*Content warning – suicide
On Monday 19th February it was eleven years since my Dad phoned me early one evening to tell me that my younger sister Mary had died. She was 35.
She’d unexpectedly turn that megawatt smile on you and you had no choice but to grin back.
As kids we fought so much, but had each others back, always. I have loads of fabulous memories, good and bad, and that’s how it should be, saintly she wasn’t!
I remember at the time she died being unexpectedly angry with her, simply because we were supposed to grow old together. Losing her was hard, but it was almost as tough dealing with the loss of both past and future memories.
There is no-one else who remembers how to play “mummies, daddies & little darlings”, who knows how you had to step over the second floorboard from the bathroom door because it creaked so loudly, who swears she saw a ghost in our kitchen, who could play connect four for hours, who can remind me how I taught her all the basic swear words after she begged me to! Who was my partner in crime on teenage hair and makeup, and my best friend even when we ‘hated’ each other.
It’s like I lost some of the vibrancy from my past memories when she died, they’re still there, but without her to help me take them out and polish them or argue over them they’ve faded.
Of course we should also already have another eleven years of adult sisterhood to mull over. But she’ll never make a new memory in this life, as much as I carry her with me always.
There’s simply a Mel shaped hole missing from the second half of my life.
So I want to use this post to let anyone who is feeling like they want to stop know they are not alone. You are worthwhile, you are seen, you are loved. This really will pass, so please reach out for support in whatever form feels comfortable. I promise help is out there.
UK & ROI Samaritans – 116 123
USA – Lifeline Chat – 1-800-273-8255.
Australia – Lifeline – 13-11-14
Canada – The Canada Suicide Prevention Service – 1-833-456-4566