Saturday, 13 August 2016

Four years...

And so 4 years have passed. As soon as it was August I've been thinking about this date. Not that I ever really stop thinking of what happened, most of the time though I'm able to push it to the back of my mind. As the anniversary has approached however, I've been remembering those awful days again. Of course the Olympics are on TV and I think will forever now be associated in my mind with Simon's death. That's all I remember from the summer of 2012, the Olympics and having to somehow get through each day when nothing made sense anymore.
I still miss him so much. Not that I saw him very often, but just the knowledge that he was there. And then he wasn't. I still find it hard when we pass the turning to the road his car was found in. I still can't hear Under the Bridge without remembering his funeral. I will never get used to having to talk of him in the past tense. I had two brothers and now I have one. Rob is the best brother anyone could wish for, he knows how much I love him. But I should still have two brothers and I will never be okay with that loss for I've lost a part of me.
It's four years on though and so time has done what time tends to do. Daily life has become the balm that has soothed the raw pain and while I may always bear a deeper sense of loss, a sadness that will never quite leave me, I know that as years pass this anniversary becomes a little easier each year. I lost a bit of myself when I lost Simon but I've slowly been rebuilding a new me. It's imperfect of course, but then it always was, we all have our scars and our flaws. Is it a better me? In some ways perhaps it is. I've become more aware of mental health, more invested in trying to help reduce the stigma. I try to be more forgiving, I try to remind myself that you can never know what inner turmoils people are battling. Life is too short to bear grudges. I've become more political though, I think given what has happened both nationally and internationally over the past four years that was inevitable but perhaps now I care less about what people think about me. I certainly listen more, have learned to be less defensive and I'm finding that feeling criticised or uncomfortable means I should examine my thoughts and beliefs. When Simon died I felt as though I'd had my skin torn from my body. I lost a sense of my self. I remember wondering how I could feel ripped apart and yet so numb, so very numb, at the same time. How could I feel everything and yet nothing at the same time? Four years on and I believe I'm more empathic, the kindness of friends and strangers continues to touch me. Today will soon be tomorrow and my life - a normal, messy, unpredictable, and yes happy life - will go on. Simon may not be with us but he'll always be a part of us. Four years after his suicide and I'm not just surviving, I'm doing what became too hard for him. I'm living.

A strangely prophetic picture, I'm with Rob on the right, Simon with us but apart...

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