January 28th, 2015 is Bell Let’s Talk Day; A day to talk openly about mental health issues.
January 28th, 2015 also marks 267 days since Jason (my ex-partner and father of our kids) took his life.
267 days of grief.
267 days of heaviness that fades but never goes away.
267 days of regret.
I’ve been criticized that I’m writing about his death in some sort of self-serving way. But the way I see it is that if I had been louder about his depression while he was still alive … if I had insisted on talking to him and those who love him about what I saw… then maybe…………………………
In any case, it’s time to be loud now. It’s time to make noise and TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH !!!!!!! For Jason, for Rain, for Moxie and for everyone everywhere affected by depression.
I’ve been tasked with explaining depression/suicide to Rain (10) and Moxie (8). “Why did he do it?” is a conversation that we’ve had numerous times. Thankfully I have had support from a bereavement group and with their help, have formulated this basic answer.
“Your dad would have done anything to help his friends and family. But when he needed help, he didn’t ask. He was embarrassed by how yucky he felt inside and wanted to hide his feelings. He thought it made him stronger. But instead it made him feel alone. There are 3 things we need to take away from this:
1. Your Dad loved you so incredibly much.
2. His death had NOTHING to do with you.
3. Whenever you need help, ask someone. Talk to someone. Don’t hide your feelings. ever.
Since his death, the kids have talked openly about this disease called depression to their teachers and friends at school. Their grief has been demonstrated in countless art pieces. We share tears, laughter and memories daily. But the important consistency here is that we are talking about it. We are not hiding it. We are not ashamed by it.
Join us.. talk about it. We are not alone.
Our Journey (via my writing) through Grief:
Fantastic videos in support of mental health awareness:
Support for the support we’ve received:
I cannot even begin to explain how instrumental The Lighthouse program for grieving children has been in our healing journey since the sudden death of Rain and Moxie’s Dad. In effort to give a little back to a program that has (and continues) to help us so much we are committed to running 5K on April 26th in full support of The Lighthouse. Ironically (or not) we have registered on #BellLetsTalk Day, a national conversation about Mental Health awareness. Please join us, either physically (you can join our team “The Original Team Adventurers”), pledge our team or just spread the awareness. Click here to check it out! https://t.co/9UC3CS8pgt