I lost my brother to a preventable suicide he fell through the cracks systemic failures by the trust an social care team under and the supported housing team were he lived. It’s the worst way to lose someone you can never prepare for, comprehend an understand why. I lost a baby born still born in 2002 I knew she was to be born stillborn due to severe spina bifida an hydrocephalus I knew as she took her last breath I’d hold her in my arms I’d kiss her on the head and I’d say goodbye, I lost my Grandad back in February 2017 I called in on the Morning of the Day he died to the hospital the Doctor told me that day when my Nanna came in they’d be stopping his medicine, taking his oxygen away he was getting put on an end of life Pathway, I went up to my mums saw my nanna an held her told her prepare for worst, I went to lighthouse academy my friends held me up, prayed with me I was preparing say goodbye. That night I went back to the hospital treatment had been stopped, as many family members as could were contacted, notified mad dashes to the hospital, he was surrounded by family held he was not in pain nor alone I got to say goodbye even though I wasn’t ready. Nothing can prepare you when you lose a loved one to Suicide because you can’t see it coming, you don’t expect if you knew or had a chance you’ld do everything in your power to stop from happening. This week I read in our legal teams argument for Article 2 systemic failings led to the events of my brother’s preventable suicide , I read that my brother had already passed when the paramedics got too him and probably had been a no of hours it breaks my heart to know he was lost, alone an in his final hours an until found had died that way. I wasn’t their to hold him, my mum didn’t get hold him even though an adult was her baby she did didn’t get that chance like I did with my baby somehow prepare an be their and like with grandad we knew we all surrounded wrapped round him he’ll have felt an known was loved I hate the feeling that losing my brother to a preventable suicide has done I hate knowing he may have felt unloved, unworthy, uncared for because he was. Losing a loved one to suicide is not only their lives lost but also part of you, your family dies too it feels strange, unnatural, not right, it’s broken, fractured, damaged your heart, the heart of your family dies too you get swamped into a dark hole, dark skies descend over all you know, life, joy gets zapped from you. I hate that I didn’t know, didn’t get chance stop, didnt get hold my hand out pull him back, I hate that I didn’t get say goodbye I hate that I don’t get angry at him, I hate that I can’t ask him why, I hate that I can’t bring myself to hate those who failed him, I hate I don’t have an axe to grind I hate that I want to give them a chance to learn lessons from his death I hate it’s been me, my family who held out that olive branch and I hate that they’re reluctant too take I hate that I can’t hate them want give them a chance I don’t understand why because they robbed me of my brother, my best friend , I want scream, yell call them murderers because of their systemic failings but I can’t because I know he deserves more, I know I’ve to give those a chance who failed him, I’ve to fight the legal system for article 2 to make his life matter, his memory, his life be remembered, he be remembered as someone who deserved help, be supported, cared for, a life worth saving and him not be just another life sadly lost to suicide, him not be a statitistic because he was worth more than that. Losing a loved one sadly to a preventable suicide flips your world upside down an know all can do is try make sense off and fit the jigsaw puzzle pieces together that led to that day to understand why and then with that completed puzzle find a way grieve, mourn say goodbye an try prevent someone else from sadly taking their live, give those that failed ideas to come up with pathways, measures to build safety nets to try ensure dosent happen again, I don’t have anyone can go to that can talk to about so I share my feelings here in my blog I know people struggle to talk to you about, ask how help, I know because I struggle with too. I hope that people reading who are in same place my brother was would contact me so I can help you so you don’t do what my brother did as you are worth more than that, for those that have lost a loved one to suicide to feel free contact me you are not alone it may feel it but I know the pain you feeling I feel it too, to Services, councils, NHS trusts social care providers that want make a difference to people affected by addiction, mental health and homelessness and put mental health on their patient safety strategies or looking at suicide prevention of people society turns their back on we’re culture around people with combined needs or are seen as unsafeable or attitudes around personality disorders needs challenging or your pathways not inclusive your not getting everyone on one or you need improve your community contact me if you genuinely want learn knock on my door because like I said lives like my brother’s matter let’s work together an make a difference I can’t bring him back but his memory, story can help save life’s.
