Coping after suicide

First Christmas without You

It’s our very first Christmas without you,
I feel I can hardly breathe,
But these days that’s not so unusual,
Since the day you decided to leave.

I look at my favourite photo,
And the candle we light, just for you,
Wondering if you can see us,
Wondering what we should do?

Others are busy out shopping,
For gifts to go under the tree,
The joy on their faces rips at my heart,
When you should be right here with me.

I wander the shops with my watery eyes,
Just moving around in a daze,
Trying to find the most perfect thing
To lay at your new resting place.

There’s a new Christmas ornament now on the tree,
It’s bearing your name, and your wings,
Though we didn’t put lights on the house this year,
Dad was too sad for these things.

People around us are happy,
So we try to be happy too,
But inside our hearts are breaking apart,
The one thing that’s missing, is you.

We visited where you are sleeping,
Left tinsel, to show that we care,
As well as a beautiful angel,
To look after you while we’re not there.

Your buddies have been out to see you,
They too, have left gifts of love,
A cap, some trinkets, a bottle of beer,
We can feel your smile from above.

Now there’s one empty chair at the table,
One less Bon-Bon that’s going to be popped,
Everything’s changed, nothing’s the same,
Since the day our universe stopped.

It’s our very first Christmas without you,
The first of many to come,
So we’ll raise our glass to the heavens,
We miss you, our beautiful son.

Journal entry

and that day finally came,

she realised, she was no longer

on the bottom of the pit,

she had slowly started

to claw her way out,

stopping to rest at the slightest

of crevice,

holding on for her life,

terrified if she dares glance


it will once again swallow

her up,

she has a long way to go,

but she is finally grasping

that small

piece of courage

and at present

she is winning

the battle.

Jennifer Coulcher

For Joel

A hollow conduit with some external connectivity is the form I now take .

My precious gift Joel Thomas Shields forever 21 was a hugely compassionate, sensitive soul that felt the pain of the world, too much at most times.

The world needs more love and compassion.

We need to be more accepting of each other.

We need to be more mindful of self as sometimes the frustration of others is seen as being  directed at us but is indeed  the frustration of our own daily struggles.

We all matter.

We are bombarded with negative information because that’s what attracts attention. While we should strive for a better world we also need to recognise the good and know that there is a place for all of us somewhere.

There is always hope.

We must remember that we are not alone. At times it may feel as if the world is a threat to defend yourself against and the temptation can be to keep people at a distance but this is exactly the time we need to reach out and allow others in.


Sometimes problems seem unsurmountable .There is always a solution. It may take time and it may not be perfect but you need to give yourself the time and space to just ‘breathe’.

Be gentle with yourself ( and one another).

Joel’s keen intellect, huge heart, generous spirit and rainbow soul is missed every day.

The world is a lesser place without him.

Forever loved.