This online memorial was created in loving memory of Michael Smich, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign Michael's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Michael forever.
TURN YOUR VOLUME UP. THE MUSIC IS BY LAYZBONES AND MICHAEL IS PLAYING THE MANDOLIN WHILE CHRISTINA IS SINGING. IT MAY TAKE A FEW SECONDS TO LOAD.
My oldest son Michael was 33 years old when he died by suicide by hanging. This has shattered my life and has put me in a place that I hope, in time, I can get out of. His brother, sister, friends and myself had no idea that he was depressed enough to commit suicide. This site will give a little insight on my son and his life and to give some insight on this terrible disease and the lives that are shattered by suicide. Hopefully, some light could be shed on this disease because it needs to be brought "out of the darkness".
Michael served 2 years in the US Army and also served in Bosnia. He worked as a Stationary Engineer in Chicago and bought his first home almost a year ago. Michael was shy his whole life and people sometimes took that to be rude or that he didn't care. But for anyone that really knew Mike, they knew that he really cared about his family and friends. He would do anything for the people he cared about and loved. And he showed that over and over with his brother, sister and friends and family.
When Mike's cousin Caitlin was born with a heart defect, Mike was the one that suggested a benefit that would help the family with medical bills. He was renting a house in Flossmoor and wanted to have it at his house. And within a very short time, we planned a benefit and held it in his back yard and raised money for Caitlin's medical bills.
When my husband Buddy died in August, 2001,unexpectedly, from lung cancer, Michael really came through for me and was there when I needed him. And for all the other crisis we had in my family, Michael always came through for all of us. Although we weren't the perfect family and as all families do, we had our problems but when things got tough and you asked Mike for help, he would step up to the plate. I don't think he knew exactly how much he was loved or how many people really cared for him.
When his brother Scott and his wife Faith had their baby William on 3/9/06, Michael was thrilled to have a nephew and couldn't wait until William was old enough to really play with him and roll around on the floor. Even with no baby experience, he was always willing to babysit William even as a newborn. He had a little problem with poopie diapers, but he was always willing to be there. Michael was also looking forward to his sister Jenn giving birth to his second nephew Caleb who was born on 9/12/07 - 3 months after he left us. Michael loved kids and loved playing and teasing with all his young cousins.
Michael started seeing a therapist because he was feeling depressed and was put on meds for depression 2 weeks prior to his suicide but apparently, it wasn't soon enough.
My family has never had to deal with this kind of death before and I know I am having a terrible time dealing with the loss of my son and the means by which he died, I know my other son Scott and daughter Jenn are having a terrible time too. There are so many unanswered questions which I know will never be answered but that doesn't stop us from asking. WHY? WHY? WHY? And I'm constantly asking myself if there was possibly something I could have done or said the days before or on that terrible day that could have changed the outcome. A day doesn't go by that my tears don't flow like a river and the pain in my heart feels unbearable. There is just an emptiness inside me that I could never even explain.
I have been in contact with many people who have lost a child to suicide and one women told me that we now belong to a very unique club. And although we didn't ask to become members of this club, we are lifetime members and we can't change that. My life has forever changed because of this loss and will never be the same. And although there is some comfort knowing there are others out there going through the loss of a loved one by suicide, I really wish I was the only one and no one else ever had to carry this much pain. Everything I read says that time heals all wounds, but does it really?? I know my heart will never heal. I think you just become numb to the pain and learn to live like that. I miss him terribly and am always looking for some sign to show me that he is free of his pain and in a happier place.
I love Michael and he will be missed everyday and I am going to do everything I know of to keep him alive within us. I know I am going to make sure that his nephew William and Caleb and any other nephews or nieces to come in the future will grow up knowing their Uncle Mikey!
I hope that this memorial to Michael will also help accomplish that and that his family, friends and even strangers will come to his memorial often and remember Mike for always.
I LOVE YOU MIKE AND WILL MISS YOU FOREVER... MOM
Picture of My Family
Michael wrote this entry in Lazybone's My Space on June 4, 2007. He sounded so hopeful. What happened in 8 days???. I will be asking that question for the rest of life. If I could only get an answer. I read this everyday and the tears flow. I can not believe what happened 8 days Mike wrote this....
"Well we are getting back into things. To all of you who had to deal with me the last couple of weeks, I am so sorry. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to be back to myself here shortly. Thanks for all you have done. Now we are playing a few shows this month. This Sunday we are playing outside at the Coachlight for Sean's birthday. We will be starting around 5 or so. Come on by....here some new tunes, see Sean drunk, cause that don't happen to often. The 24th is another benefit at the VFW in Chesterton, Tommy Thompson, Buffington and Randy Nelson and the Johnny Mac Attack will be there. So stop on by and support the cause while hearing some of the cheesetowns best. And the 30th we are back at the toiletry fest. Last year we played first and this year we are last. So if you need tickets see me this week. I need to get the money turned back in. Our time slot for the evening is 1 a.m. late night Lazybones. Also the night before I may be playing with the Johnny Mac and friends evening at the Coachlight. So we are startin to pick things up a bit. July we will be at the McGinnis Pub in Michigan City and there is a secret show that we will let you know about in town. We will have more details on that soon. Hope to see ya all soon and again I cannot thank you all who have been there the last few weeks. You know who you are. I will be forever grateful. Mike"
MICHAEL WITH NEPHEW WILLIAM WHEN HE WAS BORN
NEPHEW CALEB WHO MICHAEL WILL NEVER MEET
MICHAEL AND WILLIAM
My son and I
TO WALK WITH US THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN. OUR FAMILY CHAIN IS BROKEN, AND NOTHING SEEMS THE SAME; BUT WHEN WE ARE CALLED ONE BY ONE, THE CHAIN WILL LINK AGAIN!
