Self Love After a Tragedy


Four years ago, my world changed forever. And when I say forever, I mean forever. Not one thing has been the same. On July 26, 2017, even our address changed the very same night.

Family tragedies suck you into a world where you are no longer you.

Especially when it’s your child – my son Zane, who was 16, died by suicide. I will tell you that if God was going to take him, I wonder why not a disease, car accident, fire, or other death besides suicide. Any other end has an answer; we will NEVER know why Zane took his life that day. I’ve pleaded to God, but I’ve got nothing.

Let me tell you what suicide or the death of a child will do to you, physically and mentally. After Zane died, naturally, as a mother, I lost weight. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think, breathe, feel, or sleep. I was numb. I had no emotions; I forced facial expressions except when I was crying uncontrollably. It was this way for at least the first year. I faked my way through life, through work. Then the second year hit.

Year two didn’t change much emotionally.

I still missed my baby like hell. But during year one, I broke my neck, so it put a halt to the crazy gym routine that helped with my mood. I never regained the momentum to work out as hard as I did pre-neck break (in my earlier days, I ran Spartans). By year two, I had gained 10 pounds. Then year three comes around, and I’m up 20. Hello muffin-top. I now have two pairs of jeans I switch out and only wear flowy shorts to work. On my days off, I’m in a t-shirt and tights, no makeup, and my hair is in a pineapple on top of my head. This isn’t me. I don’t know who I am anymore.

At the end of 2020, I had back surgery. I tweaked my lower back earlier in the year, and it only got worse, so surgery was my only answer. When I was cleared to get back in the gym, I ran to it, hoping to jump-start feeling better. From the end of January to the middle of March, I was doing great, or so I thought. But not a pound was coming off. Then, in Colorado, I broke my left arm on a quick getaway for my husband and me. Another surgery, more pounds. I’m at a loss. Now I’m miserable about my body, I have a few chronic illnesses (Chiari, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few), AND I still do not have my son. This is still not me.

Well, I have personally decided that I need to help myself.

Yes, I still want to lose this weight, but it shouldn’t be the entire focus of my day. The bags under my eyes are battle wounds from the tears I’ve cried, and for the tears, I will still cry for Zane. My hair loss from the stress will hopefully ease up at some point, and the uncontrollable crying will fade away. Zane will be gone four years in July. I will cry. I still mourn and always will.

But this momma needs self-care. I need ME back.

Moms need mental and physical self-care too.

Please, if you are in any way having suicidal thoughts, call someone or the AFSP hotline.
1-800-273-8255 or
Text NAMI to 741741

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West Texas has always been my home, and Lubbock has been my work-home for 23 years as a hairstylist. My husband Joe and I have 4 children, Daniel (24), Zane (Forever 16), KaiDyn (13) and Riot (11). Daniel is married to Adrianna and together they have our wild and crazy 5 year old grandson Zeagan. KaiDyn and Riot, whom are siblings, are adopted and have been with us since January of 2018! Joe and I are actively involved in a Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program called #flyhighzane. In 2020 Joe left the oilfield to become self-employed owning a handyman business, Everybody Needs a Joe and Sons. I am here as a mom, a grandmother, a friend, and just someone who has been there. I'm here to talk. Favorite Restaurant: Cancun Favorite Lubbock Landmark: Hell's Gate behind Dunbar Lake (this spot was Zane's favorite) Favorite Tradition: Anything at the National Ranching Heritage Center