21 June 2017

Suicide

Shirley has lots of cousins. They mostly reside in north Lincolnshire and north Nottinghamshire, staying close to their agricultural origins. One of her cousins had four children but in the early hours of yesterday morning that number was reduced to three. Her sixteen year old daughter had disappeared into nearby woods where she hanged herself from a tree.

She was found at daybreak. Some people from the village had been combing the area with several police officers right through the night but it was all to little avail. Maisie was dead. On the Nottinghamshire Police Facebook page, a school friend wrote this:-

You left us far too early Maisie, you had so much more to give and you will 
be so sorely missed. What is our loss is God's gain. Fly high sweetheart, 
I hope you are now at peace.

To die like that at the age of sixteen - it is of course so very tragic. Those left behind will be torturing themselves with thoughts about what they might have done and why they didn't notice the signs that were flashing - pointing to suicide.

She was in the middle of important exams and rumour has it that she was sometimes the victim of bullies but who knows what was going on her head as she tied that rope to the overhanging branch and slid the noose over her head? What a terrible, terrible waste.

I believe that everybody contemplates suicide at some point in their lives. I know that I did when I was a teenager but thankfully most of us successfully banish those terminal thoughts from our minds, climb out of the darkness of our self-pity and seek happiness once more. It's like a learning phase. You weigh things up. You realise that life is a much better option than death. 

But now it's too late for Maisie. She's lying in a mortuary awaiting her funeral and the tears that will fall in puddles and the flowers and the failure to understand. Kisses and embraces. "Sorry for your loss". A wreath from the school. Biblical verses from the vicar. "The Lord's My Shepherd". Shiny black cars. Grim faces. A buffet in the village hall. Tea cups and sausage rolls.

She squandered the precious gift of life but I guess that it was her right to do so. It's only three weeks since we saw her at an afternoon family birthday party in Pudsey near Leeds. She was holding her big sister's new baby lovingly and swaying to the music.

Such tragic news to wake up to this morning. My heart is broken for her family 
and friends. Such a lovely young girl. Rest in peace sweetheart -
you will be greatly missed by many xxx

49 comments:

  1. That is appalling news you share. A young life ended in such a brutal way and by her own hand. Most teenagers must have contemplated suicide at some point but only in a sulky, half-hearted manner. There has been a shift in the generational psyche that means they are far more serious about it than we ever were.

    My heart goes out to Maisie's parents and family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny that she killed herself on what was the hottest day of the year when the nation has been wracked by terrorism and the Grenfell Tower Tragedy.

      Delete
  2. That is very,very sad to read and so may young people take that route not realising that the tides of life's situations change and that all can be well if they shared their dark thoughts with someone older who has the experience of life.
    My sincere condolences to all concerned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you say is very true Mr Heron. A problem shared is a problem halved.

      Delete
  3. How terrible. I am so very sorry for the loss of this young woman. My condolences to the family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are not really close to them but we have sent a sympathy card. What else can you do?

      Delete
  4. I'm so, so sorry that this young girl was in so much pain that she felt the only way to make it stop was to stop living. How difficult for all of you who loved her. Sometimes there are no signs. Some people are very good at hiding their pain. I feel for all of you, and wish you strength and eventual peace, though I'm not sure peace ever follows suicide for those close to the lost one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Jenny. Maisie's shadow will discolour the lives of her nearest and dearest for years. The memory will \lways be there.

      Delete
  5. My heart aches for you and your family - and especially for Maisie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were not close to them Mary but even so it came as a terrible shock.

      Delete
  6. Oh! Shit! How terrible! Oh, my goodness! What a waste! The poor young girl...she must have been hurting so badly.

    What can one say? This is the most distressing news, Neil. I can't imagine what her parents and siblings are going through. It's so, so very, very sad. The grief they are experiencing and will continue to experience is fathomless.

    I feel for you all...my most sincere thoughts are with you and your extended family .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I haven't given you the impression that we were close to Maisie and her family. This wasn't the case but we were and remain linked. You are right they "will continue to experience" grief for a long time ahead. They will wake to it and go to sleep with it.

      Delete
    2. No matter how close you are, or are not, it still is very distressing. I feel sad for the young girl's immediate family...and for the young lady herself who sadly could see no other way out...such a waste, the dear child.

      We're swamped with sorrow every which way we look these days, it seems.

      Delete
  7. Tears are pricking my eyes as I write some trite words. As trite they must be, having neither neither known, nor known of this wee girl until now. Such a sad ending to a young life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And so pointless too. She could have grown into a wife, a mother, a neighbour, a contributor.

      Delete
  8. What a disaster for everyone. I can't begin to imagine.
    I send my love to all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. A disaster. Not on the ten o' clock news but still a disaster.

      Delete
  9. Since suicides are completely irrational, it's difficult to understand why. I'm sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some suicides may be rational but not this one.

