We are joined by a shared loss.
On the 22nd of April, 2016, my partner of 26 years took his own life, after two previous failed attempts. Chris was worn out by years of hard work and had struggled with mood swings and depression for some time. He said he’d never make old bones.
When he was fine he was fun.
When he was down, he was done.
After his second attempt, I rang Blacktown Hospital for help, but there were 35 people waiting in emergency. I explored other options. St John of God had a short waitlist, however the cost for a shared room was $15,000 for two weeks. Chris would not agree to this and said he wasn’t worth it. I waited over 2 hours for our Doctor to visit to try to convince Chris to seek help, to no avail.
On the 22nd of April I went to aquarobics. Chris died in that brief time. He looked peaceful and uninjured. I hugged him and told him I loved him and understood. I phoned the Police who were wonderful then, and in the following months.
On the 19th of October, my Dr told me about Grow Group, which I started going to. In November I started grief counselling with CCS. Both were really helpful and worked for me.
The following year, I read about The Network’s Surviving Suicide bereavement support group in Windsor, which was listed in the Forensic Department’s newsletter, regularly mailed to me along with a card each anniversary.
No one wants to join this group, but we are joined by our shared loss of a loved one. Here we can be honest and air our struggles and successes through readings, discussion, diverse activities and outings both within and outside the group. A highlight is morning tea, served on fine china, which makes us feel special and worthy. Through death, we are friends for life.
Four years on, I have found the courage to move forward with my life. I am starting to see a long, healthy future ahead. Born at beachside Glenelg, I now want to be near water, to leave suburbia, breathe fresh air and be closer to my grandsons as they grow up. I hope to soon be able to say that I have left the rocky road behind and am now on the Highway to Happiness, with no turning back.
I hope that reading my experiences will be a deterrent for anyone considering taking their own life, or of benefit for those who are left to live on.
Depression is a selfish state.
You thought of self before your mate.
You were here, your mind was not,
Decades together all forgot.
Black dogs snapping at your heels,
No one quite knows how that feels.
To ease the pain, death was bliss,
Not pausing for a final kiss.
You left me here on Earth alone,
The skills you had, I learned to hone.
I learned to mow, to saw and nail.
I’ve gone through Hell, but come out hale.
I miss your laugh, I miss your voice,
I know you felt you had no choice.
I miss your touch, I miss your might,
I know you did what you thought right.
It’s not been easy these four years,
I faced my fears, I shed my tears.
You are the bear that shares my bed,
You share the thoughts inside my head.
You left me years to live my life,
Yours were filled with stress and strife.
With all the time that’s left to me,
We’re still together, both are free.
How do I join a group?
Step 1: Call 02 4577 4435 and we will take some preliminary details and arrange a meeting.
Step 2: Meet with your local group Facilitator to discuss your loss in a confidential manner and help us understand how to support you.
Step 3: Liaise with your local group Facilitator about attending your first group meeting.
Help a friend
If you know someone who could benefit from joining one of our support groups, why not share our brochure with them.