Hey everyone, I haven’t been on here in over a year. A LOT has happened since my last post.
Some of you may remember me from when I spoke about losing my mother to suicide, well since that blog post I had my second child and I also published my own book.
Being pregnant without your mum being there to guide you sucks, like really sucks. I speak about this in my book, about how I felt like I couldn’t feel excited about my unborn child when I had such a huge hole in my chest. How I couldn’t bring myself to have a baby shower because my mum wasn’t there to celebrate with me. Whilst I was in labour with my son and screamed for my mum, knowing she wasn’t there to support me, to tell me everything will be alright. The pain killed me everyday.
I had to do something to get all this pain off my chest, at the time I couldn’t talk to anyone about my feelings because I felt like such a burden. So, I started to plan and write my own book.
Writing this book made me feel like I achieved something, like I’m helping others with my own grief journey. It’s been my own therapy in a way.
I really thought it would be simple to write a book but wow, was I wrong. The ups and downs I had along the way, reliving the moments in my head as I write down all those details set me off many times. It probably didn’t help with all the hormones rushing through my body when I was pregnant and then had given birth.
In my book I speak about the loss of my mother, mental health and my grief journey,. I also include tips for people who are grieving and also for the non-grievers to help others.
I really do hope this book helps many people with their grief journey, when everything was so raw and fresh for me, I wish I didn’t feel so alone. But that’s the thing most people don’t know, they don’t know how lonely grief can make you feel. It’s like your trapped seven feet under and you can’t get out.
My book ‘We Never Said Goodbye’ is available in both paperback and kindle versions on the Amazon website.
A couple of days ago I was going through my notes on my phone, I came across a letter I had wrote to my mum.
This letter was so personal. I spent a whole day writing it out, sealed it in an envelope with one of mum’s favourite Disney stamps and then when I visited mum at the chapel of rest, I placed the letter under mums hands.
I thought I’d share this personal letter with you all.
Mum, I hope you are now in a more peaceful place and not in anymore pain. I know you felt torn and didn’t know what to do but I wish you had called me, I was reading the messages you had sent to your friend on Facebook and I was so angry reading them, it’s heartbreaking to see that you was suffering and that nothing could help you but I’m angry that you’ve left us all, you’ve broken all our hearts and you had so many years left to live but I suppose god needed your help up there. Thank you for giving me twenty-two years of memories but I wish I had more, I now won’t have you around when I have my next child or to go baby shopping with, you won’t be there when I one day get married. Although you won’t be there physically, I know you’ll be there in spirit.
You had so much life left to live but I suppose you was too powerful for this world. When I see you tomorrow I know I’m going to cry, and my brain will finally realise that this is real, it will finally sink in that my mum, my best friend has gone. I can’t explain the heartache I am feeling, I will forever have a massive hole in my heart that will never be filled.
I miss you so so so much mum, please just know that I will always love you and I wish I was there for you more, I will forever blame myself for not doing enough, not seeing you everyday and for also not realising that you was in this dark place.
I hope I see you again soon mum because I don’t know how to live without you. Also that photo I sent you on text when I said it was Chris wasn’t actually Chris, it was me, I put a filter on haha.
Delilah keeps asking for you mum but I’ve told her that the angels are looking after you, Tyson also passed away today so I hope you are looking after him up there!
This will make you laugh, I was looking through your wardrobe yesterday to see what presents you had already bought and I thought you got me a telescope for Christmas so I got excited and then I properly looked at it and it was your shower screen cleaner haha!
I hope you don’t mind wearing your black dress that I picked out for you, because we couldn’t find your wedding vows renewal dress anywhere. Chris said a few months ago you mentioned to him that you couldn’t find it either.
I won’t blabber on too much Mum, because I know you can hear me when I speak to you in your office.
I love you mum, just remember that.
I’m sure many people write letters to their loved ones for when they go to visit them at the chapel of rest, but I wanted to share mine with everyone, it might help someone else who may also be grieving.
Grief is real guys, we should be more open about it, talk about this with each other. I felt awfully lonely when it was so raw and fresh. Don’t get me wrong I still get days where I want to crawl up in a ball and not do anything, but thankfully I’m a mum and I have to keep my little humans alive!
Thank you all for reading, I will try and do more blog posts now that I have more free time since publishing my book.
