This isn't a blog post I wanted to write and it isn't one you were hoping to read. 23 months after losing Elspeth and one of our children is back in hospital long term. Finally they are beginning to discuss their sister's death truthfully, and admit how much they miss her and need her. And finally, when they have truly reached rock bottom, is everyone hopeful that they can see the way through to climb out.
I lost my brother 4 years ago, but the point when I truly lost him was
years earlier. I was very young, I had myself and my own babies to look
after, and his behaviour made him unsuitable to be around children. I
tried, but I couldn't save him. I had to watch him slip further away
month on month, and I lost him. I will carry some of that burden
Losing someone to suicide makes you feel you are responsible. You think you might have said or done something to make it happen, and you search through all the conversations trying to find it. You beat yourself up about a mythical phrase that was too much. Everyone involved will feel this misplaced guilt.
Suicide is really crushing. It makes you feel a failure. You failed them, you failed to see where it went wrong and you failed to make it better. You failed. For older siblings that feeling of failure can be just as bad. Again you search through every conversation and action, wondering if anything could have given away just how bad they were feeling. Elspeth takes up so much of our heads, even nearly 2 years later. She takes up so much of our time.
I guess our young person really couldn't face that their sister was gone. They mainly discussed her on a very brief and light level, and although we made absolutely sure they had 'someone to talk to', we had no way to check that they were. They threw themselves into work and study and hid from everyone the fact that they were suffering so badly. They didn't want to talk about it. They didn't ever take the time and have the chance to come to a point they could address all of their feelings and rationalise. I hope that now they can discuss Elspeth genuinely, this can begin to change.
I hope soon that they can see however long until they find balance, there is a world of smiles on the other side. Life can be good again, it is worth staying.
The smiles are there, as they always are if you look, and I have captured as many as I could over the last month. 2 of our young people ran the Manchester Colour Run. They didn't raise a fortune for charity, but they both achieved some very important personal goals and we are uber-proud of them. More smiles courtesy of an animal themed birthday party, 2 cocktails at Britmums Live, sports day and Bricktastic LEGO Show!