Wednesday, 10 April 2013


I've been dealing with some "stuff" over the last few days, and as a result have been struggling to write blog posts in spite of the fact that I have a whole list of things I want to tell you about. all those photos from Orkney, the Rugby boys have won their league AND are through to the cup- final, and  I want to plan some more "Hebrides Countdown" posts and get a Frugal Friday or two planned, but none of those things would come simply because other "stuff" was blocking the thought processes.

A friend of mine attempted to commit suicide in the early hours of the morning on Sunday. He's not a close friend, but is someone I have known vaguely for years and years, see about and chat with on a semi-regular basis, and keep in contact with via the internet. The internet - and social media networks specifically - are great for that. Keeping in contact with the folks that otherwise, you might not, that "Hiya, how's things" type contact. It's not very good at seeing when there is really a problem though - there are so many "woe is me" type posts appearing, so many people saying things, or sometimes quite deliberately NOT saying things, to beg for attention. And mostly, it's just that - attention seeking. Sometimes, as a result of all that though, a genuine cry for help gets missed. We look at someone's posts and think "Hmmm - hope they are OK - I'll check back later" and then forget, or, as in this case, by the time we DO check back, we find that the person has done something that (hopefully) they will regret, and are being treated accordingly.

The death of Baroness Thatcher on Monday wasn't entirely unexpected, and neither was the fact that certain people had no real feelings of sadness on hearing the news. she was a strong, opinionated lady, who fought fiercely for her beliefs, and to make what she wanted of her life. Such people always meet with opposition. What was shocking however was the torrent of vitriol poured out on FaceBook, Twitter and elsewhere.  This is not a political comment - I don't DO politics publicly - my personal political beliefs are just that, personal, and I won't be sharing them here (or anywhere else). I'd ask that anyone commenting on this post respects that also - I will remove any comments which are a political rant, or are rude, abusive, or inconsiderate of the fact that, at the end of the day, she was a Mother, a Grandmother, possibly an Auntie too, I don't know. Her family are feeling right now just the same as you will (or possibly did) when your Mother, Grandmother, Sister or Auntie passes away - and seeing people (Some of whom were not even ALIVE when she was in power!) claiming to be "drinking a glass of bubbly" or "throwing a party" must have been unbelievably hard. Add to that the fact that they now have to go through a very public ceremonial funeral, and this time must be truly awful for them. I suspect when I lose my Mum I will want to curl up in a corner, hide away from the world and not come out for a VERY long while, and Carol may well be feeling that way now, but instead she has TV cameras trained on her, and will have her every move watched as she says her final farewells to her Mother. She didn't choose her Mother's career, nor does she bear any responsibility for the decisions made during that career, and so at the very least deserves a little dignity and respect now. Treat people as you would wish to be treated, is often said, and this rings very true. I can think of little worse than, whilst in the midst of a deep personal tragedy, to see others glorying in it. To that I will add - if you can't think of something nice (or at the least respectful) to say, then please, on this blog, and on my personal FaceBook page, and directly addressed to me ANYWHERE, in fact - then kindly keep your gob shut. :-)

As I said, stuff has been occurring elsewhere also. I won't go into detail, but suffice to be said, it pales into insignificance when compared to what others are dealing with. It brings home also an element of self-awareness I think - I've found myself thinking was there anything I could have done in relation to my friend's situation - the answer, no, probably not. I did correspond with him the day before with an effort at support, but being many miles away rather than there with the person, this isn't always easy. Being a "grown Up" can be tough, taking responsibility for our actions even harder, but I believe that we all owe it to ourselves to stop, think, take responsbility, and then, if appropriate, take the toughest step of all - to stick our heads above the parapet and say "I believe this is wrong". Thatcher proved beyond doubt that standing up for your beliefs can make you unpopular, but at the very least when your time comes, you can rest easy with your own conscience. And in the grand cycle of life & death, most of the other stuff isn't really very important, is it?



dreamer said...

