Friday, 13 April 2012

Two Years On...........

I’m hi-jacking my own blog today for a more serious topic.  It’s been 2 years to the day since I lost my brother to suicide. 
So much time has passed and yet it still feels so real as if it was only yesterday.  I still remember that awful day when my poor husband came home from work unexpectedly.  My first thought was “oh my god, he’s been fired”, followed by “oh my god, he’s crashed the truck!”  I have such faith don’t I?  In hind sight, although at the time both of those “what-if” thoughts raced through my head, they would have been a welcome reality in place of what was to come.
My adored 38 year old brother had killed himself.  I still remember it clear as day.  I had just come out of hospital from having my 3rd child and my whole world was to change forever.

But, we keep going.  We keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Hate to sound like a cliche, but it really makes you look at things differently.  I know without a shadow of a doubt I have much less tolerance for trivial matters – is that a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t know.  I listen to people whinge and bicker about crazy things, and I automatically think “wow, I wish that was the biggest thing in my life that I had to worry about”.
I know that’s not fair.  To them, at that moment, it is a big deal.  I was exactly the same. Worrying about this and worrying about that (and I still do), but I suppose I’m less hung up on the smaller things.
It’s also made me realise with a frightening reality of just how fast life passes by.  My eldest is 11 now.  When did that happen?  He was only a baby yesterday wasn’t he – now I’m filling out applications for High School.  Weren’t my brother and I just in High School?  No really, make it slow down.....please.
Suicide is a very scary word for a lot of people.  It’s a word that evokes a lot of passion in people and a lot of opinions, and I’m no different.  To a lot of people it’s an extremely selfish thing to do.  And they are right, it is a selfish thing to do, an extremely selfish thing to do.  But the thing is, at least in my brother’s case, he wasn’t thinking of anyone else at all, he wasn’t thinking about anything else at all.  He just wanted the pain to stop and for him, the only way to make it all go away was to leave us.  It doesn’t make it right, and I still struggle everyday trying to make sense of how this fun-loving, larger than life character that was loved by so many, could suddenly be gone.  I just have to remind myself, that’s it not my job to understand, how can we, we just have to keep moving forward.
I still have a lot of anger, not just towards him but also towards his wife, but I also understand that although in her actions she set in motion a course of events that would change so many lives forever; she never in a million years could have predicted the outcome.  No one could have.  I know many other friends of my brother who are much less forgiving, but you know what, people have affairs all the time, and people don’t kill themselves over it.  It most definitely doesn’t make it right, by any means, but it’s still a fact.  And she has to live with the knowledge every single day of what she did, and what pain it caused.  Unfortunately though, so do we.
We realised he wasn’t coping those last few weeks and friends and family were there every day to keep an eye on him.  Unfortunately though, it was impossible to be there 24/7.  Beyond Blue was a wonderful source of help and he had an appointment with the counsellor the following day – which he obviously never made it to.  I struggle knowing his last call was to Lifeline, which clearly didn’t help.  I try not to judge, but at the end of the day, they are reading off a script, which makes me question how effective they can be.
I suppose if I could pass on one message out of all this, it would be to treasure your friends and treasure your family.  You just never know what is around the corner.  And if you need help, if you need to talk, put up your hand and ask for help, you’ll be surprised how many people will be there for you.
Damien was a huge supporter of The Nature Foundation SA


  1. Massive hugs xox

    I lost my sister to suicide on the 23rd of November 2010 and it hurts so much. You are right, it is not something that it spoken about and I think that people don't ever want to talk to me about it because they don't want to upset me, but then I just end up internalising all the many emotions that surround suicide.

    I don't know you but from what you write, I think you are a beautiful person. There are no words but I just wanted to send you some cyber hugs xx

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful comments.
    It is so hard, and I think it's something that will never go away, it's just something we learn to live with a little more each day.