Depression is horrible it’s a debilitating disease that squeases the life out of you keeps you trapped in the darkest places of your mind, takes the spirit an life out of everyday moments, in extreme cases murders those you love forces an pushes them into doing something stupid wreckless as they fight try find away out, Depression is like a prison sentence when things not too bad you get time out from like good behaviour but then smack something happens your hurled back into that darkened cell in the back of your head trapped , surrounded engulfed by misery, pain, desperation, inability cope, intense anger as you struggle and fight through. Depression isn’t just an invisible one but it’s a lonely one too people can’t see depression nor do people want or try see. People don’t spot when friends or family disappear become distant and you drop of the radar don’t stop by and ask are you ok, People don’t see past the charade the pretence that everything’s ok , people don’t see the bags under your eyes , don’t see the pain an fatique of the weight of the world crushing down on you theirs no hand of support their to help you up, no one their to lighten the load, Depression is a tormentor abuser it plays with your mind construes your thoughts makes you paranoid throws you into a spin cycle of thoughts that take over an drain you and drench’s you. Depression people don’t see nor understand people don’t get depressed your expected snap out of, move on so you pretend , you act you paint a fake picture alls ok still whilst slowly fading away into the distance life stopping for you but continually moves forwards for others you stumble n trip and sink trying keep up and I understand now why some give up because it’s tough it can get too much to keep on battling, keep on fighting, keep on trying for me I have no choice try battle an fight through because depression to is a curse it dosent disappear when you go you wherever maybe, maybe free but those you leave behind they struggle see, understand carry the weight off and depression sneakily sneaks in whilst their vulnerable and off guard it’s how it’s snuck in for me this time round pain and grief and anger at losing a loved one to a preventable suicide shrouded and engulfed me and has me trapped and I wouldn’t want pass that curse on so I’ll battle an fight with it I’ve beat it once I’ll try beat it once more the child snoozing next to me oblivious am awake at daft o’clock in the morning needs me to he’s to young to understand and see but to a point knows his Mummy’s been sad and when she’s upset thinks is his fault an asks Mummy are you my friend, the guilt of having depression then engulfs you don’t want your child seeing or sensing or feeling that so when they can’t see you try process an unravel the pain your feeling and untangle the mess inside your head be good have a pause button take a rest an break from but it’s depression it dosent make life easy. I can choose to live in hope though and hope I find away fight through and that I break through the prison of can get a hold off an my life back on track, can try find solutions, plans break through the core that’s keeping me trapped only you that is trapped by depression can break free from because people don’t see those chains wrapped round you an can’t pass you the key to release you from to all those that are battling with though we see and hopefully by speaking about people will start to see an start to help remove the chains that have kept us held and dragged back but until then know you are not alone we all at some point or time wrestle with an battle with an so you are not alone in your fight with x x x x x
My Big Brother, My best friend, One of my Angel’s if Heaven, Darkness has shrouded me since the day you died the pain I’ve felt uncomprehendable an unimaginable a pain I wouldn’t want wish on anyone, the pain an suffering you too faced in the last 2 1/2 years of live wouldn’t wish on anyone either. When you were alive you had a wish I didn’t grant a wish your nephew my son Myles met our dad and for him have a chance meet him an be a Grandad to his only Grandson. To you dad was your hero, your best friend you saw past the alcoholism you loved the times you had with him down at the Brown hare you never got over dad finally having to go into a care home for his own safety it was like part of you died that day the day you felt you’ld lost your best friend an I know hate feeling that same pain, I didn’t have the same relationship with Dad as you did I did try when he first went in to the care home have one but then in 2009 my own Mental Health deteriorated to point I spent Christmas that year sectioned and detained in hospital it took me a few years recover from in 2012 I went through a major relationship breakdown lost the home I’d thought have my ever after in an had create