I agree with your viewpoint on this totally,and feel for the family dealing with all the fallout at such a difficult time.

Pat Machin said...

Such a well balanced post. I know how you feel about your friend. I've been there and I felt (as I think you are feeling) that there should have been SOMETHING I could have done.

I also totally agree with your views on Thatcher's death. My politics are pretty private, too but I was disgusted at some of the comments and attitudes expressed.

Scarlet said...

Two members of my family have attempted suicide, so I understand completely your feelings about your friend.
Thankyou for sticking your head above the parapet for me today. x

Miss Piggy Bank said...

I have had stuff for a few weeks now , including a situation similar to that of your friend. I am having no time for blogging really in fact it is annoying me at the moment. I read some blogs and want to write a response but I am a firm believer in '' if you have nothing nice to say '' so I keep quiet ! I hope you feel better soon x

lonestarsky said...

How awful. I had a good friend that attempted suicide a few years ago so I know how you feel. I felt I could have done more but on hindsight, I never saw it coming (and I had problems of my own at the time) and am just thankful they survived.

As for Mrs T, I totally and utterly agree with everything you've said. I unfollowed one person on twitter (a writer that until now I had a lot of respect for) for making a smart tweet about her death. Regardless of anything she did, NO ONE deserves comments like that. Its utterly disrespectful, at the end of the day she's just an elderly lady who has a family that are no doubt devastated by her passing. Its beyond pathetic.

Hope you're feeling better about everything soon xx

Robyn said...

Thank you all - what a lovely lot you are.
Dreamer - unimaginable how they must be feeling, isn't it.
Pat - that's it - in fact, there probably wasn't, and giving support afterwards is such an important thing I guess.
Scarlet - you're very welcome - I loved your post. xx
MPB - glad you found something nice to say on mine, at least, and I hope your "stuff" gets sorted soon.
Lonestarsky - Didn't see it coming, yep, that sums it up doesn't it. We're not trained to see such signs, and in a world of lots of people saying "Look at me" the voice saying "Help me, please" can so easily get missed.
For those who have messaged me elsewhere on this, thank you also - I really do appreciate it. I've got some choices to make from here on in about the "other stuff" but now it's in perspective, those choices are seeming less urgent, and important.

Marksgran said...

A friend of mine committed suicide many years ago. He was our vet and our friend and we had no idea he was so unhappy. There was no cry that we heard and he left behind a young wife and three little children. I had no idea and still I spent an inordinate amount of time wondering if there was anything I could have done to prevent it but eventually I came to the conclusion that if people are in such despair they will do what they want and often there's little anyone can do to persuade them otherwise. A relative also tried to commit suicide, he recovered and after much counselling he lived for only a few short years and dearly regretted his action (he died due to complications of taking the tablets he did to take his life) My own daughter is in such despair just now that I fear for her state of mind and nothing I say can get through at the moment but I know all I can do is keep the avenues of communication open and keep trying to reach out to her with the hope she will pay attention, but as they say, there is none so blind as those who will not see. It's horrible when you hear of someone in such despair they feel the only way out is to die, we feel sad and guilty but in being a friend distant or otherwise I'm certain you have helped and it is your friendship and that of others that will perhaps make him eventually realise he made a mistake. I agree with you about the MT stuff too. I was not a particular fan of hers but I agree, she was doing her job and doing what she believed to the be the best at the time and whether she was popular or not, she was first a woman and someones mother, daughter etc and should be treated as such. x

Robyn said...

Marksgran - have a huge virtual hug, that's an awful situation you find yourself in. I really do hope your daughter can pull herself through this, and the support she's getting from you can only help in this regard.

Nic said...

Your one sentence haunts me, "what is quite deliberately not said". Whether on social media or in real life, it is very true.

Sending big hugs to you and to everyone who has commented. A very wise post, thank you.

Robyn said...

Thanks Nic xx