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Suicide - Taboo subject


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This is not a post looking for condolence (there is none) nor is it intended to be any form of eulogy, I simply want to make/issue a warning.

On Friday 13th November my youngest son (aged 33) took his own life and I found him.

There was nothing even remotely bad in his life, he was married to the girl he’d been with since they were 17, he had a secure job, he had no debts, they were looking to start a family.

There is no reason that comes anywhere near close to justifying why he did this. (not that any ever does).

Except I have a theory.

Daniel thrived in company and socialising, gigs etc. the local, or anywhere there were people.

Daniel was as his elder brother has put it was, a people collector, we knew he was popular but he had so many friends it has astonished us (we got over 300 messages of support/condolence when we announced it social media for those we hadn’t or couldn’t reach personally, some from folks he’d met once or twice 5-10 years ago). Just about every message was either “devastated”, “gutted” or “never in a million years, not Dan”. There were dozens and dozens at his funeral all stood in the rain and the cold as only 10 allowed in chapel.

What was the one thing that Dan lost this year? that would be his social interactions, even his job became work from home so he lost his office “craic”.

He was the archetypal “life and soul of the party” and there was absolutely zero sign anything was wrong with him or that he was down in any way. Dan was the family Mr Positive, everything was great etc etc

Even through lockdown we saw him/them at least twice a week. On that that Friday he was talking to his mum about her helping them with their decorations the next day.

We finally got the coroners report Friday just gone, he was not pissed and he had no drugs or anything else in his system.

What I am trying to say is, if this can happen to Dan, it can happen to any one of us.

I will go to my grave believing that lockdown killed Dan, something ate away at him slowly and gradually, we never saw it and I doubt he did, I suspect he had an itch he couldn’t identify or scratch, if he did he was, it must be said, a mental health doubter “man up FFS” sort of person, so probably thought he could deal with it, until he couldn’t, and he broke.

We have since heard about so many others. It is NOT ok out there.

Please, please keep an eye on each other, don’t assume everyone is “happy and normal” ask people if they are OK, especially those who are “life and soul” types because it seems that a significant proportion of victims of this were “never seen without a smile on their face”.

I hope the message is clear and if so please pass it on.

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Jesus Christ, that's terrible. Condolences, mate. I can't imagine what you're going through, I'm glad you're trying to push a positive message from it. The truth is that you don't know what's going on in anyone's head, even those closest to us, if they don't let us in. There definitely has been a lot more focus on mental health over the last few years and encouragement for people to talk about their troubles but some people are naturally reluctant to do it.

How are you feeling? No parent should ever have to experience something like that. I hope you consider grief counselling, even if you don't feel like you need it right now.

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I appreciate you're not looking for condolences mate, but I'm so sorry for your loss. That is utterly tragic. I've read everything you've written here twice over, and will take it to heart indeed. The strength it must have taken to write it and the determination to help others avoid the same thing are both admirable in the extreme.

 

Thank you for the warning which I for one will absolutely keep in mind. There's nothing anyone can say about stuff like this that remotely does it justice, I'm just really sorry to hear it.

 

I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

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So sorry to hear this man, I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. 
 

I’ll repeat ewerk’s very good advice though, 

40 minutes ago, ewerk said:

I hope you consider grief counselling, even if you don't feel like you need it right now.

It helps put all the emotions- guilt, anger, despair, sorrow, in context and helps enormously. 

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Devastated for you and your family, thank you for speaking out about it as there is so much worth in doing so, and so much value in reaching out to those around us. 

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Heartfelt condolences to you and you're family. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. 

This organisation is local and run by a lady whose son died by suicide. You may not be ready yet, but when you are they offer support families bereaved by suicide 

https://www.ifucareshare.co.uk/

 

For those that don't know, I work in mental health. If anyone else is struggling or has worries about family members feel free to drop me a PM and I can offer signposting advice etc. 

 

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Thank you for your comments/thoughts guys. It was actually quite cathartic to write.

We have counselling available (and are taking advantage) through my work healthcare (work have been tremendous - even my yank bosses!!)

I really just want to emphasise the message, there was no discernable reason for this (notwithstanding my lockdown belief) and Dan was the most positive, laughter inducing person I ever knew and he exhibited zero sign anything was wrong to anyone, no-one has any recollection of anything being strange, or off, at any time. (I know none of you knew him, but you have to trust me on this - he was such a lover of life, never phased by adversity or ever visibly down he was an utter joy to be around),

We have now found out one of Dan's best mates (since they were 4 yr old) was in a really bad place 2 years or so ago, and it was solely Dan who worked on him and talked him down FFS, " he saved my life" as he puts it and he's now yet another person destroyed by this.

It's extremely scary in it's simplicity - if this was in Dan it is in everyone so never assume anyone, even yourself, is OK, assume they are not, and work from there and look out for everyone.

Thanks again guys

P.S. Since Dan did this, over 750 other families have started upon, and are enduring, the same journey we are now on, and that will be rising at around 18+ a day, every single fucking day, many, like us, will be totally oblivious to anything being wrong. Not all, by any stretch, who do this is are pissed up druggies or financially destroyed, marriage ended people with a host of problems that can make you think "I can sort of understand it". There is no understanding it.

P.P.S Woman who works with my sister in law rang work last week, in bits, and saying she couldn't come in because one of her son's best friends had done this 3 days earlier, was found by another mate and she'd just found out the mate who found him had then done same the night before. It's close and it's everywhere.

 

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Holy shit. I’m so sorry for your loss TP. Absolutely devastating news and I can’t imagine what you must be going through. Every parents’ worst nightmare. It’s funny how we have dreams about what our children might do with their lives but ultimately all that matters is they’re happy and they outlive us. 

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