.

 OTHER DISEASES OF THE BRAIN SUCH AS ADDICTION, BI POLAR, SCHIZOPHRENIA OR BRAIN INJURIES MAY ALSO CAUSE SOMEONE TO TAKE THEIR LIFE. IT IS THE DISEASE THAT CAUSES THIS ACTION.

AS I LISTENED TO OTHER PARENTS IN OUR SUPPORT GROUPS WHO’S CHILD DIED UNDER DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES, I SAW THAT THEY TOO STILL HAD GUILT AND BLAME ABOUT THEIR CHILD’S DEATH WHETHER IT WAS AN ACCIDENT OR AN ILLNESS .IT’S THAT “RESPONSIBLITY”  THAT PARENTS FEEL FOR THEIR CHILD’S LIFE.  WE GAVE THEM LIFE, AND WE NEEDED TO ALWAYS PROTECT THEM AND WHEN THEY DIE, WE FEEL AS THOUGH WE HAD FAILED.

 LET US PLEASE ERASE THE STIGMA AND SHAME  OF SUICIDE NOW. AN ILLNESS OF THE BRAIN CAUSES THE DEATH OF A SUICIDE VICTIM!

SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM  HERE? WE NEED TO COME FULL CIRCLE. I BELIEVE THAT THINGS DO HAPPEN FOR A REASON. THIS IS A DIFFICULT CONCEPT TO BELIEVE EARLY IN OUR GRIEF.  IT TOOK ME ALMOST 15 YEARS TO COME TO THAT CONCLUSION.

 WE ARE LEFT BEHIND. WE HAVE A PURPOSE. WE NEED TO FIND THAT PURPOSE. OUR CHILD DEMANDS IT. OUR CHILD WANTS US TO GO ON AND LIVE A HAPPY PRODUCTIVE LIFE. OUR CHILD WANTS US TO FINISH THEIR LEGACY. WE NEED TO MAKE OUR CHILD PROUD. WE HAVE A CHOICE TO STAY BITTER OR GET BETTER.  STAYING IN THE BITTER AND BLAMING  STAGE IS NOT A CHOICE OUR CHILD WANTS US TO MAKE.

I ASK YOU, HAVE YOU MADE YOUR CHILD PROUD? HAVE YOU BECOME A BETTER PERSON SINCE THEIR DEATH? HAVE YOU BECOME KINDER AND MORE COMPASSIONATE? HAVE YOU REACHED OUT TO HELP OTHERS? DO YOU WORK IN THEIR HONOR?  “OR”  DO YOU STAY FOCUSED ON THEIR DEATH AND ALL OF THE HORRIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES?  DO YOU LOOK FOR BLESSINGS THAT HAVE COME OUT OF LOSING THEM? YES, THERE ARE BLESSINGS, BUT YOU HAVE TO LOOK FOR THEM.

YOUR LIFE HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY AND HAS  CHANGED FOREVER. CAN YOU RISE ABOVE THE LOSS AND CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY? CAN YOU MAKE YOURSELF HAVE GRATITUDE FOR THE THINGS YOU DO HAVE LEFT?

 I HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE SINCE MY FAMILY OF THREE DIED. I SURVIVED THOSE AGONIZING DAYS AND YEARS  OF GRIEF, I PICKED MY SELF UP BY MY BOOT STRAPS, SEARCHED FOR MY PURPOSE AND FOUND THOSE BLESSINGS.

   FOR ME THE BLESSINGS HAVE  BEEN WORKING WITH BEREAVED PARENTS. GRANTED, IT IS NOT A CLUB THAT ANYONE WANTS TO BELONG TO.  AFTER 8 YEARS OF LEANING ON OTHERS AND BEING THE ONE WHO “TAKES”, I MADE THE DECISION TO TRY AND GIVE BACK  WHAT I HAD RECEIVED BY FACILITATING A BP SUPPORT GROUP. THAT IS WHEN MY TRUE HEALING BEGAN. IN GIVING, I RECEIVED EVEN MORE.

 BEREAVED PARENTS ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEINGS ON THIS EARTH AND THEY ARE MY BLESSINGS. THEIR FRIENDSHIPS HELPED MAKE THE GRIEF BEARABLE.  OUR SUPPORT GROUPS HELP THE WAVES OF GRIEF BECOME LESS POWERFUL IN OUR LIVES.