      Delete
  10. Like everyone else here (well, who would not be?), I am shocked at this very sad and tragic news and feel very sorry for Maisie's family and friends.
    As you say, many contemplate suicide at some point in their lives; someone very close to me (not O.K.) has made several attempts at it, the first one already at the age of five, and the last one almost succeeding.
    It is so distressing to know you can not and could not stop a person who is really determined to go through with it. Maisie did go through. I do believe in God, but I do not believe it is "God's gain" - to those who believe in God, he is closely with us all the time anyway.
    I have read somewhere that suicide is the most frequent cause of death in teenagers nowadays, not cancer, accidents or anything else.

    Poor Maisie, poor parents, siblings, friends and others close to her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughtful reflections Meike.

      Delete
  11. I no words to offer but I do want you to know that I have read this and offer my sympathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a sense, there is nothing to say. It's too tragic and too final.

      Delete
  12. My youngest son has only just discovered that his eldest daughter was bullied at her junior school. She opened up and spoke of it to him. At the time he had no idea that this was going on. I'm sure it went on in our younger days but not to such an extent as it does these days with all the keeping up with society's images that have to be adhered to, especially with the younger generation.
    Such a sad post.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He must keep talking to your granddaughter Briony. Kids who are bullied frequently feel ashamed of themselves when it is the bullies who should be ashamed.

      Delete
  13. How terrible - the true meaning of the word tragedy, when a young person takes their own life.

    My heart goes out to her family and her close friends.

    Alphie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no turning back for Maisie.

      Delete
  14. I am so sorry to read this, YP. Shirley and her family must be devastated. Words do little to help at a time like this but please pass on our condolences to Shirley and her family - and to you too, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you know more about suicide than most of us Jenny. I am sorry if this post brought back painful memories of Hugh.

      Delete
  15. Poor Maisie - what must she have been suffering to take such a drastic final step?
    YP, please pass on my sincere condolences to the grieving family. There are really no words to ease their pain.
    Perhaps I'm being over-critical but does anyone else feel that just the words 'Sorry for your loss' are so totally unfeeling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those words are ritualistic. I heard them a lot at my brother's funeral in Ireland. Between the words there's the admittance that no words can suffice.

      Delete
  16. Many condolences. It's a tragic story to tell. What you must be feeling right now is beyond comprehension 😤 My thoughts go to you and everyone who is grieving at this sad event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Terry. You are someone who knows a lot about the fragile nature of human life.

      Delete
  17. So very, very sad. My eldest daughter was bullied at secondary school and I never knew until years later. I felt very guilty that I had been totally unaware of her struggles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victims of bullies often feel that it is their fault - it's something wrong with them. It would take a very brave teenager indeed to find the words to admit to his/her parents that they were struggling to fit in and be universally liked.

      Delete
  18. This quote from the writer Sally Brampton always has helped me get my head round the suicide act
    I hope it helps

    " " Killing oneself, anyway is a misnomer. We don't kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, "He fought so hard." And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.”"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a wonderful thought, John. And, something I never thought of in those words before.

      Delete
    2. Exactly, John. People don't commit suicide out of the blue. It's a way to stop hurting, and comes when no other way out can be seen.

      Delete
    3. That quote articulates a different way of looking at suicide. Folk often think of suicides as weak or inferior but that is misguided.

      Delete
  19. YP - please pass on all these condolences - they may help a little. We can never know what goes on in the young mind - or in anyones mind for that matter. But a tragic waste as you say - and a lifetime's burden for her family to bear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall do as you request Mrs Weaver.

      Delete
  20. Oh no. How horrible. I'm so sorry for you and Shirley and her cousin and everyone else connected to Maisie. It's so hard when someone does something that, to us, seems absolutely inexplicable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so sad that she couldn't articulate her pain.

      Delete
  21. What a truly sad ending, and one that the family may never get over. Suicide affects everyone, the victim and those left behind to pick up their lives. Wish the family strength for today and always.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Another young life ended is sad for us all. One thinks at that age that whatever is the cause of their heartache and mind-numbing pain...they can't find in themselves to think that things will ever get better. A child must reach their early 20's before they realize that the troubles of today and yesterday probably will not go on forever. About the same age, most also learn that bad things will happen to them and not the "other" if they indulge in risky behavior as driving too fast, drinking too much, smoking, etc.

    I feel so sad for Shirley's family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your wise understanding Donna.

      Delete
  23. You hear about these things but to have it happen within the family must be terrible. I am so sorry. If bullies are to blame, I hope it haunts them for the rest of their lives. Nobody deserves to be driven to that. As you say, what must have been going through her mind as she did it. So sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thank you for your kind thoughts ADDY. I rather think that some of the young people who left questionable comments on the Nottinghamshire Police Facebook page were themselves bullies.

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.