Some of my followers may have noticed that I have not been very active for a while now – a lot has happened recently.
Just 1 month ago today, I lost my uncle, suddenly, and I have been unsure as to how to react. Without wanting to be to blunt, on the 12th December 2014, my dear uncle committed suicide, and this has had a devastating effect on the family.
My uncle was 62, which is only 8 years older than me, and growing up, he was more like a cousin than anything else – he was 20 years younger than my mother).
He taught me many things over the years – particularly motor mechanic things, and helped me over the years with my cars, and how to maintain and repair them – something that I still enjoy. He also had an influence on me with learning music, and I have passed this on to my sons.
His suicide was a reaction to depression, and he obviously couldn’t see any other action. What my uncle didn’t see was the love, regard, and respect in which he was held.
Over the weeks since, I tried to support my cousins – as one flew back from Germany, and the other had to come from the other end of the country, and make sure that they didn’t have to worry about too many details. This helped me with my greiving process (as I think this is doing, too). I have also been busy helping with his estate, and this has helped me too.
What do I want to say? I’m not sure, so please forgive me my rambles.
This community I belong to has a wide range of peoples, some of whom suffer from depression and other illnesses, and I have always tried to lend my support to them, and I have often read their stories to make sure I have some awareness of their challenges. To me, a mental illness is little different to a physical illness.
Some people die because their heart gives out, my uncle died because his brain gave up. Both the heart and the brain have problems – and I find it difficult seeing a difference. I have often said this over the past weeks, as my relations have asked “What if…..?”, my uncle’s brain gave out, just as a heart would give out, and there is not much anyone could have done.
I like to think that my uncle is no longer tortured or tormented, and has found some kind of peace.
Unfortunately, it has left a lot of angst, guilt, sorrow, and shock with his older brothers and sisters, his 2 sons, his ex wife and her husband (who were very good friends to my wonderful uncle), and many others.
If you have read this far, please read a little further.
At Uncle Greg’s funeral, the subject of suicide was not swept under the carpet, it was acknowledged, and also support networks were promoted. The main one in New Zealand is www.lifeline.org.nz, and there are others.
Please feel free to put one of your local help lines in the comment section.
What I would like to offer, is someone to listen non-judgementally to anything, should you wish to talk (via email initially, or more if requested). I’m not sure if I can help, but I will listen. Sometimes it helps to have someone distant to talk to. I may not be able to do much, but I can listen, and give some time freely.
Please, this is not a plea for sympathy, but an effort to let you know that if you ask for help there are lots of people willing to help.
I think it is poingnant to finish:
Live, laugh, love!