‘After my son died, he appeared to me in a dream. ‘Mom, don’t look for me. You won’t find the person I used to be. Everyone around you is alive with me. ‘I am always by your side.’ After losing her firstborn son to suicide, a mother of four receives comforting messages from the beyond.

This story contains information about loss and suicide that may be distressing to some readers.

“Adrian was the first in a family of four children. Despite the fact that the pregnancy had not been planned, his father and I were overjoyed when we learned we were expecting. It was a simple pregnancy, and I felt my best during that time.

Adrian was a very active baby in the womb. He used to kick so violently that my sciatic nerve would spasm. Nine months flew all too quickly. We were eager to meet this little bundle of love.

We had to push him out because he was due on June 10th. Even the most powerful medical inducing wouldn’t be enough to get him out. He was on a mission. On the summer solstice, he was to be born.

The day when the sun shines the brightest. My mother called him ‘Soleil,’ which means ‘sunshine,’ because that is exactly what he was. In our life, he was the brilliant sun. As a result, his larger-than-life adventure began.

As a kid, he was a highly active kid. Caleb, his younger brother, was born 17 months later, and he thought he was the cutest tiny doll he’d ever seen until he realized he was here to stay… But they quickly became the greatest of friends, complimenting each other perfectly.

Adrian was gregarious and social, whereas Caleb was introverted and reserved. Adrian frequently spoke for Caleb and often understood what he was feeling and thinking before he did.

He was enthralled by everything and had a genuine admiration for everyone and everything. You liked Adrian and remembered him if you met him. You were made to feel significant by him. He was genuine.

He was a hoot. He was a person who spread love. He was the epitome of love. From an early age, I called him the love bug because that is exactly what he was. The human manifestation of supernatural and uncommon love.

He was a genius. I enrolled him in a week-long summer music camp, and he selected violin as his instrument. His teacher was astounded; she had never seen a child master three songs in a single day before.

As a result, he began his career as a violinist. He attended lessons for a few years and when he played, he would fall into a trance. It was lovely to see, and I took advantage of every opportunity to request that he play for visitors.

He never went to college or university, and he felt inferior to his brothers and relatives who did. He didn’t respect his work sufficiently, despite the fact that he put in long hours. He enjoyed working for a moving company as a mover.

His motto was to make every client feel special, and he made it a point to connect with every one of them in some way. He would put in horrendous hours in oppressive heat and never complain. No one in our family could have put in the same amount of effort as him. His ambition was to one day acquire a large truck and travel the country.

Adrian had a tattoo on his forearm that read 1 + 1 = 3, reminding him to always go above and beyond, to provide 110%, and to never settle for less. That was how he spent his life. He was quite proud of his Newfie and French Canadian ancestors. He has a fleur de Lis tattoo on his arm.

He placed a high value on his family. He intended to have a lot of family get-togethers. He tried to accompany me whenever I visited family, and when he did, he whistled along to music during the whole vehicle ride.

He adored his siblings and his entire family. And he said something about it. When I would visit Adrian and Caleb in high school for whatever reason (they had forgotten something, needed to speak with a teacher, etc. ), Adrian would run up to me and give me a big embrace.

Caleb bolted in the opposite direction. It was just hilarious. Caleb reacted as a typical adolescent would; Adrian’s heart triumphed over his adolescent anxieties. He didn’t seem to mind that he was vulnerable.

He was a really humble man. He wasn’t frightened to speak his mind. He was a good listener. He was a huge music fan. He was the king of hugs. His warm spirit was contagious. Because he loved it so much, he was sensitive.

He possessed a divine sense of intuition. Because he was present, he remembered every aspect of every experience. You couldn’t expect him to find his socks, or my jeans, which had been lost in his tornado of pristine heaps of items in his room, or to remember to execute a task he was given.

He was too preoccupied with more significant issues — issues that truly mattered.

On May 21, 2019, he tragically committed suicide. It was a rude awakening. He committed suicide in the middle of the night, and his younger brother discovered him in the basement. As a result, a pipe broke, waking Philippe awoke.

I wish it hadn’t turned out that way… All of this would have been better if it hadn’t happened. I’m sorry Philippe was the one who discovered him.

When we placed his casket into the grave, it was accompanied by a butterfly, which flew away as soon as the casket was laid down. Everyone who saw it could tell; we were all awestruck by what would become the first of many Adrian signs.

It wasn’t a stretch to assume he’d live as big on the other side as he had on this side.

Adrian isn’t defined by the manner in which he died. His life is characterized by how he lived it. There is still work to be done in terms of education to dispel the notion that suicide is something to be ashamed of.

Silence and shame, which do not need to accompany this kind of loss, exacerbate the specific suffering. All the “what ifs” in the world won’t bring him back. I know because I’ve attempted it. I’ve replayed the tape numerous times, inserting all of the “what ifs,” and the movie always ends the same way.

