Recently we spoke with a wonderful lady called Charlotte, and we wanted to share with you her story. Charlotte was bereaved by suicide in 2010, and has shared her journey in this heartbreaking and beautifully written blog filled with hope.
My Mum took her own life in December 2010. My brother found her. It was devastating. I have only recently felt strong enough to connect with others about my process of grief and I’m just hoping it helps with anyone else with finding the strength to overcome grief by suicide.
Every so often a human decides they are not strong enough for their life anymore. They ‘check out’ so to speak. At that point … there is only despair. No hope. They might have the number for the crisis team and have good family support. They might even have ‘got through this before’ .
They break into pieces so small that they feel they can’t put themselves back together and leaving seems their only option, a release even.
This is my mum. She fought her demons for many years behind a very very beautiful smile. A perfect veil for her pain.
My message through this experience of grief … is this … you must practice gratitude every waking moment. Cherish your loved ones. Tell them you love them as often as you can. Appreciate we are all so different, we cope differently and we act differently. Acceptance is everything, I have learnt to let go lightly and to cry whenever I need to and reach out for support when needed.
Have the courage to change your life if there are things that need changing. Life is far too short and fleeting to procrastinate. A friend of my Mums said to me at the funeral.. ‘you may not see it now but change brings about change’. She was right. I completed a four year degree after my Mum died, I went back to Uni aged thirty two and studied Occupational Therapy, after the four year part time course, I was awarded a First Class Degree and I won a research award for my final piece of research that focused on the recovery model within mental health.
I now work within children and young peoples services as a therapist at a mental health drop in. We hope that giving young people someone to talk to at the time of need may well prevent long term mental illness. It is my way of being part of something that aims to prevent crisis situations in the future and offer people the tools to cope with pain and suffering.
My Son was only fourteen months when my Mum died. He will never hear her infectious laughter, or see her dance to soul music. He will not know how much of a great cook she was or how beautifully she made everything look including herself. What he will know however, is that no matter what life throws your way, there is a way of getting through and he will know that if you have true faith in your heart, life can and always will be a celebration every day.
I’ve had to learn how to accept my mum’s choice. I now dance with her , sing with her and laugh with her. She is in my DNA … I allow our DNA to sparkle rather than fade.
Without her I would not be me. I’m grateful for her strength to hang on and I’m grateful for her effervescence. Eternally.
On behalf of Harmless and The Tomorrow Project, thank you for sharing with us your story Charlotte. We are all truly touched by your strength and hope others can take comfort in knowing that ‘no matter what life throws your way, there is a way of getting through’.