Before and After

Before the 28th December 2017, I hadn’t thought much about suicide

Before the 28th December 2017, I didn’t think suicide was relevant to me

Before the 28th December 2017, I thought suicide only affected addicts and people with serious mental health illnesses, like Schizophrenia. I didn’t think it affected normal families, with an education, and jobs, and children, and happy homes

Before the 28th December 2017, I never imagined suicide was being considered under my roof. I never imagined he would hide his feelings from me

On the 28th December 2017, he disappeared

On the 29th December 2017, I found him dead. He was 43, He was my husband. He was the step-father of my children. He was a teacher. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a colleague, a music lover, a cricket player, a song writer, a Broncos supporter, a runner, and more and more…..

After the 29th December 2017, I found out that he had been suffering, more that I could know

After the 29th December 2017, I found out that he had been planning his death

After the 29th December 2017, I have thought about the phenomenon of suicide everyday

After the 29th December 2017, I have found out that suicide is the most common cause of death in Australian men aged between 15 -44 years

After the 29th December 2017, I discovered that almost 2 years afterwards; the shock, the pain and the grief still hold me in their grip

After the 29th December 2017, I realised there is no such thing as a “strong person”; we are all just human

After the 29th December 2017, I see everyone differently. I see each person, no matter their gender, their age, their wealth, their education, their job, or their happy home, as a vulnerable individual…….

After the 29th December 2017, I have tried to be a better listener to anyone who wants to talk. Now I see how just listening can help, even when we cannot solve the problem

I want to go back to before the 28th December 2017,

I want to go back and change the story,

I want to go back and see his pain that I missed,

I want to go back and know the signs of suicide that were there,

I want to go back and listen and listen and listen.

I think I could have changed the story if I knew then, what I know now……