Michael Anthony Ayala RIP
3/4/89 – 8/1/17
Michael, you are missed. You were loved. Your absence is palpable. You weren’t always easy to love. At times I saw a glimpse of the genuine love you had for your son. It warmed my heart. I also saw the scared little boy that you kept inside. I loved you. We all wanted to help you. I wish we could have.
I write. It’s what I do to process life. I mostly try to find the good in something before I write about it. In fact, writing about it helps me discover the good when I’m going through valleys. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling to find the good right now.
Just when I think I have a handle on life’s transitions, there is another twist. Just a few days ago, my grandson became fatherless. His earthly father left this world. In his passing, he left many questions that will never be answered. He leaves behind my daughter and their 23-month-old son. I wish I could say Michael had a great 28 years but that isn’t the case. He had a tortured soul. His childhood was horrible. There were good things too but he dealt with a lot of demons. I could see in him so much potential if he could only break away from his anxieties. In the end the demons won the battle. But I do believe that God won the war. I know that Michael is out of pain now. Those things of his past no longer haunt him. He is free.
There were many things about Michael that I wished were different. I did my best to help him see that there was a better way than what he’d grown up with. He was making some positive steps for sure. He was a talented artist. One good thing I can say about him is that Michael loved his son unconditionally and his son loved him back. It warmed my heart to see how Jaxson’s face would light up with a huge smile when his daddy would come to pick him up. You could see the love there. There has never been any doubt about that sweet , sweet love. I’ll do my best to make sure Jaxson knows no matter what happened in the end, his daddy loved him more than anything.
Suicide isn’t something that I understand. It’s not something that anybody wants to talk about. We seem to be able to publicly talk about so many of life’s horrible experiences like murder, rape, sex trafficking, and disease but nobody wants to talk about suicide. It’s still a taboo subject.
Perhaps if I had known more about it and understood it better, I could have done or said something to prevent this from happening. You see, that’s what is left behind when someone close to you commits suicide, we somehow feel responsible. There’s a tremendous about of guilt. We rehash every last conversation and nuance thinking if only we had said more or said less that this horrible thing could have been prevented. We even wonder if he really meant to go through with it. It’s a question that will forever haunt those that loved him.
Then I wonder how to tell his son what happened to his daddy as he grows up and starts asking questions? Questions that I don’t have answers to. How can I possibly explain something that I don’t even understand?
I don’t have any answers here. I wish I could find the lesson we are to learn, the good that God promises. Perhaps it’s simply my willingness to talk about this publicly to bring more awareness to mental illness and suicide. It’s out there. Maybe someone you know is thinking about it right now. Let’s educate ourselves on how to help these people. We all struggle with demons; it’s just that some of us are better equipped to deal with life than others. Let’s love on those that need our support.
If you are someone who is thinking about suicide, you are important to this world, you are loved, you matter, and your story isn’t finished. Don’t write your own ending. The semicolon is a symbol for suicide awareness because it is where an author could finish a sentence but chooses not to. Don’t end your story now. There’s so much more to say. Keep going!
If you know of someone suddenly or tragically taken from this world here is a link to a letter written by famous author Ram Dass that I find very comforting. Maybe it’ll help you too. CLICK HERE