Purgatory is Real …

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I struggle at times to explain how the loss of my child has impacted me, until this week.

I was looking recently into signing a contract for something which spread over several years and in the back of my mind, all I could think was this;

“Oh no! I cannot live that much longer without one of my children!”

This threw me for several days, however I do know that other mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and partners totally comprehend what I am saying/thinking.

Purgatory is what every parent lives through once they have lost a child. Every single day requires a conscious choice to not only survive, but to thrive. No easy task when a portion of your soul is no longer with you physically.

Purgatory is when you simply wish to sleep (so long as there are no nightmares) to escape the nightmare that your life has become.

Almost 3 years since Jaie died and I still say to people, “I just do not understand how we got here? How it all came to this?”

I force myself to not cry because it is almost impossible to stop once I start. I just wish to find a dark hole to crawl into, curl up and never come out.

Medication can only do so much and the rest is on ourselves. Therapy helps as well, but I am certain that if I ever let anyone into my mind, they would run screaming from me and never see me again.

I would no longer be allowed to walk within the community. But then again I see what our so called justice system allows to remain around our communities so maybe I would still be  able to remain mainstream?

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

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Child Loss Echoes on Forever …

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

This quote was used on Jaie’s ‘Deed of Service’ at his funeral. Because indeed it felt, and still feels, this way. A child is meant to be a cause for joy and future preparations. Planning of weddings and family gatherings, not of choosing a casket and where to have their funeral.

Two years, 19 months and 9 days since Jaie died by suicide. Sometimes I do wonder how it would be to grieve for the loss of a child, without the added complication of suicide as the cause (please I am in no way trying to compare our grief with anyone else’s, it is simply a thought which occasionally passes through my mind)? 

Would I have coped ‘better’? Or just differently? Or is it truly what I believe in my heart that the manner in which Jaie died, while important in the grief journey in some ways, is irrelevant in others? Child loss is just that! LOSS!

It is this huge, gaping loss of someone who we have expected to share all of our past, present and future moments with, in one way or another. But we then feel the loss of our others children’s grief. We feel our hearts begin to bleed when they say or write how much they miss their ‘little brother’ or their ‘baby’s daddy’.

So we do wonder if there will come a point where your lives will begin to settle into a routine. A routine which shall always have that door which is slightly ajar, allowing thoughts of our loved one, to sneak out into our everyday lives. See this is also bittersweet, because while it hurts us, we have every right in the world to think and speak of our lost loved ones. No matter how they died. We are the Rememberers’ and that is what we shall continue to do.

The thoughts never stop racing through my mind, some days they are worse than others. Just as some days the triggers are far worse than others. No one understands the amount of energy it takes to just be ‘functioning’ in society. To be able to work and interact and talk and focus on my work load. But I will do it all happily, if it gives me just a few moments where I am not focused on how Jaie died and that he is actually dead. I take pride in producing top quality work and I want my participation in a job, to ensure that it makes someone’s life a bit more enjoyable or less stressful.

I am just rambling now. It is almost our 3rd christmas without Jaie and I am truly dreading it. Reality is like hindsight. A cruel and merciless beast. It shows no discretion or diplomacy, it simply is. We have no choice but to accept it or at least make out that we do, so the rest of the world can keep functioning as if nothing has changed. As if no one has had their ‘chain of life’ broken and discarded.

I am so tired and tortured and these are a non-stop battle. I am always both, to varying degrees. My pain never stops, it simply morphs occasionally to give me a moments respite.

Stay safe everyone <3.

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‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

Suicide is NOT a Joke!

Thank you to Jenn for her passion and dedication to this crusade. I struggle with jokes about suicide. I accidentally made a random comment a few weeks ago, that the moment it left my mouth I could have hit myself for it and I am a survivor of suicide.
Seemingly harmless statements and jokes, are not so harmless, when you consider for the approximately 1 million people who die by suicide each year, worldwide… There are millions of people left behind after their traumatic death, who love and adore them and we struggle to find our feet in a completely changed world.
This is shared from my Facebook wall July 23rd 2014 …

People tell me I get lost in my grief when I start to speak of Jaie and his death. They do not understand I am not ‘lost’ or ‘stuck’ in it. The grief is stuck in me. I have lost a part of my soul. And speaking of Jaie and how his loss is impacting me over time, helps me to accept this deep burden of loss. There is, quite literally, no way I can change,
A. How I feel
B. How it affects me
C. How much I miss my son (as do my other 3 children and granddaughter)
D. How long this takes. Because I will NEVER get over losing Jaie. Not in a million years.
E. That the loss of Jaie is SO painful and I am wounded so badly by his death, that walking away from anyone or anything who causes me stress or compounds my grief, is relatively easy.
F. Do not be afraid of not understanding this pain. Be grateful and respect that I AM.
G. You do NOT want to EVER feel this type of loss. But child loss especially.
So forethought and compassion when speaking needs to become second nature to ourselves. How about other people show the same respect and compassion as well…

