This mum is on the run – the story of a family who had their hearts broken by suicide

You may have seen recently our posts about our marathon runner Sophia Thorne. Sophia has started her training for the grueling 42km of the London Marathon this year. Recently she shared an incredibly brave blog post about why she is running for us, and we wanted to share this with you.

“Good evening guys. It’s been 3 weeks since I found out I had a place to run the London Marathon for The Tomorrow Project and I feel ready to talk about why this charity means so much to me. The heartbreaking story in the news this week about the beautiful Molly Russell has reminded me how important it is to talk about suicide, without stigma or judgement. So, this is the story of a family who had their hearts broken by suicide too.

This photo is of my Uncle Phil. He loved life, he was full of energy; the kind of energy that lights up a room without saying a word. He was my Mum’s little brother and the baby of the family. He was the best man at my Mum and Dad’s wedding and when their marriage broke down when I was 5 he became a father figure in my life. He taught me many things of great importance, such as Leicester City are the greatest football club on the face of the Earth, Emile Heskey is actually a saint and a song about Mark McGhee that I shouldn’t have known aged 11! To know Phil was to love him, he was just one of those people.

A few days after my 14th birthday Uncle Phil came to visit, this wasn’t unusual, he lived just down the road. That night was the last time I saw him alive. In the early hours of the next morning he took his own life and with it the life we, his family knew. When I look back now I feel my childhood ended there, after that the world was never the same.

20 years ago there was no helpline to call for a man who was struggling with life. In the 20 years since his death there have been a million “If only” moments, as is the case for anyone who has lost someone to suicide. I believe if he had a Tomorrow Project to talk to he’d still be here.

The impact his death had on us, his family was essentially total destruction. It felt like a grenade had exploded in the heart of us all but due to the stigma attached to suicide nobody quite knew how to deal with it. Watching my mum trying to continue to function in the days, weeks and years that followed still makes me cry. Again, I wish there was a Tomorrow Project there then to support us through the harrowing times.

I am running the London Marathon in memory of Uncle Phil but also in celebration of a broken heart that carried on, as I saw my mum’s do. When somebody takes their own life, it’s not just their life that they take.

So this is my motivation, this has been the most difficult post to write because I couldn’t joke it away, it’s something that even 20 years on is very raw. I apologise for it being this way but this is my suicide reality. If you can donate to the amazing The Tomorrow Project please use this link below

Thanks for all your support guys, you keep me going when it’s -1 outside ?

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