Families are strengthened when they adopt the attitude of moving forward rather than moving on after a traumatic family event. A friend did just that after her husband died of suicide. She explained that moving on has the connotation that she is leaving him behind where moving forward gives the feeling of taking him with her.
I opened up a web page this morning and saw my friend’s face in an article. I met her in a weekly Zoom group meeting last semester. I knew her basic story because she shared it with our class, but I still shed tears as I read her words.
Alaira explains that Jake proposed to her before he left for Iraq with a plan to marry when he returned. Soon after arriving in Iraq, however, Jake was severely injured in a roadside bomb attack. He came home and healed physically, but he suffered from PTSD for the rest of his life. One day he could not take it any longer and ended his life. He left her with a broken heart and three small girls. She has since remarried, but Jake is still a big part of her life.
With the attitude of moving forward rather than moving on from Jake’s death, Alaira has been able to help her girls to remember their father. Yet, they understand that they too must move forward and make the best of their situation.