Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
I returned to my childhood home recently to collect a huge suitcase full of old family photographs, documents and other items connected to my family history.
There were several photographs of my mother, many of which I had never seen before. I’m told I look like her, though I can only see a passing resemblance.
I have no memory of time spent with her and am unable to picture her face in my mind, so any photographs I come by are treasured. If my father had been kind enough to share positive memories of her while he had been alive, so much heartache and family distance could have been avoided. As could my own difficulties with mental health as a result of there being so many unanswered questions about my history.
I have spoken with a number of other people in person and online who seem to have experienced similar problems with family members shutting down in the wake of a suicide and relationships suffering as a result. Of course, unanswered questions result in uncertainty and anxiety for those left behind, especially when those people are children. Discussing the suicide of a family member is never easy, but discussing what has happened honestly can save the potential for there being years of bitterness to follow.
This journey has been an emotional one, that goes without saying. When I started learning about my mother’s life, I had no idea my research would go as far as tracking down old friends of hers to share memories and obtaining the coroner’s report and her suicide note. The feeling of empowerment it has given me though, has been incredible. I have a newfound confidence in what I can achieve and feel that I truly understand a woman who was a mystery to me for 31 years. I feel close to her for the first time.
I have reached the point now where I feel I can start to write a book, it will be more detailed than the blog has been and follow a more linear format. The blog has jumped around a lot as I learned new things and decided to write about them.
I intend to keep this site updated as often as possible with news on suicide prevention and mental health treatment and perhaps new posts that result from further research.
Until next time, thank you all for reading and following me up to this point. See you in the new year.