What is this all about?

On July 12, 2012 I will have to experience a first I never imagined having to face.

This day marks the first anniversary of my brother's suicide.

Obviously there is a story here, of the past year and the 19 years leading up to it: 19 years that my whole family has tried pick apart in order to find clues and an answer to the question 'why?'; a question to which there is no satisfactory answer.

But here I want to start a different story. I want July 12 to mark the beginning of a year of firsts. It goes without saying that I hope never to have to experience any other firsts as painful as my brother's death. But I believe new experiences are part of what makes life worth living. And I want to try and experience as much as I can to try and somehow 'compensate' for my brother not being able to.

At the same time, I want to use this experience to get people talking about this taboo subject and to raise awareness of the issue. I was shocked to find out just how common suicide is. It is the second biggest killer in the UK for people between the ages of 15-24. According to The Samaritans, somebody between the ages of 10-19 attempts suicide every 20 minutes in the UK. And it's not just an issue concerning young people. The CALMzone is currently deciding whether to open up the remit of its charity from men aged 15-35 to all men in the UK due to the demand on the service from men in their 40s and 50s.

I considered whether to use this opportunity to raise money for a specific charity but I could not choose which one to support. There are a few charities out there doing really good work raising awareness of suicide, attempting to prevent suicide or supporting those who have been bereaved. Some I considered were:

If U Care Share

The CALM Zone


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)

It may be that I decide to raise money in the future or for specific 'firsts' I choose to do. But at the moment I feel like I want this blog to primarily be a place to talk about life, death, suicide and bereavement.


  1. Such a lovely thing to do, I will keep reading xx

  2. Well, what an amazing blog, we wish you well on your "Road Ahead".Life for those affected by suicide is tough, its about finding and living another way. Normal disappears the day you lose your loved one, however we learn to live and re create another way. The journey will be tough with days where you face hills that are so steep, but with time, we do learn to live and cope differently. Time is not a great healer, time allows us to learn and find the other way , to try and create another way. Thanks for raising awareness and keep up the great work.x Shirley Mother of Daniel who left too soon aged 19 years, same as Nath .xxxxxx

    1. Thank you Shirley. I think the work you're doing with If You Care Share is brilliant xx

  3. HI Emma

    I think what you are doing is amazing. I lost my son Toby in the same way on July 10th last year, just 2 days before Nathan, he was 23.

    He was my only child, and I realised early on that I could either be destroyed by it for try and do something positive like you.

    I am a trustee for PAPYRUS and have set up a website www.losingachildtosuicide.org.uk to help other parents

    If I can help or support you in any way please let me know.

    Lots of Love

    1. Hi Anne, thanks for your comment - I have sent you an e-mail x

  4. I lost my dad to suicide nearly 3 years ago. This blog is such a good idea. All the best to you and stay strong.

    I like to follow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Facebook - the org has meet ups and events nationwide:

    Also, just an FYI that International Survivors of Suicide Day is Nov. 17 this year. Learn more at www.afsp.org/survivorday.

    1. Thanks for the supportive comments and the links to the AFSP - I'd not seen the site before and there's some really good stuff on there.

  5. Well Done Emma. I think what you are doing for you're self and for suicide awareness is really needed. It's such a misunderstood subject and still taboo.

    It's a subject I feel very strongly about myself because I have been affected by it.

    Keep up the good work and good luck with you're 52 firsts!!
    Lots of Love Chrissie xx

  6. Well Done Emma for you're courage and for raising awareness of a very misunderstood subject.

    I have been affected by suicide myself and feel very strongly about how this subject is dealt with.

    It is so refreshing to see someone speak so honestly and so positively. Good Luck with you're 52 First.

    Lots of Love Chrissie xx

  7. Emma,

    My mum learnt about your blog from your mum I think. She told me to have a look (I have been thinking of starting one for a while).

    I lost my brother Sam to suicide nearly 2 years ago (7th September 2010). It has been an emotional rollercoaster the last two years. You hear that expression all the time but it really is the most fitting thing to say. Some of the things that have been the hardest to deal with are things that you wouldn't even have considered before.

    Anyway, I wish you well in your quest, and in your life,

    Lucy xxx

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I'm really sad to hear about your brother. I can completely empathise with the "emotional rollercoaster" comment, I find a lot of times when I try and say how I feel about what happens it sounds like a cliche but sometimes they are just the best way of saying something and that's why they're well worn phrases.

      I also know what you mean with some of the hardest things to deal with being things you wouldn't have even considered before - and sometimes it's the really small things which are the most difficult.

      It'd be good to speak to you again, if you want to drop me an e-mail my address is e_Davis@live.co.uk

      Best wishes to you too,

      Emma x