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‘Sometimes Love Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

The Life of a Suicide Loss Survivor

 ***WARNING*** This might be a “trigger” to suicide loss survivors.  I feel it is time I use MY voice on this topic. It is time that those that have not had to walk in our shoes, and I pray they never have to, maybe understand just for a moment how painful jokes about suicide truly are to a suicide loss survivor. I hope that maybe, just maybe, this will help to educate and make a difference. I hope this is shared  and that when it is read people will finally understand how something as simple as changing a few words in their vocabulary can literally change the entire day, or even days, of a suicide loss survivor. Ever heard of a thing called PTSD? Please educate yourself on it, it is not uncommon for suicide loss survivors to suffer with it. Something as simple as a “joke” could literally set…

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I Don’t Choose Depression… Depression Chooses me …

Well meaning loved ones and people with the very best intentions ask me if I am alright often, which makes me feel worse than I already feel because I cannot find the words or reasons why I feel so down.
This puts me into a cycle of feeling guilty for not being more productive and being in a better headspace than what I am. So I begin to feel even worse and eventually I end up crying or withdrawing even further into myself so that I will stop impacting those I love with my negativity.
Depression is not something I can just switch on or off. It is not something I choose to feel or not feel. It simply is what it is and I struggle everyday to some degree with feeling like crap …
Suicidal thoughts still cross my mind and suicide is most certainly not something I would ever want to do to my children, family and friends or followers … But it is my reality and by being aware and mindful of these thoughts and depressive states, is what helps me get through them safely …
Learning to speak with someone who I can trust and tell them the truth about what my depression and anxiety tells me and why I might be so quiet and not talking all that much. But it is still difficult to do this. I still stumble over telling them what is making me awkward and difficult to interact with …
I wish this was not how it is. I wish that none of this was real and that my brain could go back to where it once was and working how it once was …
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‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

#WhyISpeakAboutSuicide

April Fool’s day. A day when many of us allow ourselves to be pranksters and playful with those around us…

1st of April 2014, we lost that ability to be playful on this day.

We lost our innocence.

By 4.30am, the morning following that night, our entire world imploded and we began to be immersed into an unknown world of eternal turmoil, guilt, disbelief and shock.

By 8.30am all of my remaining children knew that Jaie was gone and we had begun to notify immediate family of his death.

Death by suicide.

Jaie took his own life and no one could even begin to comprehend why. Jaie has a beautiful fiancée and 7 month old baby girl, both of which he adored. He has a big brother who was one of his closest friends and confidantes. His big sister is a ferocious protector of her little brother no matter what. Then there was me, his mum, who no matter how difficult things were, I would always be there for him, when push came to shove. Jaie has his maternal grandparents who love him dearly and his best friends of whom all think he is an absolute treasure (a ratbag but you know :D). And Jaie knew all of this. Yet still he killed himself.

We, his family and loved ones, are left behind with the eternal questions;

  • WHY? Why didn’t he? Why didn’t I? Why didn’t???
  • What could I have done to prevent this?
  • How can we survive this?
  • Will I lose another to suicide now?
  • How did it get to this?
  • Didn’t he know I loved him?
  • Didn’t he love me/us?

And these are only a few of the incessant and cruel questions. Then there is also that lovely little friend who works amazingly well when combined with guilt … Hindsight … Which turns completely innocent historical discussions or incidents into a full on blame game with ourselves.

Almost 30 months into our journey and I can say that our minds and souls learn to manage the pain differently. We learn how to wear a mask and function like ‘normal’ folks. Meanwhile, inside our chests our hearts are tearing apart and in our skulls, our minds are constantly processing information received for potential triggers and emotional potholes.

Example: on the weekend while riding I saw a number plate with the year ‘93’ on it. My instant thought was “The driver is a year younger than Jaie.” Immediate thought after was “He is already a year older than Jaie was when he died.” And I had to pull over to make myself breathe and to stop myself wailing.

Individually, we are slowly learning to live with the constantly shifting sands, under our feet. As a family unit we are still struggling in many ways. Simply because of how close we were and are. Family gatherings are flawed now with the absence of a vibrant and energetic young character that was irrepressible and made the room fill with energy.

And his little daughter is full of that identical energy and we all try to take turns of getting a dose of her, like we are machines in need of a new battery to refill us with some vitality and desire, to continue to live in this messed up world.

Baby steps I keep saying is what we must do to survive. So we tip toe and try to find a suitable path back into life.

