When a Loved one Chooses to Leave us

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide focus

I had just returned home from a work trip to France when I was confronted with the news that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention and my stomach rise into my chest. I felt like I was losing all my body strength as I slowly fell into my dad’s arms. My Grandmother, my best friend, had taken her own life.

Nothing ever prepares you for losing a loved one as they move on from this world, even if you know they don’t have long left due to age or illness. But the unanswered questions that accompany the death of someone you love so dearly to suicide (a word I’m not at all keen on using), torture your mind for days, months, even years after they’ve left.

There never seems to be any ‘closure’ when someone decides to end their own life. I never had the chance to say goodbye, and my dear Nanny was as fit as a fiddle, so I wasn’t anywhere near prepared for living life without her. I remember sitting in the bath the following day, calling her landline, hoping she’d pick up and I’d hear her beautiful happy voice greet me down the phone. I sobbed and sobbed and begged for answers. The only comfort I could find was in knowing she was reunited with my Grampy, which is the reason why she decided to walk to the river that night, next to the church, close to God.

When more ‘evidence’ and information was gradually found by and provided to CID, and we were eventually provided with little puzzle pieces of that fateful night, I learnt that I would have been awake in France that night while my Nanny was taking her final journey to be reunited with her love. I just wanted to turn back the clock and call her again, like I always used to. To remind her that we needed her and loved her more than she can possibly imagine. But, even then, I don’t think I would have changed her mind, because I think she had made her decision.

My Nanny was and still is the most caring, strong-minded and courageous woman I know and even though it will always break my heart to imagine what happened that night, to wonder whether she was scared or if she thought of us and she left, I will forever be proud to call her my Grandmother, and I’ll continue to miss her dearly everyday. That little note she left us, so simple yet so full of love, is my treasure.