Wednesday, 31 July 2013

RIP Uncle Don

As many of you know, my uncle committed suicide last week. I wanted to do a full post in his memory and also to try and raise awareness of the organisations that can help people who are feeling suicidal.

My Uncle Don was only 43. He was still a young man. He had years to live and yet he chose to hang himself. Why? I'll never truly know. He had mental health issues and had been addicted to alcohol for a few years, and I guess he just couldn't deal with it any more. I think, simply, sadness killed my uncle. He wasn't happy with his life and chose to end it. He thought he would solve his problems that way and I hope wherever he is, that he's happy and no longer in pain the way he was here. He's left behind a lot of people who love him and desperately wish things had turned out differently. My whole family had tried to help him throughout the years, but anyone with mental health issues (or is close to anyone with them) knows that it just isn't that easy. Everyone who has issues is a different case altogether and one pill does not fit all. I think this is why so many people are struggling. No single pill can fix it. No single form of therapy can fix it. My Uncle had tried different forms of help but ultimately relied on alcohol to fix his problems. Alcohol is a depressant and only made things worse. He'd cry to my mum and others in the family that he wanted to stop it and turn his life around but always ended up reaching for he bottle in the end. It was hard to watch. Yet I never thought for a second that he wanted to die. I never thought he wanted not to be here. I actually thought he had seemed happier lately. I guess he put on a face to the outside world to mask whatever he felt inside him. I am sure he had planned this. He told me he loved me 2 or 3 weeks before he did it. He never says that. I thought at the time 'how strange' but I didn't question him. Now I think maybe I should have. But I also think if he was planning on doing it, he'd have done it anyway. I'm so confused. And hurt. And angry. I literally have no idea what to think. My whole family is the same. I've never seen my mum so devastated, I have no idea how to help her. If he had died any other way, we could have coped. None of us know how to cope with this.

It seems like suicides are on the increase and that just saddens me. I'm sorry for anyone who feels like the only way to fix things is to kill themselves. I'm so very sorry for my uncle, knowing how bad he felt inside breaks my heart. I'm so so sad for him. That's all I keep thinking. I'm just so sad that he felt that way. It must have been torture for him.

To anyone reading this who feels like they are struggling with life, please find help. Do it any way you can, there are so many organisations out there that can help. Don't get to the point where you think you can't fix things. Maybe if my Uncle Don had gotten help earlier, he wouldn't have felt like there was no solutions to his problems.

Here is a picture, taken between 14 and 17 years ago. It's him and my baby Goldy. He adored her. It was actually my Uncle Don that got Goldy for me and he had joint custody of her for many years. We both lived with my gran (me during the week while my mum and dad were at work, him full time) so he was always with her until my gran died. Goldy went to my mum as my dads flat had a no animals rule but my Uncle came down to visit her regularly. Everyone always said she was the great love of his life along with his favourite football team haha. Its probably true. My Uncles problems started when his sister died but got much worse when my Gran passed away, I don't think he knew how to cope with his bereavement. Maybe if he had gotten help, things would be different now. I love looking at this photo of the two of them. I miss them both, it was a much happier time in my life. I just don't understand. It would be easier if I understood. He was much happier here too, its nice remembering him when he was happy.



Below are links of places you can seek help if you need it. And we all need it sometimes. If I have missed any, please leave them in the comment box. Please note, these are UK helplines, I am unsure if anyone overseas can access them. If you would like to leave any overseas organisations details in the comment box, you are more than welcome.

  • Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It does not have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Breathing Space Scotland a website that provides a link to help for depression or anxiety problems
  • NHS 24 A 24 hour access point to the NHS

Rest in peace Uncle Don, I love you and I will always miss you. The whole family are heartbroken that you left us. I'm clinging to the hope that you're no longer in pain. I love you so much.

