For Jo

jo by chris barber

This isn’t something I ever thought I’d write about on this blog. In fact I toyed with the idea of whether or not I should actually post this for ages. But instead of trying to think about it too much I just started typing to see where it would go… writing is cathartic for me and I really just felt like I wanted to get this all out of my head. I’d decide whether to publish it or not later.

On Sunday, my friend Jo committed suicide.

Just writing those words feels unreal, like I’m in some kind of dream world or alternate reality. Dealing with death is fucking hard, dealing with death when someone has taken their own life is utterly devastating. There are just so many unanswered questions.

But I’m not writing this because I want any kind of “Oh I hope you’re OK” comments. As much as I appreciate them this is not about me. It’s about a far from being about me as anything I’ve ever written.

Jo suffered from depression. I knew she had low self esteem, and we’d spoken about it many times, but I really genuinely didn’t know how rough it was for her. And that makes me feel terrible. Like I was a totally awful friend for not knowing more, doing more, asking more.

I keep going over all our conversations in my head, wondering if I could have done anything differently or said something more helpful. I feel so guilty.

I wanted to write this today to try, in whatever small way I can, to reach out to any of you that might also be suffering. I want to encourage you to talk to people, and to never give up. Life is precious, life is short, life is worth fighting for.

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Depression is not some kind of comfort blanket that you need to hold on to. It does not define you. Life is so amazing when you finally fight to save yourself, when you come out the other side.

You have¬†people that love and care for you. However low you feel, you are never alone. I don’t know if Jo knew how much I, and so many of her other friends, loved her. She was the life and soul of us and we just can’t believe she’s gone, that we’re never going to hear that laugh of hers again.

There was a time when I wanted to end it all too. When I tried, and failed, to take my own life. I am thankful everyday that I was unsuccessful. You never know what’s waiting for you just around the corner.

If I can help just one person with these words, then goodness, it’s been a worthwhile thing to publish. I know not everyone will be wanting or expecting to read this on a wedding blog, and I hope you’ll forgive my deviation from my regularly scheduled programming today, but this is something I just had to write.

To Chris, her boyfriend, and to all her close friends and family, my endless love and support is with you now and forever. I wish I could do more to help but all I can say is that I’m thinking of you all and sending as much love as I possibly can.

Jo, you were the most beautiful creature. I wish I could have done more.

Supporting Cast

182 comments

  1. Jamie

    My thoughts go to you and everyone else who this beautiful girl had an impact on. It is hard thing to go through as I have just found with what would of been my future father in law. You never truly can understand the full extent of what is going on in the mind of someone with depression as it affects everyone so differently, they don’t always let you see the full picture. It may not be the thing you want to write about on here but those who read your blog will understand the need and importance for you doing so and in fact it is a great reminder to think about your loved ones first and how we can take them for granted while we are absorbed in our own happiness. This could help many and I hope it does. My thoughts go to her boyfriend and family and hope that they can in time come to terms with this and try and see it as she is no longer suffering with her own thoughts. This is not easy as I personally know but it will gradually come. Xxx

  2. Laura

    I also had a close friend take her own life and it is the saddest thing to think that they felt that alone. I also have the same thoughts that I didn’t do enough to reach out and I was a bad friend but I have also come to the conclusion that we are not mind readers. I am sending warm thoughts your way. Keep her memory alive in a positive way and remember the good times!