Although I didn’t want to be defined by how he died, I felt for months as if I had a sign on my forehead that read, “I lost my son to suicide.” It seemed as though something was caught in my mouth, demanding to be yelled out.

I carried the open wound about with me wherever I went. I couldn’t sleep at night because I couldn’t get rid of the thoughts of him in the basement. The sound of water crashing against the concrete floor, the sound of his body collapsing.

The sensation of his cold and hard body. I couldn’t envision ever being free of these sights, feelings, and sounds. I remember them now, but they don’t bother me as they did back then. I’ve opted to remember him as vibrant as possible.

I realized I needed to be honest about the grief, rage, and guilt I was experiencing. For weeks, I was enraged. It was easier than allowing myself to feel hopeless and depressed. I didn’t know how to express my sorrow.

I listened to every podcast I could find, as well as every audiobook I could get my hands on. I began to believe in the process. I joined every bereavement and a suicide-related Facebook group I could find.

I went to counseling. I attended church. I couldn’t get these to function for me. The groups tended to be dark and depressing. Therapy encouraged me to revisit my past and childhood. I felt organized religion to be very confining for me.

I wanted to find happiness, live in the now, and move on. In my recovery journey, I had done a lot of work on myself, and I am a student of A Course in Miracles. Spiritual healing was what drew me in, and it was there that I first heard the language I was looking for.

Adrian’s death was either going to be a curse or an opportunity to look for blessings. I went with the blessing option.

During my search, I came across several profound facts that changed my life. One of them is this. Adrian appeared to me in a dream shortly after his death. ‘Mom, don’t look for me,’ he said. You won’t be able to find the previous.’

Everyone around you is alive with me. Caleb is my home, and uncle Terry is my neighbor… ‘I am always by your side.’ That was the start of my healing and maturation process. Adrian’s suicide became the most difficult task of my life.

I needed to continue the spiritual work I started when I became sober eight years ago and make a commitment to exponential growth.

Another major benefit came in my quest to find out where he had gone. I went through every bit of afterlife information I could get my hands on once more.

It had to be comfortable for me. The book Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani was the source of this solution for me. Adrian, I suppose, is all around us. He is in his most pure and flawless state. He is euphoric and utopic in every way.

He is joyous, happy, forgiving, accepting, and unconditionally loving. He is the cosmos, and he is my greater power. He is the natural world. He is, however, Adrian. He is definite, but he is also limitless.

Relationships, I believe, remain even after death. As a result, Adrian and I have frequent conversations. In my morning meditation/contemplation/journaling routine, I connect with him. Our friendship is growing, as is the incredible bond we shared while he was in human form.

I feel that deepening my relationship with him will allow me to experience massive levels of healing and bonding. I love forward by strengthening my link and unconditional love towards Caleb’s siblings, Sydney and Phillipe.

I attempt to generalize the sensation I get when I connect to Adrian’s current state of heavenly and pure love to everyone else.

Caleb, Sydney, and Philippe are heartbroken and miss him terribly. I have a big job to do: show them that recovery is possible, and I’m devoted to assisting and supporting them along the way. I need to set a good example.

That doesn’t mean I don’t periodically relapse into severe depression and experience hopelessness all over again. I’m crying a lot more than I used to be. I still have problems watching footage of him and am unable to visit his cemetery — to be honest, all I want to do is dig him up.

I’m confident that one day I’ll be able to accomplish all of these goals. I am aware that I am better able to dwell in the spiritual realm, and it is effective for me.

I’m sorry he had to leave us. But who am I to disagree with reality? Who am I, after all, to question his decision? He may have made a decision that I will never entirely understand or agree with, but I am confident that he did not intend to harm any of us.

How very fortunate was I to be picked as his mother? He doesn’t want me to wallow in grief and never get over it. Instead, knowing him has instilled in me a stronger desire to be a better person. As a result of having been loved by him. He is a role model.

I’m confident that this awful experience will inspire me to become a better person. After all, I carried him in my body for almost 24 years, and I know he will continue to carry me for the remainder of my days on this planet.

He wants me to be complete for his three siblings, and he wants me to love them even more intensely today. He wants me to use what I’ve learned and use it to help others who are going through similar situations.

He wants me to love more and judge less. He wants me to be less distracted, more present, and pay attention to every element of someone’s looks, words, breathing, feeling, voice, and walking – PAY MORE ATTENTION.

I wish to heal and, as a result, help others. I’ve earned the title of Master Grief Coach. In his honor, I’m creating a book about it all. Every day, I ask him to show me and guide me. Whatever it takes to get closer to him, I’ll do anything. As my CEO, he has a significant responsibility. He hasn’t failed me yet.”

The story and the pictures: Courtesy of Lori-Ann Seward