What would you like me to blog about next? Comment below ☺️
When you have lost a loved one, celebrating special occasions and events without them is extremely hard, especially when it’s the first time without them.
Christmas 2019, only a month after we lost our mum, it was really tough. It was the first special occasion we had to go through without mum. If it wasn’t for my brothers and daughter being here, I don’t think there would of been any point in celebrating Christmas, but for the kids sake we did it.
We didn’t put the Christmas tree up until the week before Christmas Day but when we did it was so strange and it just didn’t feel right, because we’re decorating our family Christmas tree without our mum who absolutely loved celebrating Christmas.
When mum was here we would normally put the tree up at the end of November and on the day of putting the tree up, mum would put a Christmas film on, we would all take part in decorating the tree and the house then we’d make mince pies afterwards. But the first Christmas without her we could just about put the tree up.
Decorating the tree and even celebrating Christmas in general felt so odd, empty and pointless. I know mum would have wanted us to do it but it was just so soon after she left and it was really upsetting. We didn’t completely decorate the house like mum normally would have but at least we did the tree for mum and the kids. We still put a Christmas film on while we decorated the tree and we put all of mums favourite decorations on there which was her Disney baubles and ornaments. I got gifted a beautiful tree decoration of mum to put on the tree, so I placed her right at the top where the angel would have been.
Before Christmas Day we also got a lot of help from mums work, her amazing work colleagues had gifted presents to the children and to also myself and dad and also helped us with getting food for our Christmas dinner. I will never forget the help they gave us when mum passed. They was so generous, they helped with mums funeral and so much more.
On Christmas Eve, I took on mums role and made sure the stockings for the kids was filled up, I even filled my dads stocking to cheer him up a little. I typed up and printed out the kids letters from Santa and put them in the letterbox to show the kids that Santa had posted their letters and they was so happy, and that’s all that mattered really, that the kids was happy. We put out a carrot and mince pie with some milk for Santa too, and dad read the children a story before bed, the same Christmas story he read to all of us when we was kids.
That night when I put the kids to bed, I went downstairs to help dad finish off wrapping the kids presents. I made me and dad a baileys hot chocolate and we both sat down and just spoke about how rubbish it was having to do Christmas without mum, honestly words can’t describe how empty it felt and it still and always will feel empty without her.
On Christmas Day it didn’t even feel like Christmas, it felt like a normal day. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t even want to open my presents. But if it wasn’t for my partner making me get up then Christmas probably wouldn’t have even happened. Dad didn’t want to do anything, because why would you when the love of your life isn’t here anymore? I had to take on the role of what mum would have done, I can still remember and hear her excited laugh and her saying “It’s christmassss!”.
That morning, I got dad up, and of course it took some time and some persuading, so while we waited for dad to get up we all sat on my parents bed (like we normally would at every Christmas) and let the kids open their stockings. Whenever I walk into my parents bedroom I always expect my mum to be sitting on her bed, even now, 6 months later everything in her room is how she’s left it. The first thing I do when I go to my parents house is go to mums room. I suppose it’s a way of my mind making me realise that mum isn’t here anymore.
Back to Christmas day, when dad had got up, my dad got the video camera out, as dad always filmed every Christmas. We all went downstairs and let the kids rip open the wrapped up door, every Christmas dad would normally wrap up the door leading to the lounge but he wasn’t up to doing it this year so I helped him and did it. Once we got into the lounge we let the kids open their presents first and I was just happy to see the kids and my partner open up their gifts, I told my dad to put the camera on the side and open up the presents I had got him, I know how dad felt because I felt the same, I just felt like my soul was empty, and the room was too quiet. I kept looking around the room as I didn’t know what to do with myself. Mum was the boss of everything and had a plan for everything, I think both me and my dad felt so lost.
My partner got a present for me and my brothers and dad to open. I was really nervous to open it, I already knew deep down that it was something to do with my mum, I don’t know why but I just felt sad to open it, because back then little things to do with my mum made me realise that she isn’t coming back, and that feeling is just heart wrenching. When I opened it, it was a big frame with loads of other prints that came with it, my partner named a star after mum and we had a certificate and other bits that came with it, my dad burst into tears and it was sad to see but he was happy with what my partner gave us.
