Episode 6 – Christianity & Suicide

In episode 6 our guest is a reverend called Andrew who works in the Methodist Church. Together we challenge the frequently taught message that a person who has died by suicide can’t enter heaven. We also look at how Christianity can be of comfort when a loved one has died.

Disclaimer! This is not an attempt to preach or convert anyone. In time Lizzie will feature other religions on the show. She just started with Christianity as this is the religion most familiar to her.  : )


Show notes:

  • Andrew talks about role of minister and what they do for families when someone has died
  • He stresses the importance of listening to those who are grieving
  • We look at questions such as, ‘Will I ever see the person who I have lost again?’
  • The topic of poetry comes up and we discuss which ones we love and hate. Footprints in the Sand is a favourite but we both struggle with Death is Nothing At All!
  • Lizzie asks about what bible passages might be comforting. Andrew mentions one which talks about how nothing can overcome love – not even death.
  • He also mentions the death of Lazarus, where Jesus wept alongside Mary in grief – it’s a reassurance that it’s OK to cry.
  • Another passage is in Isaiah which mentions God writing all of our names on the palm of his hand. It shows that God knows us and cares for each and every one of us. This can be of comfort when grief makes you feel so lost and you don’t know who are anymore.
  • Andrew also mentions the use of a ‘holding cross’ in times of distress. It is something people can hold on to when words are difficult and prayer is hard. Especially when you are angry at God and feel hurt and let down.
  • We look at the question ‘How and why did God let this happen!?”
  • Andrew talks about having a stillborn son. Also that sometimes God takes what has happened and gives you something positive out of it – but he don’t believe God causes bad things to happen.
  • We talk about how people can find a church should they wish to start going.
  • Finally, Lizzie mentions how she was taught at school that those who have killed themselves can’t enter heaven. What does Andrew make of this?
  • Andrew says God understands people are mentally ill and in great pain and distress, he says God welcomes people who have died in this way with open arms.

Thank you so much for listening. Next episode we will have an interview with a wonderful woman called Anne, who lost her son Toby 7 years ago. Anne is a campaigner on suicide awareness and prevention. She also has a website for parents, https://losingachildtosuicide.org.uk

Episode 5 – Losing a Mum in Your Teens

In episode 5 our guest is a wonderful woman called Lucy who lost her mum to suicide when she was a teenager. Lizzie and Lucy met up last year to chat about their experiences and the impact that losing a mum in childhood has had on the rest of their lives.

Show Notes:

  • The website for Project 84, the campaign to raise awareness about the high rate of male suicide in the UK, can be found here
  • Here’s the site for TV presenter Zoe Ball’s bike ride for charity, Hardest Road Home
  • And the Radio Times article where Zoe talks about losing Billy
  • For the resource of the week, Lizzie recommends the app Next Door


Important Numbers:

Content note for Lizzie and Lucy’s conversation

Please bear in mind some topics might be difficult to listen to. You don’t have to listen all at once. You can take breaks. Please take care and treat yourself to something nice afterwards. The helplines (or a friend or family member) are there if you need them to talk to.


Lizzie and Lucy mention:

  • losing parents when they were teenagers
  • the impact that had on the remaining teenage years
  • how their mums died, finding the body, suicide notes, PTSD
  • there’s no better way of being bereaved, but they discuss the finality of finding the body  vs. not having a sense of closure
  • not having an anniversary of death if don’t know exactly when person died
  • going back to the place where someone has killed themselves
  • for Lucy, going on to be a parent yourself
  • experience of post-natal depression
  • when your children reach the age you were when your parent died
  • getting counseling
  • what it’s like to talk to other people about your mother’s suicide
  • how they both talk about something sad and upsetting, ends up being through laughter when you mention a horrific thing – bizarre coping mechanism!
  • issues with trusting other people throughout your life
  • feeling that nothing in life could ever be as bad as what you’ve already been through as a teen
  • happy memories of your childhood – are there but can often take time to resurface after a suicide
  • the longing to know them as an adult and a person, but will never get that chance
  • is it better not to?
  • joy of having/living with kids – looking forward to future

And finally when you meet other people who are further along the line – and you know it’s gonna be fine!


Lucy’s Advice:

  • take it day by day
  • talk to people – whatever you’re able to say
  • try to ignore other people’s judgements of you and how they think you should grieve, find your own way of dealing with it

Thank you for listening

 

Episode 4 – Surviving a Second Loss

In this episode we are joined by blogger and author Susan Auerbach who lost her father to suicide in the 80s and her son Noah in 2013.

