Saturday, 6 December 2008

Remembering Simon

It's said that everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news that President Kennedy was shot. Likewise the death of princess Diana. For me, as long as I live, I will never ever forget hearing my father's voice saying ''Simon's died''

On 25th November I went to bed feeling happy with my lot. I had a good idea which direction my life was headed and I was thankful for so much including the recent news that my mother was again given the all clear from cancer. On Wednesday morning I answered the phone to my father knowing instantly that something wasn't right. Dad only has to say ''Hi Sarah'' and I know straight away whether the news is good or bad. This time the news was worse than bad. It was worse than I could possibly imagine. My brother had taken his own life on Monday 24th and been found the following day. I cannot even begin to describe the utter devastation and shock I felt. All I could say was ''oh daddy daddy daddy I'm so sorry I'm so sorry'' Apparently my sister said ''daddy'' too. Something we haven't called dad in years but something we both did when hearing the tragic news.

What followed from that phone call was without a doubt the most distressing and traumatic weeks of my entire life. I have never had to endure anything so awful and hope I never will have to again. Due to my brother living in Florida I had to get on a plane within hours and meet my parents and sister there with none of us really having a clue what we were going to find. Simon had taken his life just before Thanksgiving which meant due to holidays and the weekend there was little we could do for the first few days except sit around and wait.

We were met and given wonderful hospitality by Simon's close friends and work colleagues. It was comforting to us all to know that their love for Simon was equalled to ours and they were as shocked and grief stricken as we were. Knowing how highly Simon was thought of and how loved he was, was a tremendous comfort to myself and my family.

There were times when I don't know how I managed to put one foot in front of the other as I struggled to come to terms with the over whelming sadness that had engulfed me. For the loss of my brother, for my parents loss of a son, and most importantly for Simon's loss of bearings in life that drove him to do this. No one saw it coming and we have talked for hours and hours over to the whys and hows and the if onlys. Nothing, none of it will bring Simon back. A light has gone out in our lives that will never be re lit. However, I know due to Simon's faith which he shared with me and others, that a light has gone on in heaven. His pain and torment has ended when ours has only just begun. I seem to spend large amounts of time just looking at photos of him. Sometimes I feel alright and can speak freely about him when at others the slightest thing can trigger another tidal wave of sadness and grief which consumes me. All I want to do is talk about him. Say the same things over and over and over. Thank God for those friends who are there to listen.

One of my short term coping strategies is to get as much information about suicide as possible. I know I will never be given the answers I am looking for but for me, having some information helps. While on my search I found these poems and words which I think are beautiful.

He Only Took My Hand

Last night while I was trying to sleep my son's voice I did hear.

I opened my eyes and looked around but he did not appear.

He said, "You've got to listen. You've got to understand;

God didn't take me from you, He only took my hand.

When I cried out in pain that night, the instant that I died,

He reached down and took my hand, and pulled me to his side.

He pulled me up and saved me, from the misery and pain.

My body so badly wounded I could never be the same.

My search is finally over now, I've found happiness within.

All the answers to empty dreams, and all I might have been.

I love you all and miss you so... please don't keep asking why.

My body's gone forever, but my spirit will never die!

So live until we meet again, and please try to understand

God didn't take me from you, He only took my hand.

~Author Unknown


when I was born everyone in the room

was laughing and happy. I was crying.

when I died everyone in the room

was crying. I was the only one

laughing and happy.


John 14 v 2-3 There are many rooms in my Father's house. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? And if I am going away to prepare a place for you, I will come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you (Simon) may be where I am.


Revelation 21 v 1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and the sea was gone. I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, "See, the tabernacle of God is among humans! He will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won't be death anymore. There won't be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared


As I prayed and asked Jesus to tell Simon we love him and miss him, a friend who was with me asked me what the name Simon means. I looked it up there and then and it means ''listening''

Simon I know you are listening. Rest in peace my darling brother. Your loss is so great to so many people. You were and still are, very loved by very many. Thank you for being my brother.


If you have been touched by this post and would like to make a donation in memory of Simon please pass donations on to The Samaritans. Thank you.