a new identity for myself as part of that process an as part of that process I didn’t want have Dad in my life I blamed him for not been in my life when I needed and wasn’t their protect me from been abused wasn’t their shelter me from pain of losing Marybeth and I hated knowing at time I was going through that he was in Pub opposite and so in my mind if I deleted him from my life I had a chance move on from my past. When Myles was first born I did think about letting him see him but the bitterness an anger I felt about him not been their made me have attitude he didn’t have that right be in my life or Myles, I know that you respected that decision but you were also hurt by as you so much wanted dad see him and I’m sorry I never listened, never told you how I felt maybe you’ld have understood an we’d have worked together and compromised and we’d have took Myles together. The day of your funeral was the first time in years I’d come back into contact with each other he looked lost, he didn’t look like our dad but still he automatically was Dad all way through the service he sat next to me and held my had, did cuddle me as I was upset and walked up to your coffin with me and held my hand as I told you it wasn’t goodbye but see you when times right an for you go be one of heaven’s angels an be with my Marybeth. After your funeral I did give dad some photos of you with Myles and I did think about going and see him and take Myles but I wasn’t ready also Grandad was very poorly and he too sadly passed then Myles other Great Grandad Robinson too sadly had a stroke an he too sadly passed an emotionally I did not feel strong. So it took 18 months after you passed away and this last week of not sleeping an waking upset an trying ignore an pretend all ok and to go across mums and in Tesco see an old man alone and me with a stock pile of presents for Boo too think about people who maybe alone, I went across Nanna’s she too stood in the Hallway looking lost as we chatted and she was worrying about getting her nibbles in her eyes though was fear first Christmas alone without Grandad and across at mums I got upset for her but brushed off went home, on Christmas Eve Facebook triggered me to point turned of all notifications Christmas was about family time an so be it, Anne Myles great grandads partner Anne phoned who earlier on in year whold lost Alan phoned see how we were recognised this time of year would be hard for me as as was for her and at end of call it hit me I cracked, I melt all bitterness to dad I felt disappeared and I looked at Myles it was finally time he met his Grandad Hughie our Dad and on Christmas Eve Dad finally met Myles I think he was just an shocked an surprised as I was as It wasn’t how I envisaged spend Christmas Eve but am glad I did am glad finally my four year old finally got to meet and get a cuddle and see his Grandad all of us in room didn’t speak your name but did feel your absence missing and that’s my only regret about finally granting your wish you weren’t their share with us as you should have been I kinda think from heaven you’ve probably though in heaven come down from heaven an whispered in my ear what about Dad Katie it’s time and am glad you did because in New year we now have New hope Dad an I and Myles can have a New Relationship an too Jason an Dad can maybe look at have too just a shame you not here share in too but I hope though your with us in Spirit an through pain losing you that their can be some healing now your wish has been granted an I’ve entered the spirit of Christmas reconciling the pain of yesterday but am truly sorry though left to late for you to see I know we’ve a long way go me an Dad but we’ve finally now made a start I hope you Too our now finally at peace an forever I will miss you my brother, my best friend x
Today I woke at 5.30am in tears hit with the realisation you are gone. I no longer feel your presence, no longer can pretend your busy and I’m busy an we’ve just missed see each other at Mum’s. Life is passing me by I’ve lost interest in friends, play dates and ideal gossip because things like that no longer matter they’re trivial nothing can comprehend to the pain and loneliness I feel not having you in my life anymore, I FIGHT FOR ANSWERS for you because your live mattered, you were cared for you were loved, I know it can’t bring you back and I so desperately wished it could even if for one day we made things better for someone else you tell me and mum you were proud an we did it we made your life matter you were stood up an accounted for, you tell us your free, your happy now , you tell us grandad an Marybeth’s happy Too an that your with them no longer alone an when time comes you’ll one day see us again, you’ll hold us say we’ll be ok an wipe our tears away and I so wish that could be true even if for one day.