The month before mum had passed me and mum was discussing about what presents we wanted for Christmas, she also asked what Delilah (my daughter) wanted for Christmas, so I sent her a list and she also told me a couple of things she wanted for Christmas too. A couple of weeks before Christmas we found a couple of presents in her wardrobe from her to the kids, we wrapped them up and even labelled them saying they was from mum.
The next most difficult special events I want to speak about is mothers day and my mums birthday.
Mothers day was difficult for me because not only was I not able to spend it with my dad and brothers because of having to self isolate due to the virus going around, but I also had to spend it without my mum and not being able to speak to her. The amount of times that day I looked at my phone and looked at her number knowing I couldn’t call her really hurt. Throughout that day I spent crying, cuddling my daughter but I’m most thankful and appreciative of my partner being there to help me get through it.
On a normal mothers day, I would wake up to a FaceTime from my mum wishing me a happy mothers day and vice versa, then speaking about what time I would be coming round to give mum her gifts. Last mothers day in 2019, I remember giving mum her mothers day gifts the night before mothers day, I completely spoilt her with gifts and I am so glad I went over the top, because this year I couldn’t get her anything, and to not be able to spoil your mum with gifts anymore is depressing, and it leaves you feeling empty, and you question yourself, what’s the point? and not having your mum around on mothers day or any day in general is just sad. Because you feel content when your mums around, like everything is going to be alright.
But I think every time we celebrate these special events we are going to have to make it extra special, just extra. Because that’s how mum was, she was always doing things over the top, extra special. she loved going all out for everything.
The 2nd of May 2020. This day was difficult because mum wasn’t here to even celebrate her own birthday. My nan dropped round some lovely flowers, the funny thing that always makes us laugh with flowers is that whenever we would buy mum flowers they would never last, mum would somehow always end up killing the things in a matter of days! that’s why flowers make us laugh when we think of mum. So, for mums birthday, me and dad baked mums favourite cake which was a carrot cake. We put candles on top and we all sat down at the table and sung happy birthday to her.
Happy 42nd Birthday mum, we love you so so much.
There is so much that mum will miss now, and that’s what’s so sad about having to celebrate these occasions without her, having to do life without mum is going to always be so damn hard.
As it’s only been 6 months without mum, we are still learning, learning to cope without mum. Like I said in my last blog post, one day I can feel completely fine and at peace with mums death, then the next day I feel pain, that heart-wrenching feeling, knowing she isn’t coming back.
The first year is going to hurt, it’s going to feel empty, lonely, depressing and pointless, but it will eventually get easier, just that little bit. If you could see me now you wouldn’t have thought I had lost my mum 6 months ago, yeah of course hearing my mums name and talking about mum still makes me cry and super sad, and I still have my moments every week, but compared to 6 months ago, i’m not crying every day, and you learn to live with the situation.
But everyone is different, and i’m strong just like my mum. This is why i’m writing these blog posts, to help others around me who are going through the same situation.
When you finally realise that life continues on, you realise that you are here to live it, and live it for her.
I’m writing this blog about my mum, who sadly passed away on the 1st of November 2019, the day all our life’s changed forever.
This is our story, of when we lost our mum to suicide.
Our mum Sandra Jane Whyte, was such a bubbly, funny, caring and loving woman. She put everyone she cared about first and always put herself second. Our mum was not only a mother to myself and my two brothers, but she was my dads wife and such an amazing nanny to my daughter Delilah-Rose.
But deep down, behind all the happiness, my mum suffered with her mental health, which all started when she gave birth to me 22 years years ago. My mum coped with her depression with anti depressants ‘happy pills’ she called them, ‘don’t let me forget to take my happy pills!’ She use to joke to me.
If you knew my mum, you wouldn’t think she would have had to take anti depressants, whenever you’d see her she was always happy, her laugh is so memorable, even now 6 months down the line I still remember that laugh, I hope that sticks with me forever. I guess I’m just scared of forgetting bits and pieces of my mum, but hopefully with all the videos and photos I have of her, that won’t happen.
The month leading up to when my mum decided it was her time to go, I now realise she was acting different, not her normal self. But obviously you only realise these things when something like this happens, you don’t actually realise how different their actions have been, and you don’t seem to question it, why is that?
