Peace.

‘Hi mam, awful news about Chris Cornell, such a shame x’

I hit backspace on my iPhone and deleted the text. Both of my mothers siblings died due to suicide. As much as I want to talk about another inspiration dying from suicide, I fear it is something that is still too painful to talk about. I genuinely waited for my mother to text me about the breaking news, as I felt if she wanted to talk about it, she would.

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It has been on the news that the lead singer of the band Soundgarden had killed himself by hanging today. With every suicide by a well known artist, more awareness, more understanding. At least I hope this is the case. Too many people condemn suicide. I hate the fact that people have to resort to such measures for a cease in the pain, I could not imagine being a person that condemns the individual. Whether that person had a mental illness so horrific we cannot imagine or their feet were practically melting against steel in September 2001, who are we, in a completely different frame of mind, to judge how and why individuals go to the lengths they do to escape the pain.

It angers me, truly. I don’t mind admitting that things anger me, this is healthy and if I can open up about certain feelings, I will. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 globally. We need to stop pretending we know how much pain people go through and that death is never the answer. Sometimes it is the answer for that person. We tell sufferers to ‘man up’. We weep at their funeral, crying to the church ceiling asking why they didn’t speak up about such problems. We create this vicious circle and we need to find alternative ways around addressing such problems without labeling suffers as weak or that they undervalue life.

Life isn’t a gift that we need to force upon people that want nothing but and end to their own consciousness. We need to make life that gift, by understanding how horrific mental illness can be and preventing such illnesses from manifesting. This won’t work by telling them how good life is because yours is more tolerable. Sadly, death provides the wings to leave this world for too many people, lets stop pretending that this world isn’t worth leaving.

Priorities

The clock barely struck noon. As I ordered I wondered if it was too early for such large quantities of meat, at just £9.50 for two courses I was going to give this great Turkish restaurant my best shot. I spent late morning/early afternoon with my mum, I need to make family time when I can. September is just around the corner, relatively speaking.

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I have realised after the loss of my dad that family time cannot be a burden. I used to take it for granted, only for a great part of it to be taken from me without much warning. Three months to be exact. I have started to cherish the family arguments and fall outs a lot more, these in turn have become few and far between. We spend much more time making time of value, it is a great shame that we sometimes learn lessons after the test.

I have also learned that as far as I may search for someone that shares my core beliefs and ideologies, the ones bringing me up may be the best people to speak to. I may spend my whole life looking for someone that understands me as well as my family. Some people do not have this, a huge reason as to why I blog. I hear of family members being disowned or shunned out by family for thinking differently, I cannot believe this is a reality so many have to face. The irony of being an atheist is that despite my appreciation for stars forming the beings that brought me into this world and proving shelter and care, if I was born at the wrong time and into the wrong family, they may punish me for coming to such a conclusion. The love of a parent perceived from a scientific perspective is too much for some parents, rejecting a religious outlook can lead to a complete reversal of such love, whether it be abandonment or even murder. This terrifies me. The fact that some people on earth can show love until you openly practice a separate belief… If this love can be taken so quickly, was the love there at all?

I thank my family, those still with me and the ones that aren’t, for allowing me to come to my own conclusions. You are the tolerant heroes I need in an intolerant world.

‘Love you x’

Things have changed since I lost my dad. Some much more notable than others. One of these changes is that on every evening,  my sister and I exchange a ‘goodnight’ via text, even if we haven’t spoken at all that day. She lives in Edinburgh, I am a couple of hours south in Newcastle. I talk to my mum more often as, well, that is what mothers do. They phone for a catch up every other day and I greatly appreciate that now. Checking I have enough money and asking who the girls in my latest Facebook picture is.

My biggest regret I have after my dad died was not making him enough cups of tea. He was a true Englishman in this sense. In fact, I cannot remember a time in which he wasn’t on the couch gulping down a cuppa like it was going out of fashion. As he died young, (barely in his 60’s, I was 24) I was a typical son, saving my energy for my much needed procrastination. My dad, thankfully enjoyed being a dad and providing for me. How I wish I put as much effort in now and returned the favour.

