I recently attended my cousin Sean’s funeral. He was only 33. I will not beat around the bush here or try to cover up how he died; he committed suicide by hanging himself. Regardless of how well I knew him as an adult, this came as a devastating blow. It bought home all my personal struggles with mental health and that of many I know and the ones I love.
I can’t imagine what my family are going through right now and especially those who found him. But I think it’s about time we stop covering up the issues of mental health and stop being ashamed.
More people are fighting their own battles than we have ever known before. Although they may not show it, it doesn’t mean they’re not fighting.
So let’s take a stand against this savage illness. Let’s be kinder, let’s give more time and let’s listen! You have know idea what anyone person is going through or feeling. You have know idea of the battles they are fighting. You have know idea if the smallest inconsiderate words you say in that moment of anger could change their lives forever.
On that one day you feel the motivation to do something exceptional, grab that opportunity with both hands. Don’t be afraid to change for the better, it could be the best decision you ever make. Hold on to that one person you love unconditionally, they may not be here tomorrow. And DON’T be afraid of who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly. Most importantly, give yourself a break! There is never going to be anyone else you will need to rely on as much as yourself (says she who’s loves nothing better than to take on the entire world at one time). But seriously if you’re going through a crap time, just ride that bastard wave rather than beating yourself up about it.
It’s taken me several years to understand, forgive and accept who I am, warts and all. Not one of us is born perfect and we all have our own inner demons. It’s simply learning how to live with those demons and accepting ourselves as we are which is the challenge. For there is no shame to be had with the demons in our minds just a better understanding of how they work. After all they are part of who we are. But sadly an impossible challenge to accept for some.
To my cousin Sean;
Gone far too soon in a world that doesn’t make sense,
In a world where we face real struggles and real hardship,
Despair we may but in our hearts know that you were loved,
Despair we may but in our hearts know that you were the lovely young man that so many have come to love despite fighting your own battles,
We were never given a guide on how to fight this kind of shit,
Never told that one day our biggest battle would be with ourselves,
I only hope now that you can lay those demons to rest,
I only hope now that despite our grief that you can be at peace,
Gone far too soon in a world that doesn’t make sense
Be at peace cous. Always in our hearts xxxxxx
I’ll finish this post with the perfect message from Mike Shinoda to his friend and colleague Chester Bennington who also took his life in the same way as Sean….