Unfortunately illness strikes again (!) so Lizzie has been unable to do any other features of the show this time such as news, resources, or happy moment of the week.

Show Notes:

The music in the podcast is Write My Name by Mega Beats.

Please get in touch and share your thoughts on the show. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for listening!

The next episode is coming in a few weeks.

In keeping with a Mother’s Day theme for March, our guest will be a wonderful woman called Lucy who lost her mum to suicide when she was a teenager. Lizzie and Lucy met up to chat about their experiences and the impact that losing a mum in childhood has had on the rest of their lives.

 

Lizzie’s Anniversaries

In Episode 3 Lizzie spoke about how the anniversaries of her mum’s death have been for her over time. Here you can find all of the blog posts she has written from years 1 – 6, and then year 12. Follow the page numbers at the bottom of the post to view each one.

Year 1 – January 2005 – Age 17

I can’t believe it’s been a year since she died. Do I feel any better? In some ways I do, the pain isn’t as raw anymore and I do feel like a normal human being again sometimes. But despite the nice phrase, time doesn’t heal that much.

I still feel hurt that she left me without even saying goodbye, and sometimes I still have “angry days” where I’m furious with mum for putting us all through this. One change I have noticed is that the hurt and anger have faded a bit, but that feeling of missing her seems to get worse with every day. I just miss her, I really miss her.

I’ve found the rejection caused by the suicide one of the toughest things to deal with in this bereavement. Why wasn’t I enough to keep her alive, why didn’t she want to stay alive for me?

One of the hardest things to accept with a mental illness and suicide is that even if you give them all the love and care in the world, you can’t make them better, and the happy endings that you dream for don’t always happen.

It still shocks me how it doesn’t really get any easier, and it makes me really mad. Why can’t it get any easier, why does grieving take so long!?

Most of the time I feel that even though mum took her life, she isn’t going to take mine, so I try to look forward now and focus on what’s ahead.

me-pool-dallam

Me at sixth form aged 17/18.

Episode 3 – Anniversaries & Watching Movies

Sorry for the delay in getting this episode out. Lizzie caught a terrible cold and then came down with a horrendous stomach bug!

In this episode…

  • We chat about Karen Gillan’s first feature length film, The Party’s Just Beginning
  • It seems to have polarised the critics as there’s both good and less favourable reviews. We are keen to see it, but are worried that the content is too graphic & crass for survivors of suicide loss to watch?
  • Lizzie shares her own tips for getting through anniversaries, and discusses how they have been for her over the years
  • The resource is a page from a now defunct website called 1000 Deaths which lists movies with suicides in along with a rating system for content detail. Using this and a page on Wikipedia you will be able to plan which movies are safe to watch and which ones you’d like to avoid.

NB: The blog posts about anniversaries mentioned in this episode can be found here.

The music in the podcast is Write My Name by Mega Beats.

Please get in touch and share your thoughts on the show. Your comments can either be read out with your name attached or be kept anonymous. It’s up to you. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for listening!

The next episode is coming on 11th March.

Our guest will be Susan Auerbach who is a double survivor of suicide loss – she lost her father in the 80s and her son Noah in 2013.

 

Episode 2

In this episode we…

There’s been a change to the format – the bit on anniversaries will now be featured in the next episode in its own show. After that, we will have another show featuring an interview with a survivor of suicide loss.

Our guest this week is Cadi Lambert from Nottinghamshire, UK who lost her partner Bob to suicide in 2014.

You can find Cadi’s blogs at cadi2014.wordpress.com/ and anadventurousgirl.co.uk/about/ and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/cadilambert.

The music in the podcast is by Mega Beats.

Thank you for listening!

The next episode is coming on 28th February.

Lizzie will discuss how the anniversaries of her mother’s death have been for her and share her own tips for getting through them.

Please get in touch and share your thoughts and tips on anniversaries if you’d like to contribute to the next show. You have until 26th February. Your comments can either be read out with your name attached or be kept anonymous. It’s up to you. I look forward to hearing from you!

The First Episode!

The 27th January is here – hurrah! Welcome to the show.

 

 

Music Credits: Write My Name by Mega Beats

Show Notes:

  • Lizzie introduces herself and the podcast
  • She talks about the loss of her mum and why she decided to start the show
  • There will be a new episode every month, and at the end of each show she will announce what topics will be covered next time so you can contribute