We were down south last week for a funeral. The funeral was for my wife’s cousin. Tragically she committed suicide.
She was only 26.
As a writer one of the things I do for a living is try to get inside people’s heads. I’ve played the scenario through a number of times. I’ve tried to figure out what she must have been feeling.
Every time I think it through I come up short. I think suicide is one of the hardest deaths to process because ultimately we can never quite put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. We are always left asking ourselves why.
We’ve been talking a lot in my copywriting work group about the ebb and flow of stories. The highs and lows. The ups and the downs.
We were talking with Lizzie’s mum Caz the day after the funeral. As you can imagine it hasn’t been the best time for her, but she said she had mixed feelings about the funeral.
One the one hand it was undoubtedly the saddest day of her life, but at the same time she enjoyed the day. She felt a degree of pride that over 100 people attended the funeral. She felt good about the memories that were shared.
The up that I have taken away from this has been gratefulness. I’ve been forced to think about things I take for granted. This includes friends and family. It also includes time on Earth, and the options I have in front of me.
In darker moments I sometimes worry that I haven’t really “made much” of myself, by conventional standards. I’m not rich. I don’t have the swanky ‘house and the car’, or any of that bollocks.
But I do have a plan. I also have sufficient control over my life to implement the plan according to my own rules.
Surely that isn’t something to take for granted?