I am Saying Bravo and Walking into the Light Mum

Why did Coronation Street’s storyline about Aidan’s suicide get such a reaction this week?

It’s not as if we don’t all know that young men are more likely to end their lives than women. In fact, “in men, suicide is more common in people who are 15-44 years of age, and particularly in men who are 15-24 years old. In women, suicide is more common between the ages of 45 and 74. Younger women between the ages of 15 and 24 are thought to have a low risk of suicide.” (HSE)

It’s not as if we don’t KNOW that suicide has been a huge issue for many many years.

It’s not as if we don’t know that depression can affect anyone.

So why was the interweb in uproar at the episodes?

On Twitter, there was a general consensus that the writers of Corrie were being “irresponsible” as they “Should have shown him asking for help.” Another asked, “Wouldn’t it be better if he got the help he needed and got better?”

These are only two of the comments that were directed at Corrie bosses. And while yes, these would certainly have had a more palatable result of saving Aidan and making us all blub a little less into our cuppas, they wouldn’t have been quite as effective in raising the biggest taboo surrounding mental health.

And that is, that the signs are NOT always obvious; that the sufferers are NOT always open about it and that there is NO way of predicting it.

Aidan has it all. He has a business, a family who loves him, rugged good looks and respect from his friends and neighbours. And yet, viewers saw him sitting in his local, among his family and closest friends, having just rekindled a possible relationship with the love of his life, staring into the distance in what I can only describe as one of the most breath-taking and harrowing moments I have ever watched on a soap.

aidancorrie

He is lost, lonely, drowning in a sea of people.

And not one person noticed.

Bravo to Corrie. Hats off to the writers for reminding us that we NEVER know what someone else is going through; for frightening us to consider for a second that maybe the strong men in our lives are struggling; for highlighting that suicide doesn’t come with symptoms. And congratulations to Shayne Ward for playing the part to perfection.

I got chills watching Monday night’s episode. Tonight’s broke my heart.

We’ve all been affected by it. For those of us left behind, the biggest questions are often “How did I not know?, “What did I not see?” “Why could I not have stopped it?” And what Coronation Street has done for us this week, is to remind us that sometimes, there is NO WAY we COULD know; no way we could see and no way we could have stopped it.

Suicide is a plague. And only by continuing to keep the conversations alive can we help to challenge it. We MUST talk about the things so long kept taboo. We MUST accept depression and all mental health issues as an active part of our society. We MUST teach our young people, that suicide does not have a face. It can lurk in the minds of anyone. And we must continue to call it out. To make conversations about the darkness normal. To make it real.

Coronation Street has restarted an important conversation. This weekend, all over the world, Pieta House are working towards keeping the conversation alive. On Saturday morning, I will join my family and friends and my community for Darkness into Light.

pieta

On 12th of May, our light will spread across the world, in over 180 venues on 4 continents – DIL/PietaHouse

We shall walk into the light to raise money for the amazing work that they do. I shall remember my own losses, cry for the losses of those I didn’t know, nod at those whose grief never leaves and stand in solidarity with everyone who is fighting to keep the conversation alive.

Only by keeping the conversation alive, can we help to keep the light on for those in the Darkness.

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I am Saving the Day Mum

Mini-Me began to BAWL on the way home this evening.

“What’s the matter Darling?”

“I have vewy bad nooooos Mammy”

“Oh no? What happened?”
(Sobbing…)

“Michael Jackson has DIED!”


(WAAAAAAILS for at least 2 minutes, thankfully so grief-stricken that she doesn’t realise I am in fits of laughter in the front seat. In fairness, with my shoulders dancing as they are, she possibly thinks I am sharing in her devestation.)

What should I say? How do I deal with her grief? When did she begin caring about Michael Jackson?

What does a sensitive, open and emotionally supportive Mammy say to their child in such a situation?

“Cheesy pasta for tea?”

“Oooooh yes please!”

#mammywin #sorted

It is Feck-it-up FriYay and Mammy has done a wonderful job of fecking ALL of it up today. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Mammy has been asked some very difficult questions today.

In the car, enroute to the paint shop… (because Mammy has realised she is going back to her OTHER full time job in 3 weeks and so doing all of the jobs I have put off for the past 2 years must obviously begin! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

“Mammy, When are you going to die?”
Mammy chokes… “Not for a very long time I hope!”

“Are you going to die before me?”
(Christ alive I do hope so!) Erm, yes Baby, because I’m older, but not for a verrrrrrry long time.

“But who will look after me when you die?”
You’ll be all grown up by then pet. Now let’s talk about something else. What will we have for tea?

“Are Rhinocerouses dinosaurs in real life?”
Erm… No, sure the dinosaurs are all extinct and rhinocerouses are still alive…
“Nocerouses do NOT STINK Mammy. Dat is NOT very nice.”

“Where is Heaven?”
(Feck it.) “Do you not think rhinocerouses stink then?”
“Mammy! Answer me. WHERE is Heaven?”
(Fuckitty fuck fuck fuck…)
“Erm… Some people say it’s above the clouds. Some people say it’s all around us. I’m not really sure…”

“Can I bring my stuff wif me when I go?”
“To Granny’s? Of course!” (Phew!)
“No Silly, to HEAVEN!” (I can feel her rolling her eyes in the backseat.๐Ÿ˜…)

“So do you just go to sleep and wake up in heaven then?”
Sometimes… Baby these are very hard questions to answer and you really don’t need to be thinking about thisstuff today. Now, what will we have for tea tonight?”
DISTRACT, DISTRACT, DISTRACT… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

“Mammy?”
(Oh God get me to the paint shop…)

“How do giraffes lie down?”