Maybe it’s because we think that that person is just having a funny week, and thinking back, of course your going say to yourself “what if I said this” or “what if I did that?” Maybe they’d still be here now. But no matter how many times you question yourself or blame yourself it’s not going to bring them back, and even if you did do something a little different, maybe it would of only distracted them for a short while until they attempted to do what they tried to do again.
My mum was a manager of several care homes, she worked Monday to Friday and absolutely loved her weekends, we FaceTimed everyday after work around 5/6ish in the evening and always talked about the weekend, she’d say to me “only one more day till the weekend, oh yess!” So excitedly. As I’m writing this I can hear her say it so so clearly in my head, like she had said it to me yesterday. If she had nothing planned on a weekend like a little shopping trip then she’d be having a lye-in and having a lazy day, or ironing or maybe doing coursework (she was always doing courses) Our mum was never a drinker, and if she did go for a drink it would be with one of her best mates and she’d be home early cause she couldn’t handle it haha!
But the weeks leading up to her passing she was out every weekend or even going out during the week after work, she also had stopped FaceTiming as much too and being a lot more distant with us. The way she spoke to us was completely the same hence why we didn’t realise she was acting different, that’s one thing she was so good at, hiding her emotions.
The night before she passed, Halloween night, I FaceTimed her to show her mine and my daughters pumpkins and was going to ask if she wanted me to come round for the evening, she text me back saying “Babe I’ve just pulled up home and going in doors. I will call you later when I’m sorted xxxx
So I waited for her call, but then text her again 10 minutes later asking about work related stuff which was only a few texts back and forth. It was getting late and I just assumed she’d text or call tomorrow because sometimes she’d do that too, we’d always text or call each other in the morning to quickly say have a good day at work.
1st of November, around 7 in the morning I heard my phone going off, I ignored the first call, then it called again so I just assumed it was my mum calling. But it was my mums friend, I messaged and asked what’s up and that’s when he asked for my dads number, I immediately thought this was really odd, what the hell is going on. So, he’s telling me my mums not in a good place and now I’m worried. I called dad straight away and that’s when my mums friend said that she had possibly taken a load of pills and he doesn’t know where my mum is.
On my way to my dads I was trying to stay calm, “everything is going to be okay” I kept saying to myself. I got to my dads and the police was already there, within 10 minutes of being there my dad went upstairs with one of the police officers and all we heard was a heart wrenching scream from my dad. In that second everything stopped, I felt like my whole world had crushed down on me, I felt like a huge piece of my heart had been ripped out. I felt like I was having a panic attack. Words can’t describe this moment, it was the worst day of my life. It felt unreal, so unreal. Even to this day, it just feels like my mums away and we’re still waiting for her to walk through the front door.
I comforted my brothers straight away, I held them close and said everything was going to be alright. But of course, deep down I knew it wasn’t going to be. I couldn’t breath, it was really hard to catch my breath and I went into the kitchen, shaking trying to grasp the news of mum passing.
When someone you love passes away so sudden, so unexpectedly, so tragically. It hits you in a different way, it leaves you questioning everything, it makes you crazy in a way, well to me I felt crazy. I was constantly trying to find out why my mum did what she did, she left no note, no messages. The only thing she left, which to this day I still don’t want to listen to is a voicemail that she left her friend. Why him? Why did he get a voicemail and we got nothing?
A few weeks after my mums passing, a week before her funeral I finally got into her facebook, hoping that I could finally find out why she did what she did, again, the only person she spoke to was the same friend, in these messages that she sent to her friend she wrote that she felt like she was standing on a bridge and didn’t know which way she was going to fall, and after that message she deleted a few of her messages, then I came across a message that angered me so much. She told her friend that she was going to take pills. WHY. Just why didn’t her friend tell us?! I was so angry, confused, betrayed in a way because he was also a family friend. It baffled me as to why he didn’t think to tell anyone and just replied to my mum saying “don’t be silly”. Not even a message to convince her to not take them.
But again, IF he did try to help her, what if she tried to attempt to do this again in a month, year. Who knows. At the end of the day we can’t blame anyone.
All we can think now is that our mum is in a better, happier place with no bad thoughts. Because to be in that much of a dark place and to do what she did you must of been in such a bad way.
And that’s the thing with mental health, you really don’t know what goes through someone’s mind, on the outside they could look so happy, and on the inside they could be in so much pain.