We are connected, my child and I, by an invisible cord not seen by the eye. It's not like the cord that connects us at birth. This cord can't be seen by anyone on earth. This cord does it's work right from the start. It binds us together - always attached to my heart. I know that it's there though no one can see, the invisible cord from my child to me. The strength of this cord, its hard to describe. It can't be destroyed...It can't be denied. And though you are gone, though you're not here with me, the cord is still here, but no one can see. It pulls at my heart - I am bruised - I am sore, But this cord is my lifeline as never before. I am thankful we are connected this way... A Mother and Child that death can not take away.Author Unknown
My pain began when my son's pain ended.
I hold onto the many pictures and memories, but not seeing Mike, not hearing his laugh is what I miss so much. Life does go on but not without heartache and tears.
They say time heals all, but time so far has only proven how much I miss my son. What it meant to lose him, no one will ever know.
Mike - deep in our hearts you will always stay - loved and remembered every day.
Love Never Goes Away
by Darcie D. Sims, PD.D...Wenatchee, WA
"Why does it hurt so much? Why is this grief so incapacitating? If only the hurt weren't so crushing." All of us have known hurt before, but none of our previous "ouches" can compare with the hurt we now feel. Nothing can touch the pain of lossing a child.
Yet, most of us have discovered that the sun still comes up. We still have to function. We did not die when our child did, even though we wished we could have. So, we are stuck with this pain, this grief, and what do we do with it? Surely, we can't live like this forever!!
There is no magic formula for surviving grief. There are a few commonly recognized patterns for grief, but even those are only guide-lines. What we do know is that the emptiness will never go away. It will become tolerable and livable...some day.
TIME, the longest word in our grief. We use to measure TIME by the steps of our child...the first word, first tooth, first date, first car. Now we don't have that measure anymore, All we have is TIME and that only seems to make the hurt worse.
So what do we do? Give ourselves TIME to hurt, to grieve, to cry. TIME to choke, to scream. TIME to be "crazy" and TIME to remember.
Be nice to yourself? Don't measure you progress against anyone else's. Be your own timekeeper.
Don't push. Eventually you will find the hours and days of grief have turned to minutes and then moments, but don't expect them to go away. We will always hurt. You don't get over grief, it only becomes tolerable and livable.
Change your focus a bit. Instead of dwelling on how much you lost - try thinking about the good memories so they will come over you as easily as the awful ones do. We didn't lose our child, HE/SHE died. We didn't lose the love that flowed between us. It still flows, only differently.
Does it help to know that if we didn't love so very much, it would not hurt so badly? Grief is the price we pay for love. And as much as it hurts, I'm very, very glad I loved.
Don't let death cast ugly shadows, but rather warm memories of loving times you shared. Even though death comes, LOVE NEVER GOES AWAY!!
9/2008 - Mike's Memorial Site has really grown in the last year. I keep adding, deleting, and correcting. I love working on this site. It is my connection to Michael and I feel close to him when I am here. I feel it is the only thing I have left that I could do for him. Write his story and now write my stories to keep his memory alive. His legacy will live through me, my son Scott, my daughter Jenn and Mike's 2 nephews, William and Caleb and my daughter-in-law, Faith.
I know this site is very long and a lot of reading that can't be done all at once. Please bookmark Mike's site and find time in the days ahead to read each poem, story, quote, etc because each one has a meaning and it will give you a better understanding of Mike and how suicide effects everyone. Listen to each song and the words. This is very healing for me. When I read other people's poems regarding suicide, surviving, grief, and all the other emotions, I feel every poem came straight from my heart. I also hope that anyone else who is on this journey will find some comfort in some of the poems on Mike's site like they have for me.
Thank you for visiting my son's site. Please don't leave without signing the guestbook.
Mother to Mike, Scott, Jenn and Faith
Grandma to William and Caleb
Again, I have updated. Added many more pictures that I found of Michael and things that have been happening over the last year. Every page has been changed since last year - words added, pictures added, stories told.
Please read and look through this entire memorial site for me and most of all in rememberance of Michael.
Please sign the guestbook to show you have visited.
Click on the above link and light a candle for Mike
Click on search at the top of the page. Search for "suic" Group. Once in the group click to continue. This way, the candle you light for Mike will go into our own group - "suic". Thanks for remembering my son.
Please bookmark this site. The candles only stay lit for 48 hours. You can light a candle as often as you wish.