Alleluia!
I can’t answer THIS obviously. (Is it even a valid question?) But I CAN revert to my favourite answer “I don’t know, but we can look it up when we get home OK?”

And at least if we DID look it up, there’d probably BE an ACTUAL answer! Unlike the other questions.

Who said we should tell our kids the truth?
WTF do you do when you don’t KNOW the answers?

And even if I DID google them, there’s a pretty good chance I still couldn’t give her answers. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

So yup. Add a “Friday-Fablis-Freezer-dinner” to my USELESS attempts at answering her questions and you’ll see that it wass INDEED a successful Feck-it-up Friday.

Therefore, Mammy feels that it is utterly acceptable and justifiable to pour some grapes… ๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท

How did you Feck-it-up today? ๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜š

Oh and YES I googled it…

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/784457/April-the-giraffe-how-do-giraffes-sleep-standing-up-lying-down

I am She’s Deadly Mum

Oh it’s been a deadly week.

Or even Deathly…โ˜นโ˜นโ˜น
โ˜นMonday:โ˜น
“Mammy why do people die?”

 (Fuckitty fuck…)

“Erm, they just do Darling.” (Yes… Even as I say it, I know THAT is not an answer and I need to follow it with something else.)  “Sometimes people’s bodies stop working and they die Darling.” 

(Not bad for off the top of my head as I navigate merging in the town’s spaghetti lanes of the one-way system that was possibly designed by a party of drunk monkeys.)

“But why? Why does they die?”

(Fuckitty fuckitty fuck…)

“Because that’s how it is pet.  Sometimes people get old or sick or something happens so they go to sleep for a very long time.”

(Silence.)

“And where do they go?”

(Christ on a stick. I’m so not ready for this. Note to self, find out who has been talking to her about dying.)

“Erm, they leave here and go to Heaven and then they can help look after us.”

“Awwwwwwwwwww yeah yeah yeah. Like Granda Pops?”

“Yes Darling.” (I love that she remembers my Pops.๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™)

“Aaaaaawwwwww yeah,  and like The Dinosaurs? They disappeared too you know?”

(Well that sentiment was nice while it lasted I suppose.๐Ÿ˜‚)

“Do you wanna listen to Frozen?”

“YAAAAAAAAAAY…LET IT GOOOOOOO!” 

Phew.
โ˜นTuesday:โ˜น
“What happens when EVERYONE in da whole world DIES?”

“That won’t happen Honey.”

“How do YOU know?” (It’s started already. My word is no longer gospel.)

“Because people will always grow up and have babies and then those babies will grow up and have more  babies.” (Unless Children of Men happens, in which case, we’re fooked.๐Ÿ˜‚)

But why come the dinosaurs stopped having babies and all went to Heaven? What if dat happens us? ” 

(Feck you Andy of the Adventuuuuuuures.)

“It won’t Sweetheart. Will we listen to Frozen?”

“Yaaaaaay!”

Etc…
โ˜นWednesday:โ˜น
“Gwanny are you old?”

“Well I suppose I’m a BIT old.”

“Dat means it’s nearly your turn to DIE YOU KNOW.”

Poor Gwanny. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…
โ˜นThursday:โ˜น
Silence between school gate and car.

Sad face, shaky lower lip and one single tear.

“What’s up Darling?”

“Hemenahemena’s cousin died?”

(Oh fuckitty fuck fuck.  One of the kids must have had a death in the family…)

“Who’s cousin pet?”

Sobbing now…

“PRINCESS POPPY’S COUSIN!  Branch is DIED.”

(Oh you have GOT to be shitting me…)

“Branch from Trolls? How did he die? Sure he’s still in the movie, perfectly safe…”

“No. He got knocked down outside dacimena (the cinema) last night and he dieded!”

(FML)

“Ah pet. It’s ok.” I let her cry for a few minutes and then put on Frozen which eventually distracted her.

Then we got home and she opened her schoolbag and produces this. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

The image apparently includes:

๐Ÿค Princess Poppy

๐Ÿค Branch lying dead outside Dacimenaโ˜น

๐Ÿค A scrapbook which Poppy is not allowed to scrap in anymore because Branch is dead (note the x through it.)

๐Ÿค a sad face with tears falling out (see close-up) ๐Ÿ˜‚

๐Ÿค a broken heart… literally… a heart with a crack on it.

I’m not sure whether I should be impressed or disturbed.  
โ˜นโ˜นโ˜นToday’s obituaries:โ˜นโ˜นโ˜น

“The death has taken place as the result of an accident outside the Dacimena of Mr Branch Troll. He is survived by Princess Fuckin Poppy Troll and a gang of big grumpy Berkins.  Removal from Dreamworks-in-the-tellybox, to repose in the imagination of Miss Mini-Me, with the fricken dinosaurs. Wake is private please as theres no actual fecking way to visit the remains of an imaginary dead troll os there? And internment will take place at some random point in the future when she remembers that hims dieded or when she decides to become obsessed by a different movie. No flowers please.  Donations in lieu to Mammy’s grapejuice fund.”

Pour.๐Ÿท

Now. 

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