I lost my friend, Rory, to suicide in March 2014.
Rory was the long-time housemate of my best friend when she lived in Manchester. You couldn’t say that Rory and I were extremely close, but he was somebody that was always in the background of my visits to Manchester and I have many fond memories of those days.
When I heard he had suicided it had been over a year since I had seen him and it was a shock; not least because he was one of those people that was always smiling.
As a young gay woman, I know about the struggles of coming out and dealing with those emotions.
Rory was gay and I was told, after his death, that he struggled with this despite having a very accepting and loving family, and that he had fought depression for much of his adult life.
At Rory’s funeral, I found it very difficult to process my emotions about his suicide.
His mum and dad spoke candidly about what had happened; the meticulousness of his suicide plan and how he had organised it so as to cause the least amount of distress to his family, friends and those that found him… A testament to the type of man he was in life; kind, thoughtful, generous, a true gentleman and one that is missed every day.
In the months after Rory’s death, my own mental health took a downward turn. Numerous factors contributed, including my work situation at the time, the loss of another young friend the year prior and many other stressors (The Unicorn and I had just begun wedding planning).
Long story short, I ended up being signed off work and back in counselling — this wasn’t my first rodeo!
It was during this time that I came across PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.
I’d been dabbling with the idea of volunteering for a while and when I spotted them on do-it.org and realised they were a suicide prevention charity I didn’t even stop to think about, I knew I had to go to their project launch event so I signed up.
The launch was great and as upsetting as it was to hear so many stories of suicide loss, there was also something quite lovely about it. The fact that everybody was there because they had experienced this loss and each and every one of us wanted to prevent others from going through the same thing – we were all connected and from that moment I knew this was something that I would be involved in for the rest of my life.
That was in February 2015 and though the initial project that myself and the other volunteers signed up for is over, we’ve all stayed on as volunteers with PAPYRUS, because…
If you’ve been moved by this, are having thoughts of suicide yourself or are worried about someone you know, you can find help and support here.
If you want to get involved with PAPYRUS there are tonnes of ways that you can — whether you have time to give as a volunteer, you want to fundraise yourself or host an event, or if you want to attend or get involved in an event organised by PAPYRUS — like the HOPEWalk — all the information can be found on their website.
Alternatively, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with the right people.