It was Myles birthday on Friday what I wouldn’t have given to see you, open a card for him from you I remember you were the first person to visit him tried getting on the maternity unit at 7am but wasn’t opening hours was told come back at 12 lunch time an you wandered round Leeds till that time, I remember how proud you were holding him in your arms the love you had for him radiated out you too we’re proud off me and told me his sister in heaven would be proud an you never gave up hope I’d have a little one even though I did, I wished you’ld knocked on the door on Friday see how tall Myles is growing not much of a baby now but more my lil henchman an right hand man his personality an mccomb side now starting to come out he’s loud, he’s cheeky an he’s boystrous you’ld be just as proud off him now as moment first held him he’s going to miss having you in his world as you’ld have made one amazing god father an uncle.
This morning it hit me I won’t see you at Christmas nor anytime soon an in that moment I felt lost, lonely didn’t want feel that realisation you had gone each day it gets harder and harder acknowledging you are gone an my heart breaks that little bit more what wouldn’t give to see you even just for one day.
December hasn’t brought winter cheer an Christmas cheer, Decembers brought sadness an tears an realisation the world is now a depressing place without you in it an that life became that little bit darker the day you died an realisation today it had changed was day I realised really wished you were back here today an can no longer pretend an have try accept your gone
I love you Timothy the greatest big brother an best friend I ever had one day again I’ll see you but for now it’s time wipe away the December tears an force myself try move on x x x x
We’re now in December the time of year people get in too the spirit of been festive an giving an Christmas cheer, children get excited about what they wish for on their lists comes true because Santa sees an grants their wishes. People are getting out the advent calendars, planning to watch all the xmas movies in the build up too, theirs elves on shelves, tress been put up lights an all the trimmings, trips to xmas markets, festive light switch ons, and for kids santa too.
As a parent you have to do theses things for your child, I’ve to currently do them for mine but when you’ve had an emotional and rough year an a half suffered bereavement after bereavement, been hit with major changes an disruptions to your home life an only just try navigate get back on track is hard to feel festive get in to that Christmas spirit because we’re was the magic when you needed it, At Christmas we talk about the gifts of Joy, Hope an Peace these are gifts you need all year round, everyday especially to get through what live throws at you.
For most this time of year will be filled with fun an cheer but spare a thought for those it’s probably not, in 2009 I had what was one of the xmas I’d say was a bad one I spent it detained under the Mental Health Act Under Section 3, I didn’t open presents under the tree but on a hospital bed, I didn’t have the full xmas dinner with my family but strangers instead their was no tree, no lights no decorations no festive cheer their was no Christmas magic that year so at xmas I do reflect on that thing of all who maybe going through that.
In 2013 I’d say I had what was my best Christmas I’d just had my son my very own Christmas miracle after losing a child born stillborn in March 2002 I thought I’d never have a child of my own an as time went on I gave up op on having one and so even though I’ve now got Myles I do to spare a thought for parents facing harsh reality of knowing the pain what it’s like to lose a child especially getting through that 1st xmas every xmas I still imagine how it’d be if had Marybeth an do more so now I’ve Myles to celebrate with, I also spare a thought for those who desperstley wanted a child an pain not having one and seeing friends an families having families of their own even though your happy you still feel like you’ve had your heart tugged out.
Last xmas I was not excited for nor looking forward too because it was to be the first xmas without my brother Tim, I remember using my son , my niece n nephews as my driving force to get through because they’re just kids they don’t need face the harsh realities of live, I knew also for my mum had try an do something to ease her through xmas as knew would be difficult her go through and knew xmas would heighten pain she felt.
So I brought the magic of Christmas to my house I threw my son an his twin cousins a Christmas themed birthday party, invited Santa Claus round the children’s excitement an faces an look of joy injected that little bit of hope an magic get through, I still got Tim a card an present as Wasn’t ready to not too even took part in arranging a toy collection for George’s Crypt for Children who face some of the most bleakest things in life an did in memory of Tim kinda wished did again this year but sadly life got in way an other stuff get through so maybe next year I’ll do.