 THE FRIENDSHIPS THAT EVOLVED FROM THE BP SUPPORT GROUPS WERE TRUE, HONEST FRIENDSHIPS. NOTHING FAKE HERE. WE HAD BARED OUR SOULS TO ONE ANOTHER. WE WERE SOUL MATES FOR LIFE. WE EVEN LEARNED TO LAUGH AND JOKE AGAIN. I COULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED WITHOUT THEM.  YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

I HOPE TODAY THAT  I HAVE HELPED ERASE SOME OF THE  STIGMA OF SUICIDE.  I  KNOW IN MY HEART THAT  THIS IS WHAT MICHAEL WOULD HAVE WANTED FOR HIS LEGACY. HE DID NOT COMMIT A “CRIME” NOR DID HE COMMIT A “SIN”. HIS ONLY “CRIME” IF YOU WILL,  WAS HAVING THE MISFORTUNE OF HAVING A DISEASE OF THE BRAIN. LET US ERASE THE WORD “COMMIT’ASSOCIATED WITH SUICIDE.. MICHAEL  COMMITTED NOTHING. .  HE WANTS OTHERS TO UNDERSTAND THIS DISEASE OF DEPRESSION. IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT, NOR WAS IT ANY ONE’S FAULT.

 OUR CHILDREN IN SPIRIT LOVE US MORE THAN WE WILL EVER KNOW. THEY WANT NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR US. THEY HOLD NOTHING AGAINST US. THEY LOVE US BEYOND OUR WILDEST IMAGINATIONS.

 NOW, I WOULD LIKE TO READ A BUDDHIST PRAYER CALLED “TRANSCENDENCE’ BY ROSHI HALIFAX:

MAY SORROW SHOW ME THE WAY TO COMPASSION.

MAY I COME TO RECOGNIZE THE GIFT OF A CHILD’S DEATH BY OPENING MY EAR OF COMPASSION.
 
MAY I REALIZE GRACE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING.

MAY THIS EXPERIENCE IN SOME WAY BE A BLESSING FOR ME

MAY LOVING KINDNESS SUSTAIN ME.
 
MAY LOVE FILL AND HEAL MY BODY AND MIND.

MAY I BE PEACEFUL AND LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS.

MAY I FIND PEACE AND STRENGTH THAT I MAY USE MY RESOURCES TO HELP OTHERS.

MAY I RECEIVE THE LOVE AND COMPASSION OF OTHERS.

MAY ALL THOSE WHO ARE GRIEVING BE RELEASED FROM THEIR SUFFERING.

MAY I OFFER LOVE, KNOWING THAT I CANNOT CONTROL THE COURSE OF LIFE, SUFFERING, OR DEATH.

MAY I LET GO OF GUILT AND RESENTMENT.

MAY I FORGIVE MYSELF FOR NOT MEETING MY CHILD’S NEEDS.

MAY I ACCEPT MY HUMAN LIMITATIONS WITH COMPASSION.

MAY I BE OPEN TO THE TRUE NATURE OF LIFE.

MAY I OPEN TO THE UNKNOWN AS I LET GO OF THE KNOWN

MAY I OFFER GRATITUDE TO THOSE AROUND ME
.
MAY I BE GRATEFUL FOR THIS LIFE.

 

IN CLOSING, I ASK YOU, “HAVE YOU MADE YOUR CHILD PROUD TODAY BY LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE? CAN YOU MAKE YOUR CHILD PROUD EVERY DAY? PLEASE DO THIS IN THEIR HONOR.  DO NOT LET THEIR DEATHS BE IN VAIN! LIFE IS LIVED FORWARD. WE HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND. WE HAVE A PURPOSE. WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD AND  LIVE THE BEST LIFE WE CAN UNTIL WE ARE TOGETHER WITH OUR CHILD AGAIN. TELL YOUR CHILD TODAY THAT THE QUESTION IS NO LONGER “WHY SHOULD I GO ON LIVING?” TELL THEM “HOW” YOU ARE GOING TO GO ON LIVING.

MICHAEL AND KRISTEN, TODAY IT IS WITH PRIDE THAT I HONOR YOU AND I  HONOR YOUR WISHES! THIS IS YOUR DAY TO SHINE. TODAY WE HELP  ERASE THE STIGMA, BLAME, AND SHAME  OF SUICIDE IN YOUR HONOR.

I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU.

LOVE,
MOM

 

Home
|
|
Events
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
BP USA:
|
St. Louis Chapter of the Bereaved Parents of the USA
©2007-17 | hosted and maintained by www.liseydreams.com | webmaster