Friday 15 July 2016

23 Months...

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 forever.
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!




  1. I respect you so much for your posts. I had no counselling when I lost my brother. I guess blogging didn't even exist then. Different circumstances, but I know how it feels when a sibling is gone. I have felt so empty for so long. Your babies (and yourselves) are doing brilliantly - nothing is ever going to be easy, but the fact you manage to try and have some other experiences, are the best way forward. Elspeth will never ever be forgotten x

  2. Oh Jenny I'm so sorry that this month has been a harder one. I'm glad that there were still some smiles and experiences though and I hope that the teen has reached a point where they are ready to accept help. Sending you love and hugs xx always here xx

  3. It's so hard, I really hope they get the help they need now that it's got so bad, I'm just so sorry for you all. I lost my brother too, I had to keep him away from my family after the things he had done. When my mum died he couldn't cope and no one wanted to help him. He turned to me and I tried, but I still couldn't allow him near my family. He called me late one night but I couldn't go to him, I said I'd be there in the morning, but I was too late and now I've carried that guilt for years and I can't talk to anyone. Suicide is such an awful thing to deal with and the pain lasts for years. You all need as much help as you can get and even though you count the smiles don't deny the pain behind them Learn to accept it as part of your life. Some families seem to get all the pain, but you're never alone there is always someone caring, someone that understands. Sending you all lots of love and hugs and many smiles to ease the pain xxx

  4. No words, as ever, you are all so strong keep safe together. @msedollp

  5. Sending love and hugs. I'm so sorry this month has been rough...I am so glad there has still been smiles. x

  6. Claire Elizabeth Noke24 August 2016 at 22:03

    your strength is truly amazing, I wish you and your family all the love and best wishes in the world. I'm so sorry your suffering seems to be never ending.... xx


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