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FIRST PERSON: Bottled Up

“My endorphins were jumping about everywhere having completed the British 10k run for CALM and rewarded afterwards with a pint (or two!). At that time, I was reminded that I was not the only person who had lost a loved one to suicide and that I can, at this moment of time, actually talk at ease with like minded people about my son, Douglas, who took his life nearly 5 years ago. Often, otherwise, a taboo subject.

“My wife & I  were already amicably separated at the time of Doug’s death, and we therefore mutually shared our concerns for his wellbeing. During August ’09, whilst very much aware of Doug’s depression, we contacted his Doctor and at our request, he visited him but, as was his prerogative, he declined to accept further medication or counselling.  We felt a sense of helplessness, being at a complete loss as to what further action we could take. Doug died in October 2009.  As with Libby Purvis, who also lost her son, Doug ‘stayed as long as he could’. There seemed to be this empathy with Doug, as if his ‘burden’ had transcended to us, this deep black hole of impenetrable grief and guilt.  We had no awareness of CALM at the time, which I am sure would have proved very valuable.

“I now look upon grief as a solid lump. It does not change in shape or size, but just sits there in the well of your soul. However, as a good friend said, ‘grief is in a vacuum within a glass jar, totally surrounded with no room to move’. Over the last 5 years the grief remains the same sized ‘lump’ but the glass jar (life) has grown much bigger.  There is no longer a vacuum, for there is now a distance between the glass and the ‘grief’. Life, albeit a new one, has expanded and will continue to do so.  Grief will never change but time has the ability to heal, as best it can.

“So life moves on, newly married and continuing to relish the time spent with my other son, daughter and grandson and, now larger, family. Doug & I shared some running together, so I now run on his behalf when supporting CALM, encouraging those elusive endorphins and perhaps a pint (or 2) as well!”

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