So here we are, on the brink of Jaie’s second Thanoversary (Thanoversary – return to the date of the death).
I began Jaie’s Journey – Our New Normal After Death by Suicide to begin a movement that would not only provide support for those at risk of suicide or suffering from depression and mental illness, but specifically to provide validation, understanding and support for those bereaved by suicide. Through much research, it has been discovered that those bereaved by suicide become a higher ‘at risk’ target group, due to the level of trauma and guilt involved for these survivors of suicide.
Having an ability to access the internet to try and find others empathetic and truly understanding of how this form of grief presents, is invaluable. Jaie’s Facebook page is public, but let me assure you there are many private groups on Facebook, specifically providing support for those bereaved by suicide. I would love to name them here, however due to there being many living ghouls out there who are simply curious for whatever reasons, I cannot name any groups here. Yes, you read this right… Some individuals target suicide bereavement support groups for their own gains and interests. They masquerade as bereaved parents/children etc and request to join the group/s.
What have I learnt in the almost two years since my youngest son killed himself? Many things … Some good, some bad and some I am still trying to figure out.
We have been fortunate to have an amazingly strong network of family and friends surrounding my children and myself. These folks are some of the most incredible and wonderful people a person could ask for, as a support network.
We have also discovered that certain individuals will target vulnerable and grieving people and their families, for their own gain and interests. The unscrupulousness in this world simply stuns me still.
I have been very fortunate in that even one of my main professional support persons has experienced the loss of a child. Not through suicide, but I know that they at least understand me when I ask the question, “This pain will never leave me will it?” I know that their answer is empathetic and genuine in the ways that count. I am still under the care of my psychiatrist (almost 2 years now and many more to go), as well as having returned to seeing my clinical psychologist for much needed ongoing treatment. I cannot ‘talk the talk’ if I am not able to ‘walk the walk’.
I am receiving so much positive feedback on Jaie’s public page, it helps me make it through the bad days, knowing that a difference is being made. I have always said that, if by speaking out means saving even just one life, then it is worth it.
With the support of many individuals, businesses, community groups, larger organisations, national alliances and friends, Jaie’s Journey will be moving into a different level of intensity over the next 6-12 months. There is a lot happening in the background, which I am unable to speak of yet, but slowly and surely, things are falling into place. Sponsors are sticking with us and looking forward to helping out, ideas are forming and being implemented to help us grow, so that we can really begin to reach those who need to be heard and validated. Ongoing training is being provided by organisations which have their collective hearts set on making a real change within our communities, in the safest possible ways.
One thing I am still discovering is the extent that suicide has impacted our community already. Almost every person I have contact with has been affected by it in one way or another. Which in itself, is disturbing and upsetting. We cannot afford to become or remain complacent… We cannot afford to start believing that “Sh1t happens and we just have to deal with it”. We simply cannot.
2014 saw the suicide toll rise to 2864 lives lost … My son Jaie is one of those lives taken and I am angry, furious that he became a statistic for something he had never even spoken with me about. Furious, because I had often offered to help him find a counsellor for his anger issues at least (prior to knowing he had bipolar), and he never accepted the help. Furious I didn’t force him to seek counselling. Guilt that I never forced him to seek help. Anyone who knows Jaie, knows he could never be forced into doing anything he didn’t want to do.
So, we enter into the last week of his second year and dread entering into the first week of his third year gone from us. The triggers are many (more so than normal) and I am shut down a lot of the time, so that I can keep a lid on my emotions. When I begin to cry I struggle to stop. My heart did not just break when I realised my baby boy was dead… it continues to break every single time I take a breath, knowing that he is no longer breathing …
We have Jaie’s memorial weekend, next week and it will be good to have his loved ones with us. we have activities planned that Jaie would enjoy. Nothing over the top. Just BBQ’s, swimming, campfires and water fights. And remembering our much loved boy.
#jaiesjourney #restinlove #stampoutstigma #educationisthekey#exerciseandnaturehelp #gracedurbin #kidsmatterok
#depressionawareness #suicideprevention #differentbattlesamewar
‘Love Sometimes Comes Like A Dream and Leaves Like A Nightmare’