Azaleas in October
The year our son died, our azaleas bloomed again in October. Those are the very words I heard in my head as I stared out the front window of our home the week of October 2011,and I knew at that moment that I would be writing about his death in the days to come.I didn’t know anything beyond that moment. Our brilliant, handsome, accomplished son had died by suicide, and we were broken beyond repair—devastated, tosay the very least.That was now ten years ago. The poems in this chapbook were born out of that grief, out of necessity, out of my attemptsto survive his loss by recording my thoughts and emotions. Since then, we have discovered how this epidemic is ravagingour land, and we have met others who are struggling to survive, as well. As a result, these pages are dedicated to thefamilies and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide and to parents who have lost children by any means. This work’s purpose is to educate those who are still untouched by tragedy, to empathize with those still in the throes of anguish, and to encourage those who wonder if they will ever smile again.