I heard a sad story today. Another death in our youth population. I heard that a 17 year old girl in our province took her life. I don’t know the surrounding details but even without knowing if bullying or cyberbullying existed, there was still a mental health existence. I want to reach out to the parents. To tell them how their daughter was loved. To let them know that people care about them as parents. To say to them, you are not alone. Someone said to me back in October, or was it November, or even December. Everyone can imagine what the death of your child might be like. People come to your house. They hug you. Care for you. Make sure you eat. Try to make you sleep. But no one truly understands or can feel the pain you yourself are going through unless you have lost a child. The grieving processes are similar but different. People react differently. For me, it’s music. I can hear songs and listen to words and just cry. With other people, it can be smells and places. But …
…. even though we have all had differently world experiences. the thing that brings people close is that almost every person that I have met recently, has been touched by some form of bullying and/or mental health in their history or in the history of someone close to them.
…. so many people out there want to help. Amanda’s legacy is huge. When I think about it to pick it apart, there are so many facets. It’s like a pronged snowflake. As we head into Pink Shirt Day on February 27th, we are gearing ourselves up for Mental Health Week in May. Is MHW worldwide?
…. how do we get the world to accept the trauma and become more accepting of the entire area of mental health? I have been involved with and joined in conversations about mental health and it’s causes and concerns. The hardest question to ponder is .. How do we make a shift in thinking about what mental health is? Why are people with MH disorders shunned, laughed at and ridiculed? How can more supports be provided? Where do parents go for help with their child? Help for themselves?
I have been talking some of my friends who are also parents of teenagers. Their teenage girls are causing worry with their parents. Depression, anxiety, school have bcome factors of concern. On some days, it is fine. On others, it is not. These are similar things to how I felt and worried about Amanda. It’s the unknowing that is the hardest. Do I leave my child to go to work? Or do I stay home? Instead of going out to eat, do I just stay home every night? Just make it through one more night.
These are all genuine worries and concerns. Imagine living like that. I did. Others are. It is so hard. It is so lonely and sad for the child. It’s like a dark grety cloud. We need to think of ways to make the dark grey cloud into one with rainbows and cotton candy.
Help me to make a happier place for those kids suffering in silence. They need to talk. They need vitamin D (in the form of sunshine). They need to laugh and sing and dance. In a field, in the street or at a concert. How can we do that? If you have a suggestion, write it in the comments.
Night all… xoxo C
( I miss Amanda but hope that she is still looking down at all of use working away to continue her message!!)