PETAL – The other side of Suicide
Memoir / Self-help / Resource
To lose someone you love is indeed a tragedy but to lose someone to suicide is something that is extremely difficult to cope with. I lost my husband to suicide in 1998. He was just 38.
Apart from the normal grieving process that comes with death, death by suicide has many more layers of grief that has to be dealt with and unless one has experienced that loss, it is extremely difficult for any one person to totally understand the myriad of feelings and emotions on top of normal grieving.
My writing commenced approximately 15 years ago and was just notes initially, it then developed to tapping away on the computer and then to formatting my writings and finally started to look like a book.
My story is real and raw, I hope you can feel the pain that my family and I suffered and this is what I want potential readers to feel so that they know the struggle if they lose someone to suicide and they have read and seen how someone else can and did get through it. It is also important for me to reach out to those that may be contemplating suicide so they can feel the pain that if will cause if they choose that road….suicide is not the answer – it is the problem.
Many of us that lose a loved one to suicide, a large component of the grief is WHY and this was for me also. It is something than many just never find out WHY and it can almost destroy you. I am one of few that actually found out WHY. I believe my husband had undiagnosed depression of which only appeared to be apparent in the last two weeks of his life. This and my findings through a local Doctor, led me on a path of searching on WHY – of which let me to finding that my husband had been leading very much a ‘double life’. This in turn sent me into more pain at each discovery.
My intention has always been to help others that may be affected by suicide. I am a reader and have always had the ideal that if you are struggling in any part of your life whatever it may be, then I reach out to books to learn and help in my overall growth in life.
So I kept writing and found that albeit a very painful journey of reliving the pain that my family and I had suffered through the years. Very painful but also it was very cathartic. I have grown so much and learnt to manage the grief over the years.
It has become my passion over the years to promote and awareness of depression, anxiety, mental health in general and the prevention of suicide. I then decided that apart from sharing my story of loss to suicide as a memoir, that I should also combine valuable resources from the likes of the World Health Organisation to further assist both those having lost a loved one to suicide but also to reach out to those that may be contemplating suicide. The mixture of a real life story and resources and places that can assist in stopping suicide or healing after suicide seemed to me to make good sense.
I have over the years with the assistance of Beyond Blue resources, through both my workplace at the time and through sport, promoted an awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention by way of handing out resources at events and meeting, obtaining guest speakers to speak on the subject to get to the general public so that they know it is ok to talk to someone and it ok to ask the question of others if they are ok.
If published, it is my intention to give back to Lifeline through part proceeds of sales.
I am so pleased that today we have so many more resources available on mental health and suicide as opposed to 1998. I am passionate about changing the tragic statistics and hope that my writing may be a part of this.