In this insightful post, Elana Premack Sandler explores a crystalline event -- giving her first child his name -- that accurately portrays the complexities of suicide's legacy in a family. She writes,
I knew that I would want to stand in front of our family and community and talk about the name we had chosen. But each time I imagined what I would say, I thought, ‘I don’t want to talk about suicide.’ I wanted this moment to be about my son, his new life and the life he faced in front of him, not my father’s death, the life he’d chosen to end.She leaves unmentioned the name that was chosen and touches only obliquely upon what she said about it, which poetically accentuates two points: that such things are truly a private matter and that, in the end, a person has the right to choose how to handle such decisions:
We chose a name full of positivity and hope, healing and presence. We looked into the past, but didn’t dwell in it. Ultimately, I said a little bit about my dad and didn’t say anything about suicide.Overall, Elana's post is a moving and thought-provoking sketch of how grief, as she puts it, gives us "a hold on the past" at the same time life affords us "with a firm grasp on the present."