Jocelyn’s Jottings: How are you? Not good

Monday was Suicide Awareness Day.

I attended the candlelight vigil in Grizzly Plaza in memory of my two uncles and cousin who died by suicide as well as to honour and support those who are struggling.

Suicide is a tough thing to talk about, to think about, to process. But we all need to do it.

So here is my attempt.

My family has a history of depression. Before there were any conversations about mental health my grandmother would be unable to get out of bed for days on end because of the illness. From the stories I have been told by my dad and his siblings, there wasn’t a lot of sympathy from the other adults in her life, and there was a lot of confusion among her children.

But she survived to bake cinnamon buns and grow sunflowers with her grandchildren.

The conversation should have started there.

But it didn’t.

When I was 8 or maybe 9 years old one of my older cousins died by suicide. My parents told us he had gotten in a car accident. I didn’t find out until later what had actually happened.

The conversation could have started there.

But it didn’t.

At 17, or so, my mom woke me up for school one morning crying. Her brother had died the night before. I can remember drowsily asking how and upon learning he had died by suicide, why?

I went to school that day and my parents drove to the city. My aunt drove me home that night and we talked a little bit about it. I remember asking a second time, I just don’t understand why. She said something along the lines of, you can’t let that bother you, it isn’t something that we can understand.

The conversation could have started there.

But it didn’t.

At the beginning of 2016 my dad’s oldest brother died by suicide. I remember getting the phone call while sitting at my desk at the Pincher Creek Echo.

“Wait, what happened?” I said, or something along those lines, bringing my friend over from the office next door to see what was going on.

By then I had a better grasp of what it meant to have depression. I had taken a mental health first aid course at university, I had talked to people and taken classes, I had a better, if minimal, understanding about chemicals in the brain.

And so instead of “why” the question rolled back around to “how come we didn’t see it.”

So finally we talked about it. It wasn’t easy and there were misunderstandings, tears and anger.

And the process is still ongoing. We are still learning and healing and growing.

But we are talking about depression and suicide, because we need to.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

No one in Revelstoke should face dementia alone

More than 66,000 people struggle with Alzheimer’s and dementia in B.C.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Bike relay around the world stops in Revelstoke

Bike Jamboree is a Polish project that aims to bike 35,000 km and through 21 different countries

Seeking Shelter: Landlord takes over living area in rental whenever visiting town

Revelstoke renter says everyone pretends to be ‘perfect’ to find accommodation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. Coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

Most Read