The morning was spent on the phone with another Mum preparing herself for her son’s upcoming inquest.
The afternoon was spent watching 3 short documentary films at the BBC Arabic festival. One of the films was co-directed by one of Saagar’s friends. All 3 films were about the struggles of young men and their ways of dealing with them. Saagar would have loved them. He wouldn’t have required subtitles.
The evening was spent watching moving images of Saagar on the videos that were sent across electronically by one of his friends, over yesterday and today. The headphones on which I heard him play the Djembe solo is a present from another friend of Saagar’s. The eyes and ears made my broken heart overflow with pure love.
The sun shone brightly all day and for longer than normal.
All of the above are gifts from Saagar.
It was a happy day. Everyday is Mother’s day.
Love can’t be fully expressed, described or defined.
Trying to do so only touches the surface.
Love can only be experienced.
Divine love is beyond attributes.
Love for someone just because they are.
Divine love grows with every moment.
It doesn’t break.
Love is self-evident. No proof is required.
Life is an expression of the inexpressible.
Stones and bones;
Snow and frost;
Seeds and beans and polliwogs,
Paths and twigs, assorted kisses,
We all know who Mamma misses.
The helplessness of being alive,
the dark bright pity of being human,
groping in corners and
opening your arms to light.
All of it part of navigating
They would not know
When I was gone,
Just as they could not know sometimes
How heavily I had hovered in a particular room.
I became manifest in whatever way they wanted me to.
There had been a woman haunted.
All of it, the story of my life and death,
Was hers if she chose to tell it,
Even to one person at a time.
I would like to tell you that
It is beautiful here.
That I am and you will one day be,
But this heaven is not about safety,
Just as in its graciousness, it isn’t
About gritty reality.
We have fun.
The dead truly talk to us,
That in the air between the living
Spirits bob and weave and
Laugh with us.
They are the oxygen we breathe.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore.
Underneath this obvious patchwork quilt
Are places like a quite room
Where you can go
and hold someone’s hand and
Not have to say anything.
Give no story
Make no claim.
Where you can live at the edge of your skin
For as long as you wish.
This wide wide heaven
Is about the soft down of new leaves,
Wild roller coaster rides and escaped marbles
That fall and then hang
Then take you somewhere you could never have imagined
In your small-heaven dreams.
-Inspired by The Lovely Bones. Author, Alice Sebold.
-Dedicated to all those innocent people who died traumatically in London yesterday and to their loved ones.
The Last Word.
Work Under Pressure.
These 3 powerful videos appear on the website of Mates in Mind (MiM). Suicide kills far more construction workers than work place accidents. MiM is a charitable programme to improve and promote positive mental health in construction. It has been co-founded by Health in Construction and British Safety Council.
At present, one in 6 workers in the UK is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. 6% of the UK work force is made up of construction workers, that is 2.1 million people. Hence at any given time at least 350,000 people in the industry will be dealing with mental ill health and possibly feeling alone. Raising awareness and generating champions through modular training in that community means there will always be someone close by who can help or are dealing with similar feelings.
A recent article in the BMJ states 5 facts about the conditions in anaesthetic training –
Workload – Nearly all had stayed beyond their shift. Nearly two thirds (62%) said that in the previous month they had gone through a shift without a meal, and 75% had done a shift without drinking enough water.
Health – Sixty four per cent of the anaesthetics trainees thought that their job had negatively affected their physical health, and 61% thought it had negatively affected their mental health.
Morale – Poor work-life balance, the burden of assessment, career uncertainty, frequent rotations, and terms and conditions of service sapped their morale.
Patient safety – This had worsened due to lack of available hospital beds, staff morale, and staff shortages.
Burnout risk – 85% of these young doctors were at risk of burnout.
I think Mr Hunt can take credit for some of these issues.
Mate in Mind is a fantastic example for other industries to make a concerted effort to address the well being of their employees in these difficult and uncertain times.
The second year I thought was harder than the first. Now, I think this year is harder than the second. As time goes by, the finality of death slaps me harder in the face. It becomes clearer that this is it. “Deal with it. Despite all the help and love in the world, you have to do this on your own for the rest of your life” says the merciless voice in my head, “You will never see him again. Get used to it.”
Each breath strings up a bunch of moments together and one by one they slip and slide away. On some days the seemingly humungous task of getting from the front door of the house to the car takes forever. At other times, hours fly by like weightless nebulous clouds on wings. Seconds linger like sumo wrestlers battling with sleep, yet a week can be gone in a flash.
Red-hot intensity of grief starts to tire and turns to ashes of resignation. Questions know they are unanswerable and yet they incessantly repeat their customary laps round and round the velodrome of headspace. Like a stubborn arrogant squatter, guilt refuses to pack its bags and evict this cold, dilapidated building.
What is better? What is worse?
What is the truth?
Who makes that judgement?
Or the witness of the witness?
Why is the length of my mental to-do list directly proportional to my inability to get through it?
Because it encroaches on the functional capacity of my brain.
Our cognitive bandwidth is limited, like our current account. Constantly dipping into it reduces its ability to deal with the jobs at hand.
In Psychology, Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. This is a human phenomenon that is becoming more apparent in the present times of perpetual clock chasing.
In a recent article in the British Medical Journal, Tom Nolan, a GP says,
“As I run later and later, rather than completing the task straight away, I add it to my list —my brain’s equivalent of opening up a new tab. The later I run, the more frazzled I get, and the more opening up a new tab becomes the answer to people’s problems. Mrs Jones’s headache becomes a neurology referral instead of finding out what’s really going on in her life. Mr Jones’s headache also becomes a neurology referral. With a few more questions and a bit more headspace, I might have realised that the Jones’s have left their gas on.
The more tabs I open, the greater my sense of impending administrative doom. My system runs slower and slower… The longer they’re open, the less important they seem. That’s when it becomes a real problem and the errors and complaints start piling up.”
He feels that if each of his appointments were 15 minutes long, he could do justice to his patients and the paper work, thus reducing errors and complaints.
Freeing up some cognitive bandwidth in General Practice: http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2017/02/17/tom-nolan-freeing-up-some-cognitive-bandwidth-in-general-practice/
15 minute appointments:
Alone with Everybody – by Charles Bukowski
the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
crawling in and out
the bone and the
for more than
there’s no chance
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
“I have opened a door that can never be shut. How will I ever get her to trust me again?”
19 out of 20 people who attempt to end their lives will fail.
These survivors will be at a 37% higher risk of suicide.
Anger, shame, guilt, fear, minimization and avoidance are few of the reactions they evoke.
The taboo associated with the act might make them feel even more isolated. Their families may not know how and where to access support for themselves and their loved one. The ones closest to them may feel drained, stressed, exhausted and let down. The trust between the two might be deeply damaged.
Their relationship might reach an all time low, just when it needs to be solid.
Both need to take responsibility for their own well-being and that of each other.
Here are a few useful resources.
Supporting someone after a suicide attempt:
Advice for those who survived: