It had been just more than two years since Tyler, a former Marine, had lost his battle with PTSD and taken his own life. Some days, like today, I’d still wake up thinking that it had all just been a terrible dream.
I got up and walked to the bookshelf we’d made into a small memorial for Tyler. It held items we displayed at his funeral—Marine Corps mementos, medals, and a blue Bible. We’d moved to a new town and joined a different church when Tyler was 12 years old. Folks there had given him that Bible. He’d cherished it as a kid. Now I picked it up and held it to my chest.
When Tyler came home from his third tour in Afghanistan, I believed things would go back to normal. He moved in with my husband, David, and me and worked on building a life for himself. But he had trouble readjusting to civilian life. He struggled to find a meaningful job and felt as if his friends had all moved on without him. While he was away serving, they had gone to college and gotten married.
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