Total Pageviews

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Coping With Suicide

I know it's been a while since my last post but it seemed to do quite well for a first attempt.
Sorry its taken so long to post again but after the success of the last blog it's hard to find something to match it!
I decided when I started blogging to only write about things that really meant something to me so here goes......

I recently lost someone very close to me to suicide. He was my cousin but we were very close growing up and he was more like a brother to me.
I realise this topic is a bit of a taboo but I feel, having been in that situation myself that this subject should be more open as, speaking from experience it's hard to find someone to turn to.

There are so many mixed emotions. So the obvious place to start is with the 7 stages of grief. This is only my personal feelings on each stage but feel free to comment with your own versions if you feel the need.
The whole purpose of this blog is to help others through the situation as best I can (Although I have no qualifications of any kind on this matter) Only my personal experience. I will be completely honest throughout as people deal with things in different ways and although I think maybe my feelings werent normal, who knows, maybe they are. And maybe you feel the same.

Stage 1- Shock and Denial

I remember the exact moment I found out that my cousin had hung himself. I was out on my first date after leaving a four year relationship.
I didn't quite know how to react.... I told my date who, as any gentleman would, asked if I wanted him to take me home. I said no.
As silly and selfish as it sounds I didn't want him to think it was one of those 'emergency phone calls' you hear about so often on the dating scene.

Here comes the part that makes me feel bad, I carried on with the date, as normal, all be it in a slightly bemused frame of mind, but dinner, drinks, chatting, as usual.
I then had a call from my friend who had also heard the news and asked me to stay the night so straight after my date I packed a bag and stayed at my friends house, where i was still reasonably normal.
It wasn't until the next morning when I walked into my own house, sat on my own sofa and realised I was alone that it hit me........ like a freight train..... I fell apart there and then and didn't know where to turn. I didn't want to turn to my family as I knew they were all hurting too and needed me to be strong. I didn't want to unload all of this onto my friends as none of them would know what to say and I also didn't want to admit to anyone that it had taken so long to hit me, which leads me onto the next stage...

Stage 2- Pain and Guilt

I felt guilty for not crying my eyes out the moment I found out but when it finally did hit me I was hurting more than I ever have before.
I have lost family members and people I was very close to before but never to suicide. This was a whole new kettle of fish.
Suicide makes things so much harder. I felt guilty for not being there for him. Although I had text him not long before it happened to see how he was and got no reply.
Also, with suicide, this stage of grief also brings questions.... lots and lots of questions that you know you will never get answers to no matter how hard you try....

Why did this happen?
Why didn't he speak to someone?
What was going through his head that made him want to do this?
Was it an accident? A cry for help gone wrong?
Was there anything I could have done?
Did he even think of us?
and of course the biggie......... Who can i blame?

I ended up having to take time out from my shiny new career (which was also his career, making going to work allot harder as everyone would be talking about it and I had to deal with the fact I would no longer bump into him on my travels)
luckily my managers and colleagues were very understanding.

I'm glad i took the time off though as, being in a safety critical position, I knew my mind wasn't on the job, I would break down at any given moment and could not get him off my mind, I struggled to do simple things like eat, sleep and live life in a normal manner let alone being responsible for hundreds of lives.

Stage 3- Anger and Bargaining

I found, after a little while of being totally lost and overwhelmed that I began to get very angry. I would listen to music that reminded me of him and look at his photo and cry and scream hysterically at him, or any passing star.
Asking how the hell he could do this to us? and what on earth I'm supposed to do without him.
I missed him terribly and was extremely hurt and upset but at the same time I had a burning hatred for him for what he did. For being so incredibly selfish!

Stage 4- 'Depression' reflection and loneliness

I cannot begin to describe how depressed I was. I felt completely empty and numb, trying to contemplate my life without such a huge role model and someone I loved and cared about so dearly, we had a special bond that I will never get back.
I started to reflect on the past.....
Is there anything i could have done to stop it?
How will I cope without him
Who will i turn to now?
Did i tell him enough that I loved him?
I started thinking of the last time I saw him, with that cheeky grin and that cocky attitude, girls chasing his heels and him loving it. And I realised that even then he was still teaching me, he was trying to help me with my training for my new career and to this day I will never forget the lessons he taught me on that day.
I started to feel so lonely.... completely empty inside and, although I was surrounded by family and friends, completely alone.... like he was the only person that ever mattered and without him I was just stranded.

Stage 5- The upward turn

Life has begun to return to a relatively normal state,I still feel the depression and also the anger at times but the pain has dulled, still there but more in the background.
Of course I still think of him every day, as do allot of people. I now have his name tattooed on me so he will always be with me. I still think of all the things he taught me and try to put them into practise every day.
I am still heartbroken and I still have a million unanswered questions but I am starting to come to terms with the fact that this will never change.
I still look for him at work and it hits me like a fist through my heart when I realise I wont see him but life is becoming more bearable.

Stage 6- Reconstruction and working through

My mind has begun to work again, although everything I do, he is always in the back of it, but I am once again beginning to function like a normal person. I still try to take everything I can from the wonderful life he lead and implement him a part of him into every day I live.

Stage 7- Acceptance and hope

I know I can talk to anyone, be it family, work colleagues, or life long family friends, and everyone of them will have nothing but fond memories which is lovely.
He will always be with me every day and in everything I do, watching over me in death as he did in life (and probably still telling me I've put weight on).
I've realised that I love him as much as I always have and as long as I, and everyone else realises that, he will always live on in all of us.

I love you Andy

I hope this has helped people and please feel free to comment and discuss. No-one is here to judge, only to support.

Thankyou for reading

Friday, 4 March 2011

The truth about the whale at Pegwell bay

I'm confused.
Thanet council are disposing of the whale in a 'dignified manner'
This is the digger dissecting the whale

I understand there's only so many ways you can remove a carcass of this size and i also understand that this is a unique opportunity to study the creature.
For example, today, the people at the site discovered something about the whales teeth that no-one ever knew before.

The thing that gets me is why tell the public it will be disposed of with dignity. I would be furious if my family disposed of me in such a 'dignified manner'
Notice all the pictures on line and on the news are of the whales head or tail or from the back. that's because since around 2AM today the whale has been looking like this

The lady in the red hat it the same lady who dissects the creatures in Inside Natures Giants, I must say she has a strong stomach and is obviously very dedicated to her job!

Also news reports have stated there was no damage to the whale. Speaking to a coastguard at the scene, i was told there were gouges in the whale believed to have come from more of the same species. Looking at the picture i got there seems to be quite a bit of damage to the whale
There seems to be quite a few scratches and gouges to me
And another thing. People are being told to stay away due to the threat of disease, so me being the cautious person i am took a mask. I was the ONLY person at the site with one, including the people working on the whale!

In summery I understand this probably is the way to dispose of the creature, although i don't see why, once they have conducted the post mortem, they cant put it back where it belongs as whale carcasses create their own Eco-system to lots of other sea creatures once on the ocean floor.
And please don't make it out to be dignified when it is anything but.