Fiction and suicide barriers

I like reading (murder) mysteries, not the gory, violent, scary ones, but the somewhat more subdued ones. Although, just about anything dealing with murder is kind of violent.
Anyway, I'm reading V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton and one of the victims is found dead under the Cold Spring Bridge near Santa Barbara. It's meant to look like a suicide because quite a few people have jumped from that bridge to their deaths, but it is actually a murder.
I'm familiar with that particular bridge. There's a group wanting a barrier on that bridge and they have been in touch with our group, the Bridge Rail Foundation.
What I found especially interesting is a paragraph on page 216 of this novel (it's supposed to be a newspaper article): "Vance is the eighteenth Santa Teresa County resident to plunge to her death. Caltrans representative Wilson Carter called the loss of lives resulting from individuals jumping from the 400-foot-high bridge a "regrettable and entirely preventable tragedy." Statistical studies show that barriers erected on comparable structures contribute significantly to the reduction of suicide attempts. Carter further stated, "The long-term emotional and financial toll as a direct result of suicide offers a compelling argument for the construction of such a barrier, which has long been under discussion by state and county officials."
I've done some googling and can't find a Wilson Carter or this particular quote, but it's not that different from quotes about other structures needing a suicide barrier.
Oh, and the novel is set in 1988, so this particular discussion has been going on for a while there, too.


Dealing with loss

No, this isn't a post with advice on dealing with loss, rather, it's a "I don't quite know how to deal with this" post.
It's been almost 5 years since Henry left us and I'm doing just fine most days. It's the "special" days that are still a problem. We deal with Christmas by going away, that works. Thanksgiving gets pretty much ignored. But what about birthdays and the anniversary of his death?
I have a good friend who sends special gifts for the special days to make sweet memories and I am incredibly touched by her thoughtfulness.
Three years ago - or was it 4 years ago? - I came up with the idea of asking friends to have pizza in Henry's memory. It was his favorite food and we visit his favorite pizza place on occasion. Last year, K was visiting, so we invited friends and relatives to join us and there were 7 of us. It was quite nice. A nice distraction. Yesterday, there were 4 of us and it was fine. But, and I don't know if it's the still lingering cold or what, I don't feel so good today.
Yes, there are good memories to hold onto but there are still all those questions: why, what led up to it, why didn't I see it coming?
And then I ask myself: Am I dealing with this the right way? Shouldn't it maybe be time to just let go? I know I've moved on. But is it maybe time to put this behind me? I just don't know.
I've heard from a friend about another mother who lost her only child in an accident. She shuts herself in her house and spends her daughter's birthday remembering. No phone, no visitors, just herself and her memories. I can't do that and I don't want to do that. I know that isn't right for me.
Another friend organized a card tournament as a fund raiser in her brother's memory. The money raised goes towards a scholarship.
Still others have masses said on their child's special days. We did that for a while, until we didn't need them any longer.
I know this feeling will pass, but there's still the anniversary of Henry's death coming up and we will be visiting the bridge again - with flowers. Since it'll be the fifth anniversary, I am wondering if I should do anything else. But, if so, what? And, really, shouldn't I maybe just move on and treat all these days as if they were nothing out of the ordinary?
I just don't know.



Today is such a bittersweet day - sweet because of the nice memories - bitter for the obvious reason: Henry is gone. Today would have been his 23rd birthday and, as we've done for a few years now, we're having Pizza Night in his memory. We'll get together with a few friends at what used to be his favorite pizza place and there will be quite a few more people eating pizza where they live or happen to be tonight.
I remember the day he was born so well. It was bitter cold, just like it is here today. Of course, Oklahoma cold is different from California cold. It warms up quite a bit here, there, it stayed cold for ages. During the time we were in the hospital, Henry was the only boy and the heaviest baby in the nursery. He was such a good baby, quite calm and unfussy. And he calmed down immediately when held. Didn't like car rides which was so different from Kate.
The picture above brings back memories, too. It was taken in the late summer of 1995, during the break between kindergarten and first grade. Henry had been taking karate (soo bahk do) for about a year at a studio that was very much geared towards teaching children. This was his first tournament and it was set up in such a way that each child earned a trophy of some kind. He didn't do quite as well in forms (he got so much better as time went on, going from soft and mushy movements to totally crisp and sharp) but won first place in sparring. There had to be contact of some kind and Henry kicked the little girl he was sparring with in the stomach. Not hard, just enough to earn him a point (and it wasn't mean or malicious, just part of the routine). The trophy was slightly taller than he was and he was so proud of it (wanted us to install a security system in the house so nobody would steal it :-)).
My father, who had been coaching a local wrestling team for many years, had died just weeks before in July 1995 and so I was a little weepy when Henry won. I think my father would have been proud of him.
It's "funny" - I can still hear Henry's voice and when I close my eyes I still imagine him coming in through the front door after school. It's been almost 5 years now and I still miss him and I still have questions.
Happy Birthday, Henry! ♥