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16 comments

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about this. We had a suicide in the family about a decade ago, and you can still see the impact. He also struggled with addiction and mental health problems, but hid the full extent of it until it was too late. I hope anyone reading this who's considering suicide, or know someone who might be at risk, can benefit from this post so that another family won't go through the same thing ours have. I hope you're ok, time doesn't heal everything buy it does get easier eventually even if it doesn't feel like it right now when everything is so raw and feels so senseless xxxx

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss Kirsty. Don sounded like a wonderful man. The saying 'suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem' does have its merit but at the same time so often people struggle with addiction and mental health problems for most of their lives which is hardly a temporary thing. I wish there was more support and understanding for suicidal feelings - hopefully it will be a thing of the past in the future x x x

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  3. This was so incredibly sad to read, brought tears to my eyes! Can't even imagine what you and your family are going through. Sending my love xxx

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  4. I can't begin to imagine how your feeling I'm so sorry, any loss is so sad but a totally u expected one must be so hard to deal with. Your uncle sounded like a lovely man & im sure he is now at peace & found happiness , sending my love.
    It's great that you have written this post to raise awareness & help others.
    MeganLeigh xx

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  5. Great post honey...an amazing way to honor him. RIP uncle Don. And may your family find healing my love xoxo

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  6. Reading this made me well up lovey. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Whereever your Uncle Don may be now, I am sure Goldy is by his side. Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxx

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  7. I'm really sorry for your loss my love. You're right there really is no easy one pill fix for everyone and I feel that there needs to be far more work put into treatments and well as education and understanding for those with struggling with mental health so people suffering don't have to feel so alone and those who have loved ones with the same issues don't feel so helpless.
    I hope you and your family can find peace and remember your Uncle as a good man who loved you. xxxxxxxx

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss and I can't even begin to imagine what you and your family must be going through. Your Uncle sounds like lovely man and I agree that there definitely has to be more support/awareness of help available to those who need it xx

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  9. Aww big hugs to you! I've never coped with a suicide in my family only deaths by cancer etc, so i understand how you feel to an extent but how you feel angry & upset :( It's a shame that your uncle couldn't find any solutions to help with his mental health & found alcohol to be the only way to forget everything :( & later he turned to suicide instead :( he sounded like a lovely man & it's a loss he's gone :( my auntie is the same age & i don't know how i would cope if i lost her :( & you're right, 43 is certainly young! I'm glad you've written this post to make people aware who feel the only way out is to commit suicide.
    I hope you & your family will cope with the loss of your uncle & to see him happy now :) its the only way i see my nana & papa together now :)
    xxxxxx

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  10. I still don't know what to say to you aside from what I've tweeted you over the past week. I'm really really sorry for your loss and hope you and your family are able to move forwrad from this. xxxxxxx

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  11. I am so very sorry for your loss, I cannot begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. I hope that your uncle has found the peace he sought.
    Sending you lots of love and psychic mind hugs! xoxo

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  12. Im so sorry lovely, my cousin committed suicide when I was younger and i could never wrap my head around it, its a very personal thing that i dont think anyone other than that person could possibly understand. But i believe with all of my heart that they are no longer in pain and are happier. Hope youre coping ok and think this post is so amazing and will help someone if they are feeling this way xxx

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  13. I read this and honestly didn't know how to respond! This might sound weird, but I am so happy that you are writing about this rather than letting the negative feelings build up inside (which is probably what happened to your uncle). Expressing your feelings is stress relieving in soooo many ways. Keep it up honey, you are already ahead of everyone else ! xxx

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  14. Lots of love to you and your family. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I am glad you are focusing on the good times because I have no doubt that is what he would have wanted for you. I know the links to those organisations will also help plenty of people who feel the same and are reading this.

    Lots of love oxxxx

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  15. I am so sorry for the loss in your life. My father committed suicide almost four years ago. He was ill in many ways, and though we were not close, I did think about the "what ifs." I hope your uncle found the peace he was looking for.

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  16. So sorry for your loss babe.
    Mental illness is a sad and scary thing, especially in young males who don't necessarily know how to express their emotions.
    My brother has suffered with mental health problems for years and I have suffered many sleepless nights worrying about what he might do.
    I don't know how I would cope if anything happened to him.
    My thoughts are with you and your family at this horrible confusing time.
    Lots of love
    You know where I am if you want a chat
    Mwah xxxx

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