The Empty Bedroom
I will never forget the empty bedroom of my child on the morning of October 8th, 2017. It is permanently imprinted into my memory like the ancient carvings one sees upon caves and must only imagine the circumstances surrounding the moment as the carver etched out what mattered most in that time and space. Let me draw you into my cave, my moments, our redemption. Look for a moment, with me and align your moments of fear, terror or simply being unsure in your own life. And know there will be a day that you will be as I am now. Full, fulfilled, content and positive I am Loved.
As I went to check on Pagiel, I already knew something was wrong, off, amiss… but put my hand upon the door knob and just walked in. I normally would knock or peek in quietly. His empty bedroom did not shock me. There were no screams or tears or wondering what I should do next. There was only a neat to-do-list of steps that had to be taken. My eyes moved from one part of his room to another. The bed, of course was empty. The window was open. His room was utter chaos as it had been from months of anger, sadness and despair. The window he had broken recently in a fit of rage was the one that whispered his whereabouts. It was the one I leaned upon, peered through and spoke to for answers as I called my boss to let her know I would not make it to work that day, perhaps ever again. The exact conversation is lost but I know I told her I would keep her posted. I did.
Have you ever seen a scary movie, an older one that relied on psychological horror and suspense instead of gore? This is how the scene went. Flashes of pieces met my eyes as my mind tried to keep up with clues and left behind bits of Pagiel. BAM! Empty bed. BAM! Open window. BAM! Laptop, phone, all communication devices present. BAM! Lack of note from a runaway child. BAM! Open leather journal to a page written in an alphabet of runic nature I could not decipher. BAM! The door again as The Holy Spirit told me to leave and go to the barn.
I was far from saved of my own volition. I not only was not calling out to God, I had not wanted anything to do with a God I thought had forsaken me 14 years before when I was soon to give birth to the child I now could not find. In fact, it was I who had forsaken both God and my son. Just as the people of Israel had found themselves in a great sin cycle, so had I. I worshipped other gods, cried out, He rescued me without my repentance and I had a good season of prosperity and rest. Then, I would fall again. It was not until my son walked boldly to the barn with a revolver to end his life, did I awaken and repent. I did not even fully understand my sin and had passed it down freely to my sweet son.
So here I was, in his empty bedroom with all the things that could have misled me to understand why he shot himself. Had he died instead of lived, this is how the story could have gone.
I would have found his body. I have no idea how long I would have stayed in the barn, looked around, held his lifeless body, cursed God or cried out for him…eventually, I imagine I would have found the gun. My best friend imagines I would have shot myself as well. I cannot speak to that but if I did not, I would have had to call the police. They would have come to take his body and there would have been an investigation. All the things in his room would have pointed to a mental illness undiagnosed. He would have fallen into a category of suicide statistics that would have led to more confusion about why our loved ones are choosing to end their life instead of suffering at the reaches and torture of demons. Please note, I do understand mental illness and there are people who are limited mentally. Most who die from suicide are not. Listen to the attempt survivors and you will hear the stories of voices, urges and a desperation to be rid of them. You will hear stories of sin passed down through abuse, neglect, heart wrenching tales of parents who were broken and did not love well because they weren’t taught to love well. This is wicked and evil, not a mental limitation. There are those who were loved well also. I must speak to those who were loved exceedingly well and still found to be encapsulated in pain from dark places. I realize that we do not have an exact how-to for recovery and though we may not have your room number and key, I can gladly show you to the hotel with the vacancy sign, give you a GPS address with a path that is narrow but well worth the comfy beds and mints on the pillows. We can even walk with you in a Kingdom journey.
Look around you right now and move your mind to the rest of your home or current living situation. What would someone find and assume if your body were to be at rest today? Would your empty bedroom tell the truth of who you were? Would the pieces of your life, knitted together by detectives assessing your belongings, social media and search history, writings, collections, material objects, pets, children, tales and stories from all that knew you be an accurate description of who you really were? I can tell you that Pagiel the empathetic and kind human was very misrepresented by his left behind things and chapter of life he was in.
Leave a good empty bedroom. There is not nearly enough time to leave a legacy of questions and chaos. Reach out so that you can be healed. It happened here and it can happen where you are right now.