Again this year I will try steer my family through highs an lows of the festive period and be hopeful in new year we’ll get the answers we’re looking for surrounding my brother’s death , I’ll hold both Myles nanna, great nanna and his grandma in my heart an pray they find a way get through this time of year as they go through their first xmases without John and without Alan in the winter night sky and when the stars twinkle I’ll whisper to Myles that’s his sister, uncle an great grandads watching over coming down to say Merry Xmas an that in spirit we’re still here just not near but have not completely gone and will always be with him in spirit an heart,
As I’ve wrote this blog I’ve wondered why write I suppose it’s my way of saying that I will fake my way through xmas for Myles starting by next week taking him to the magical world of Thomas land for his early bday treat , I’ll put up a tree lights an decorations when we get back, I’ll try do something nice with mum whilst we’re down at Westminster helping NHS England around their Learning From Deaths work as we remain hopeful an optomistic can make a difference for families in the future who may face similar experiences to ours but they be supported with compassion an empathy unlike us. When come back do the mad xmas shop, present buying an wrapping for my loved ones get excited at thought watching them feel gift of joy when they get the gifts they’ve wished for an I’ve realised in one way I’m acknowledging Christmas can be a difficult kind of year but also as I’ve reflected on I’m slowly injecing into me ways I’ll find Christmas gift of hope too have the joy an spirit too want to celebrate be festive an try to find the missing magic an hope too others who’s missing that too I pray that you may find ways to find x x x
Yesterday me and my Mum met with our Solicitor regarding Tim’s Inquest was that the Coroner did not overturn his decision on Article 2 and disclosure was because my brother’s death was classed as been in the community regardless of the fact of him living in Mental Health Supported Housing, apparently Tims Death is a grey area in eyes of Law because he’d not been sectioned or detained he was not classed as immediate risk, he went for help on Monday was seen at A n E but because didn’t come out an Say “I’m Suicidal, I’m going to harm myself, End my life was reason why did not get admitted, I in the past have felt torn one hand want fight my demons on other want give up I also no at times felt want give up wouldn’t tell anyone what my intentions were, fact he’d taken a minor OD suggested he was at some element of risk , the fact 2 days prior reached out again saw his GP and his GP only offering Tea an Biscuits should have again highlighted needed help, highlighted again was a risk but because in the community the grey area he had capacity make choice did, if admitted to hospital till his key worker who became dependant on may have kept him alive, kept him hate say safe because he’d have been took away from what his stressor obsessing about his housing, finances,benefits,low self worth due been unemployed and his death would have been prevented if detained because not detained he stayed been at immediate risk, regardless been in the community, been in hospital the fact remains he was not mentally ok an that meant he was at immediate risk, I’m saddened the coroner didn’t grant because he has all the evidence their say was immediate risk but because 12 months outdated and not reviewed by those who were supposed to coroner has assumption then not an immediate risk, he at that period was , he was for the last 2 1/2 years of his life was an immediate risk an never stopped been adequate an a up to date review would have proved that but wasn’t and why arguing failed in his care it saddens me that powers that are responsible and their actions are now impacting on the legality’s and imposing further on our fight for answers why, we only want answers why to mourn, to heal, so lessons can be learned other families don’t feel our pain, people like Tim be saved, it saddens me more that if wasn’t for Legal Aid funding we wouldn’t have got this far, we’ve to hope now we can get continued funding to take to Judicial review and potentially try bring about new case law and get Article 2 be granted and it’s a fight we want to fight for , the services that were responsible , the ones with all the answers, one who not engaging with us as the family the state has an unlimited money pot for their legal army, talk about them having the unlimited power an control, we as a family should not be saddened, worrying about now the If and If get funding all families who’ve lost a loved an have go through the inquest process should automatically be funded more so when is the state going up against an for us that’s the NHS an local council we’re does anyone get the money to take them on to get the answers, the justice for lessons be learned and I can only pray, hope, wish funding continues if not I don’t know what we’ll do next I only no we won’t be throwing towel in, well come out fighting that bit more.