Not that I didn’t, one negative aspect of losing someone close to you is that you overthink what you did not do and forget what you did do, a message very similar to the one I posted here recently in 151,600 people won’t see this today. I forget the times I did say I love you and the presents I bought, whilst feeling the overwhelming guilt that I have for failing to be such a good son every single day, as if I knew my fathers demise was around the corner. I was not a bad son, I like to think my dad was very proud of me. He said he was, however hindsight is a terrible thing. It is only when you lose someone so valuable, someone there from your literal day one, you know how empty it is without them and how you could have been better yourself. And when it is from day one, it is very hard to picture a life when they are no longer there that morning. When it is all you have ever known, anything else is very hard to grasp, yet this makes me try my hardest to grasp concepts that I cannot imagine. I know there are things I don’t know, people and things I will miss when they are gone, even if I don’t know how they will affect me. This is a beauty in its own right, and a mystery that keeps me inspired and trying to be the best person I can.

Dreams can be powerful

I woke up angry and upset this morning. It wasn’t a dreaded nightmare, although I think I would have preferred a nightmare. My dad passed away two years ago. Since then I have had dreams about him- which is of course nice- but when I am under the illusion that he is in my presence, it isn’t a great feeling to wake up to the horrible reality that he isn’t. It’s like learning to accept it all over again before I can get on with my day.

This morning was a little different. My dad played the centre role in the dream but it was after his death, more of a present day scenario. It was what he left behind for us that had me wide awake as soon as I opened my eyes. We found an old miniature clock whilst clearing out the house. Just before putting it into a box the reverse had writing on it. Dreams are fascinating, even more so due to the fact that despite some heavy hallucinating most of them are forgotten before we get up for the day. With every minute that passes this dream is slowly slipping away. I cannot remember exactly what the writing said but I’m sure it was for my sister. It said something along the lines of ‘I’ve left you a little something before I went‘ or ‘Please look after this for me, I’ve left it for you‘. What brought my sister to tears was the time in which the clock had stopped. It was the exact time and date of our fathers passing, spine tingling to say the least.

What made me so upset was the thought that my dad would leave it for my sister and not for both of us. There is no reason whatsoever to think that, my family as a whole have a great relationship. But in a dream you don’t know that, you simply go along with the script that unfolds around you without knowing any better.

So, I had two problems to wake up to this morning. One being a reminder that I will wake up without that little gift left from my dad, the other was having to remind myself that I shared a great relationship with him, regardless of how vivid and real dreams can seem.

I thought I would share this today, in the very near future this dream too will be forgotten in time, I’m sure it will be nice to get a reminder every now and then of how they can be so powerful.

Scratch your name into the fabric of this world, before you go

I hear a lot of people saying that they would continue to work after winning the lottery. This is to prevent boredom that arises from having everything at the fingertips. Purchasing becomes boring as there are no more limits on what you can have and no excitement at the thought of saving up.

I was speaking to a couple on Christmas Day that have went back into work as retirement was boring, but that little extra money also helped fund holidays abroad. 

This is of course okay, but I couldn’t personally imagine desiring to go back to work if I didn’t have to. Most of us are in a job that we didn’t wish for as a child, but have a good enough salary to stick with it. I couldn’t imagine working for a business that will immediately replace me when I’m gone if I don’t need to. Spending my time making someone else rich, using my energy on someone else’s ideas. Life is too short for that!

I would spend a lot more of my free time on my blog, posting my thoughts and ideas. I would create an app or album. Something that is unique to me, spending what time I have to be as creative and innovative as possible.

The Noisettes song Scratch Your Name contains the lyrics ‘scratch your name into the fabric of this world, before you go’, and it is exactly how I feel. 

If I had the wealth and time, I’d be scratching damn hard.