‘A personal story’ – World Mental Health Day 2016

As part of World Mental Health day 2016 one of our participant’s wishes to share a story with others on losing a family member to suicide. This story is written from the heart and we hope you find it as thought provoking and inspiring as us.


‘If Only’


If only I knew what was in people’s minds just before they commit suicide, it must be the loneliest place in the world. This does not happen overnight, it could take years of torment.

If only I knew the right words to say.

If only I knew how to listen, I mean really listen to the words that are not spoken.

If only people knew the heartbreak, suffering and guilt that is left behind; it never goes away it just gets harder. But the thing is, they don’t understand what they are doing, they just can’t see another way out.

I am writing this letter from the heart, as I have lost a sister to suicide and I too, am suffering from depression and am battling with suicidal thoughts.

If only she had got the help that I am getting from the mental health services.

People might think that they have nobody and that nobody cares, but the truth is that someone will stand by your grave and say…“if only….”.

As the song goes, “sometimes everybody hurts, everybody cries”…hold on, the suicidal thoughts will pass.

If only I could let the guilt and the shame go I would be in a much better place.

If only everybody had a supportive family and great support from all at New Horizon, who I regard as my friends and who understand about depression, stress and suicidal thoughts.

I am so lucky to have grandchildren who can look beyond the depression and illness and make you feel normal and loved.

If only you knew that someone cares. I care when I hear of a suicide, people I have never met, I feel so sad and say “if only”.

If only you could understand that suicide is the final straw and that it is too late when you die, too late to say you made a mistake.

Most people don’t really want to die and use a suicide attempt as a cry for help, someone to listen to you, someone who understands what you are going through.

I will never forget my sister and what her last words were; they will haunt me for the rest of my life.

If only I had taken action, I could have saved her. She was such a lovely and kind person and I thought the world of her. Now I just stand at her grave and say “if only”.

If only eats away and eats away until you can’t take anymore. It never gives up. Then the guilt and shame kicks in, then the depression and the feeling of worthlessness starts.

It is only now I understand what my sister went through; she was looking for peace of mind. So what I am trying to say is “please think before you do anything and don’t put anyone through the ‘if only’ because that’s for life and that is what keeps me from committing suicide”.

I wish everyone well and remember there is help out there; maybe start with your GP.

In loving memory

of my sister

Deirdre xx

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