After what was a shit morning we did however still remain optimistic, plodded on with our day still continued with wanting support NHS England with their Learning From Deaths work and headed down to Quarry house in Leeds to feed into preparations for attending an event in WestMinister to continue an drive the work forward I must admit I took my tension from the morning out on the taxi driver so was composed when went in, sorry to the roadrunners taxi driver, were still optimistic as a family we can try ensure families not treated in same we’ve been , we’re still optimistic we can make something good to come from something terrible, we’re hopeful to that at the event we can be matched with the trust that failed Tim so we can demonstrate that families can work together with them an hope that they see after the event is important to meet with us as a family start the process again work with us to understand the why’s the if’s and importantly us work together on what could have been done differently an would have potentially prevented Tim’s death an hopefully us work with them to prevent deaths like Tims so deaths like his don’t become grey areas and so can only hope too as we continue fight for an Article 2 Inquest that in meantime we can work with the trust and lessons from his death be learned,
As a family we’ve tried be compassionate, empathetic an understanding with the Trust tried listen to potential excuses why failings, funding, staff shortages, difficulty getting access to certain services an continually try engage with them so why’s it hard for them do that as fundamentally they should do that, it’s not them that’s facing pain an heartache we are an should be us not them had choice hide behind closed doors because not ready face but we’ve no choice we have to face to fight and so Tim for you we will continue to do so.
Last night I was emailed by National Mind as one of their campaigners to submit to them a 20 word tweet that they would tweet today as part of their campaign to stop the #MHCuts and #protectthe #NHS. Today at same time am enroute to London to work with the Royal College of Psychiatry as a service User an Carer board member to their conference as they look at the five year forward and community mental health transformation Pathway and sadly the start of today feels bittersweet an bleak as with every will in the way even with the most passionate people their an even with every bit of negative stories shared to learn from an even stories of good practice that could be implemented service users, carers, family members an 3rd sector, social care and statutory services will be still up against and the money needs to be their, Funding needs to be made available to many lives are currently either been failed or lost due to failings in Mental Health Care, My brother sadly has been one of those lives been lost when he sadly lost his live people did say more needed to be done for Mental Health Services that their was long waiting times, difficulty accessing services, not enough acccess to regular contact with professionals overseeing care, unable access therapy, crisis care an specialised support an at time wasn’t ready listen to that as an excuse or factor in my brother’s death as in today’s society we should be able provide adequate care, funding should be their and so why isn’t it why did our government help assist in my brother taking his own life where were they were was the money that should have got him a bed at a specialist my rehab an recovery unit as it was down to their been a 2 year waiting list and funding why when he an us as a family were turned down for when he first presented needing help, were was our govt when he was unfairly detained in prison due to a mh breakdown an no beds available for him a judge would of spared him that if their had been a bed available for him, my brother thought so hard to recover but he was always up against it passed from service to service, no regular community mental health or social care support became lost in a system designed to protect people, I could stay bitter an hate the system but it does me or my family nor my brother’s memory any good we can only fight for change campaign for and use my brother’s story his memory to ensure no other family goes through what we do, its heart wrenching, gut wrenching an mum I know you’ll read so sorry if upsets you but it is soul destroying knowing your loved one died feeling alone an that apart from his family no one cared for him and that he was made feel that an that no one was going to help him and that after 21/2 years felt exhausted every Avenue and in desperation did something stupid and sadly it cost him his life an it breaks my heart he died alone in a place supposed to be providing him support an care an supposedly their just be funded be private landlords as a sister feeling that pain is unbearable so I ask if on twitter please copy an share my tweet ” My brother’s suicide could have been prevented if had access to specialised support deaths like his can be prevented stop mh cuts. include my name . @KatieAnnSiobhan and share my blog and #Do4Tim #StoptheMHCuts my family and I can’t so Teresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Hunt, The Chief exec of NHS England were’s they money gone, where’s the money to fund #mhcare if don’t provide an deliver sadly more lives will be lost in memory of my brother please don’t let that happen.