My son Ben could be described as a gentle, serious young man. When he set a course of action, he strived for perfection.
When he was just 4 years old, we went fishing as a family.
When we returned home, Ben spent hours casting the line out on the fishing pole with a weight on the end. He mastered casting the line and reeling it in.
He also went to nationals in karate, as he mastered skills as a brown belt. He was second in the nation in forms in karate.
When Ben was 21 years old, he took his own life with a gun that his father, my ex-husband, had given him. Ben was under mental health treatment. He should not have been given a gun at that vulnerable stage in his life. A person is 90 percent effective when using a gun for suicide.
My whole life can be divided into “with Ben” and “without Ben.” This family trauma has remained with us for years and will probably remain even after I am gone.