Back to the day we found out my mum passed away, my dad told me what happened on Halloween night, after she text me saying she’d call back later, she actually got ready to go out and told my dad she was going round her friends. Again, this is odd because she always stayed home on Halloween and she would either go trick or treating with my brother or watched Halloween movies at home.
I just wish I had known that she was going out, I could of constantly called her until she picked up the phone and told her to come to mine.
Living life without our mum has been such a challenge, and even now I question myself why she left us, there’s a few more reasons as to why she left and that was to do with her childhood but I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say we was her only family, and our mum deserved so much more.
The first few months of mum passing I dreaded the thought of getting married, having another child, going on Holidays and everything else I did with mum, including special events. Because mum was not only my mum but she was like my best friend, we did everything together. She was there at the birth of my first child and I’m now expecting my second baby due the 4th of November, 3 days after her 1 year anniversary. My first thoughts when I found out I was expecting again was happy but sad, sad because mums not going to be there at my birth, go baby shopping with or even get to meet her second grandchild. In a way this is a gift from mum. She’s looking down on me and sending us this amazing gift, another life to love.
Mum was so hardworking and she was such a boss woman (quite literally) I loved her motivation to always work towards something higher, she achieved so much.
It’s just hard to see that my mum had everything but still felt like she had nothing.
Before my mums funeral I visited her twice, the first time I saw her I had to sit down before I went in, the thoughts going through my head was going crazy. I remember thinking to myself “surely mum can’t be in there, this has to be an awful nightmare” it took me about 5 minutes to pull myself together and go in. When I went in I was shaking, shocked and couldn’t quite believe my mum was actually laying there, peacefully. This moment will never leave my memory. She was dressed in the dress I picked out, and she looked beautiful.
At first I couldn’t touch her, I was too scared, shocked even. My mums cousin helped me so much ever since she found out my mum passed and she also came to see mum with our dad. She helped me place mine, my dads and my brothers letter under her hands.
I really thought I’d cry when I saw her, but I suppose I was just full of shock, even the second time I saw her to say my goodbyes I was still shocked. But of course when I’d go home and it all caught up to me, I’d cry myself to sleep.
Our mums funeral was the second hardest day of our life’s, on our way up I cried a little bit and then once we arrived at the church and we parked behind the hearse I broke down, realising that in just half hour our mum will be officially no longer here.
The funeral showed how loved my mum was, there was so many people that turned up and showed their respects, most of her work colleagues, friends, and our family. I wrote a part of mums eulogy that I’ll add below.
“My favourite memory with mum was when I gave birth to Delilah-Rose, mum was so supportive, she spoilt Delilah rotten and treated her like she was her own. Mum wasn’t only my mother but she was also my best friend, we would always FaceTime each other everyday and chat about absolutely anything for at least a couple of hours, planning trips to ikea and counting down the days until the weekend and especially what we both wanted to buy, as most of you know mum loved shopping! I will miss your smile, your laugh and the love that you gave us all. I wish I could give you one last hug, as whenever you’d hug me you’d squeeze me really tight and tell me how proud you was of me and that you loved me. Delilah knows that the angels are looking after you and she always gets your photo and gives you a kiss, I love you to infinity and beyond.
Sleep tight angel, I will see you again one day.”
There was many tears at mums funeral and even my daughter Delilah cried, she’s very advanced for her age and even to this day 6 months down the line, there’s not a day that goes by where she looks out the window at night and says “mummy, nanny’s up there, I can see her!”.
I will always grieve my mum, and I’ll always be sad and upset that she’s not here. The pain will never go away but eventually, I’ll learn to live with it.
If your wondering how I cope, deep down I’m not really coping, my mum taught me to be strong and that’s what I’m trying to do. When I’m at my parents house I go up into her makeup room and look out her window and speak to her, I feel like she’s listening and although she’s not physically here, I know she’s with me In spirit.
This isn’t the end of my story, this is just a part of it.
My aim for this blog post is to reach out to everyone who has dealt with loss after suicide and I just want to let you all know that you are not alone.
My message to those of you who are struggling with your mental health: never let a stumble in the road be the end of your journey, you are worth so much more, it’s okay not to be okay and it’s also okay to talk to someone about how you feel.
Please call the Samaritans helpline: 116 123 or text SHOUT at 85258.