This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.
This past week has been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
I’ve spent hours smiling from ear to ear with family and friends feeling incredibly blessed alongside sleepless nights in tears knowing I was turning the age that my brother was when he took his own life.
This is a little of my story.
It was this day two years ago.
I was celebrating my birthday in London blissfully unaware of how my entire world was about to be shattered. I remember waking up on that Saturday like any other racing to the gym, my biggest worry being if I would have enough time to wash my hair before meeting my friends.
As usual, it was a tight turn around and the delays in ordering an Uber in East London gave us just enough time to clean the local Tesco Express out of prosecco. It was going to be a great day.
We arrived at Clissold Park just as the clouds cleared. My friend and I had organised a joint birthday picnic, because what other way is there to celebrate a birthday during the British summer time? I was also bursting with excitement because my younger brother had secretly flown back to London the day prior to surprise our friends by rocking up to the park unannounced. What a surprise it was! It was the best day all round, I even remember thinking to myself, life couldn’t be better.
As the cool British summer night set in, we grabbed our summer jackets and headed for the local pub to finish the celebrations. This is where it seems blurry, but not in a 'I’ve had too many Pimms and prosecco' kind of way.
I checked my phone and saw multiple missed calls from my mum, Knowing I had spoken to her earlier that day and being the early hours of Sunday in Australia, something seemed off. I hit call. She answered in seconds but it felt like a lifetime before she could get any words out.
I thought it was the connection breaking up, so I walked around the pub trying to hear her. My incredible, kind, caring and beautiful older brother had taken his own life days after his 31st birthday.
I couldn’t move. This all seemed too familiar. Suddenly, I was 13 years old again coming home from school, slinging my bag in the hallway and racing to the kitchen bench to dig into an ice-cream sundae. I could see my brothers either side of me as our mum had to watch our three little ice-cream covered smiles fade away with the news our father had taken his own life.