Today in America it’s Thanksgiving. It’s also the anniversary of losing my brother Simon, when he died too young 8 years ago. It was devastating, life changing and made us all wonder if we would ever smile again. So how do I marry these two things up and write a blog about thankfulness whilst still remembering a brother who died in such tragic circumstances? I don’t want to dwell on the sadness of it all; that goes without saying that we were all shocked and devastated and wondered if we would ever find our bearings again. Instead I will find things to be thankful for, and hopefully, if someone is reading this in desperation, it might just enable them to reach out and get the help and support they need.
Today I’m thankful for….
- The memories of happier times. I remember we used to lie on the floor of our sitting room in front of the tv, with our feet on the radiator to warm them up, and our heads on a cushion. We watched Laurel and Hardy films together, The Young Ones and The Blues Brothers. We could quote from all of these tv shows and films and years later, even if we hadn’t seen each other in months (he moved to America as an adult) one of us could say the first line of a quote and the other could finish it off. We argued together, we laughed together and we grew up together. In the words of my sister, we will always be Ann, Simon and Sarah.
- For all the people who loved him and spoke so highly of him at his funeral. It was a comfort to us to know that people loved him as much as we did and carried him in their hearts as we still do now.
- For people who sit on the end of helplines to support others when they are struggling. In the UK there is Samaritans, a 24 hour phone helpline for people in crisis; and I know there are crisis lines in USA and waiting to support those in need on the phone or through email or text.
- I’m thankful for a faith that carried me through such a desperate time and enabled me to help others who have been faced with the same shock and sadness.
- I’m thankful that we’re all doing ok. Life moves on, but we take him with us and think of him often.
- and I’m thankful that however dark the night, the sun still rises in the morning.
Until we meet again…..
If you are in crisis or need someone to talk to you can contact Samaritans. Click here for numbers and email addresses. (you don’t have to be suicidal to call)
In USA contact Out of The Darkness here
There is also the World Health Organisation here