10 responses to “It’s there in the crunch of the autumn leaves: living with my friend’s suicide”

  1. Alison Faulkner

    Dear Rai
    This time of year is also the anniversary of the death of a friend of mine to suicide. She will always be there as part of my journey. Thinking of you; this was lovely as well as sad to read.

    Alison x

  2. Sarah K Reece

    It is a horrifying thing to make sense of. Well written. x

  3. Flick(et al)

    Thanks for writing and sharing this Rai. So much of it resonates with me – it especially reminds me of the stark clarity of daylight coming through gumtrees, the shock of birdsong (why was the world just continuing?!) when I came to the place where my first girlfriend died (19 years ago this August, she was 19). I still don’t know for sure if it was a car accident or a suicide and I almost never speak about any of it because hardly anyone else/no one else knew of her experiences that lead me to wonder if it was perhaps a suicide, or of her sexuality… taboo upon taboo, silences that (I believe) gnaw at the soul and can intensify suicidal thoughts. And your articulation of the lack of basic compassion of the mental health system for folks who are needing help to bear their/our experiences. So many other details resonated and that resonance felt like a balm of sorts, a not-being-so-alone-(and-thus-maybe-not-so-weird-and-unworthy-of-belonging). I appreciate that you write in a way that resonates but somehow seems to respect the otherness of other people’s experiences. I find myself wanting to learn to hold that space with more care. It’s the dark hours here, and we are under a heavy, protracted, lonely Covid lockdown here – reading this (and being allowed space to respond) has somehow warmed life sparks in me. Sending much love and warmth to you.

  4. Vivian

    Thank you for sharing this, Rai. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. Chelsey-Ann Stuart

    Thank you for writing this.

  6. Louise Jessup

    Bless you Rai

    I was reflecting the other day that when you have been in the system for many years, I have been in it so to speak for 40 years, one has got to know many others when staying for extended admissions that have gone on to complete suicide. Staff are supported when someone in or around their care completes their suicide, but I suppose I have got to know 10 to 15 people through multiple admissions with them but then heard one way or another that their lives had ended sadly in the desolation that then took them away from us. Its rough and for each of us who have been so close ourselves we get the pain that someone is in can somehow deeply feel where they were at that moment.

    Take your time to heal Rai, over the next few days and weeks to rise again to do your work which is so important for the people coming after us

  7. Jeroen

    Dear Rai, Thanks for your openheartedness in this urgent matter. I would love to get in contact with you better and I hope that soon you will be capable of doing so. Regards, Jeroen

Leave a Reply