We remember significant days even if we would rather forget. The 1st of June is one of those days. For me I wish that we could avoid 1st June altogether or that 24 years ago I had been around on 31st May and seen my brother. Then just maybe we wouldn’t have these memories on this day. Not that a believe I could have prevented the events or the outcome. But just a part of me thinks if only. Bloody if only! What the heck is if only anyway? If only I had just done this or that or tried or remembered to. However, if only is not worth the emotion it’s a killer of your soul and living because if you get caught up in the if only, you won’t move along. You will be stuck. Like that game as a kid ‘stuck in the mud’ until someone tags you or runs under your outstretched arms to release you.
Selfish as this blog today may sound, I have to say today is actually far worse for my mum and for other members of my family. I am not diluting it today I’m just sharing my thoughts. My mum though is bloody amazing and I don’t want anyone to under estimate her love because she has this power to love so hard that it just infiltrates your being and is comforting and her strength well let’s just say is of the flaming scale.
It’s the same every year we arrive at 1st June and I am reminded of the call, the phone rang from the hallway, as always I was the first up to answer, my sister said ‘can I just talk to’ and asked for my husband at the time (it wasn’t unusual) so I passed the phone. It then turned odd. The tone of the call was not jovial, it was not the usual fun call, I hear ‘oh no’. Straight away I thought, mum and dad must have been hurt in Scotland, but that was not it.
The words seem to be muffled as he spoke, “it’s Martyn (my brother) he’s dead!’ It was odd, I asked how (but I knew) ‘he killed himself’ (No one chooses can I tell you that now, it is not an informed choice). It was a whirlwind from there we had to drive a couple of hours to get up to my family, my parents were on holiday in Scotland so had to drive home after been told by the local police that their beloved son had died. We were pulled over by the police at one point and my husband breathalysed, as he explained the situation they gave a knowing look (like they knew and later I realised they did due to how my brother died). We got to my sisters and it was just a waiting game for my parents to arrive, I can not imagine how they drove back from Scotland with the knowledge of their only son dying. It’s sounds like I am been doom and gloom here but this is the reality for many and we must not stop talking about suicide we need to share our stories and be honest in our thoughts. It’s hard to even think back now and explain in full how it felt to just sit and wait for our parents and the relief when they arrived.
It isn’t that the loss gets easier it just that you handle it differently. We take today and remember this bloody horrendous day we lost someone due to suicide. I don’t believe it was due to choice but due to mental health issues and my hope is that others do not have to go through losing a loved one in such awful circumstances. It’s not a choice, people are dying due to suicide for many reasons, I do not pretend to tell you that I have the answers or that there is one answer but what there is us talking about it. We need people to listen, to hear, to be a sounding boards and to notice when there is a need for help and kindness. We need honest talking and not to sugar coat things, this is the reality, loss and darkness utter sadness. The thoughts of maybe if there had been more talking and more support then just maybe he would still be here. Maybe, maybe not. I wish we had a letter, or a text or a good bye but we didn’t we had no answer to tell us why. Would knowing why make it easier? I don’t know.
So what I do as a family member who has lost someone due to suicide is that on the 24th August I celebrate his birthday (quietly), I have Christmas to remember to be together as a family and to light a candle. I have faces of the next generation to remind me he still lives on in others. I talk about suicide to try to let others know to remind people to check on each other, to not take a moment you have with a loved for granted. I remember to not to forget to ask someone twice about how they are feeling? I talk to ensure that people know that it is okay to say when they are not okay. I have today to remind people we want to see them tomorrow and not to think we don’t.
So today is 1st June and today I remember one of the worst days of my life but I won’t allow it to stop me sharing that my brother was a pain in the arse, he was annoying, kind, a law unto himself, he was known very well where we lived (not always for good reasons), he was a bloody amazing father, he was an ok brother (haha)well I say ok because he did get us to eat stolen diabetic chocolate that made us all have the shits (not a great day), he was a loved son……………..oh wait……….hold on he still is, he still is all these things just in our memories.