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‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

The Gifts of Grief…

I know, I know… Many of you are probably reading the title of this post and thinking,

“Gifts?!?  From grief?!? Are you delusional?!?”

Let me babble for a moment please. When riding the new bike home yesterday, it struck me, I have received very specific gifts since losing Jaie to suicide. Very important, yet not recognised gifts, have been offered to me as a bereaved person. This is one important reason I love to ride. I think, reflect and have therapy, all at once.

Now prior to losing Jaie, I had been an optimist and would always look for the rainbow after the rain. After losing Jaie, I never thought it possible to even smile again, let alone feel like I could actually rise from these ashes and begin to take small, but very determined steps forward.

You see, even though I was a community orientated member of society and was more empathetic than the average person, it was still not enough to make a marked difference (at least this is what I believe). Since Jaie’s death by suicide, I have become even more. And less.

More tolerant of those who are in pain and suffering, less tolerant of spiteful behaviour and nastiness. More empathetic with those struggling and less wasteful of my time on those who try to create drama, simply for the sake of it. I no longer feel even slightly inclined to try and live any part of my life trying to ‘understand’ another view, where on some aspect of life I know for a fact they are not for me. So I refuse to waste any time or effort on them or those involved with them.

The ‘gifts’ I have received after Jaie’s death, are not gifts a person truly ‘chooses’ to accept. Because accepting them makes this grief very real, very confronting and at the first recognition of these gifts, it is emotionally and physically crippling. Recognition of these gifts mean that there is no longer any ability to deny the reality of my adored and much loved son, being dead.

Jaie’s death has provided me a strength I never thought possible for me to achieve. Well obviously, because there is no way anyone could have ever said to me, “One of your children will die and you will have to continue to live.” I would have told them “Uh Uh … I’ll be going with them, don’t you worry.”

However, here I am, almost 2 years and 2 months since Jaie died. I am still alive and fighting to survive in this changed landscape, as a bereaved mother.

So now I must continue to wield these gifts with extreme discretion and care. We know only too well the harm which can befall those of us, who we do not even know are vulnerable. I guess what I am saying is maybe the universe somehow selects some of us to be the sufferers? The bearers of trials and tribulations, so that we are provided the necessary skills and experience, to not only survive tragedy, but to make a mark in the world after it?

Trust me, I would do anything to not be a part of this club, but after experiencing firsthand, what suicide grief is like, it is not something I would wish upon another. Our future experiences will now be, forevermore, bittersweet … any happiness will always have the shadow of pain across it …

‘The Gifts of Grief’ ….. 

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‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

 

Jaie’s Journey Inc… IA55787 …. We did it!!!

Well friends, we have finally gained official Not For Profit status. Took some time but better late than never. 

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Loose ends are being tied up and slowly but surely, the momentum is gathering to create something which will truly help those at risk of suicide and to provide postvention support for families impacted by suicide.

We have several large corporations/businesses coming on board supporting us for our future journey and the only way is up from here … positive vibes and positive ripples. With the communities being the people who benefit from it, which is the desire from ALL involved.

As I have previously discussed, I have attended a 2.5 day training program ‘Train the Trainer’ – Lived Experience with Suicide Prevention Australia and Roses in the Ocean (November 2015). Recently I completed event training with the Queensland Mental Health Commission & Roses In The Ocean in Brisbane (April 26th, 2016). On April the 27th, 2016, I also attended training in Postvention support with Standby Response (United Synergies) in Maryborough and a networking / renewing the partnership session. After meeting the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner (Lesley) on April the 26th, it was encouraging to see and hear how much dedication for a better mental health system, Queenslands own Commissioner has. Bronwen from Roses in the Ocean is still another amazing and inspiring person involved with this battle on suicide.

Olwen, our suicide support group Coordinator, has been carrying this banner for suicide prevention and awareness for 25 years (this year). Owen lost her youngest son Chris in 1991 to suicide and has been battling the systems and the stigma around suicide. Owen is inspirational and does not mince words. She is genuinely kind, generous and empathetic. I am so very grateful, Standby Response forwarded my contact details to Olwen. Between them all, they quite literally saved my life and have supported me (and my family) through this horrific journey. Owen is a wealth of experience, ideas and information and will be involved with planning certain areas of Jaie’s journey (I must advise Olwen is not a fan of my bike, so I just do not speak about it with her lol). However  the wealth of knowledge Olwen can contribute toward the prevention of suicide, is immeasurable.

Anyway, thank you to all of our dedicated followers and all who have helped us reach this pinnacle moment and I hope that you are able to stick with us for the rest of the journey to help others ❤ … For those who are new to our journey, welcome and we hope that Jaie’s Journey can help to make a positive influence in your own life ❤ …

 

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’