Lottie shares her experiences of losing her brother to suicide and the support she received with LSBS during the COVID-19 pandemic, ending with a special message of hope.
My Sibling Story
If I could sum up the loss of a sibling in one word it would be unfair! It’s been 3 years since I lost my brother and it still feels like yesterday that it happened. It is still so raw and still so sad. Nothing could be worse than losing someone that is part of your family and that your close to. I even still get nightmares of the night of how I got told by the police and how I thought it could’ve been a burglar that had been in our house, in some ways I wish it was.
I’m lucky that I had the chance to be a part of and gain support from Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service. During Lockdown, because of COVID, we couldn’t speak face to face so used zoom (online) at home which had its ups and down sides. One of the good things about doing zoom was that it was in the comfort of my own space and room so I felt relaxed and comfy. I also had both my cats to keep me company. Although I did feel like I didn’t have total privacy as I live with my parents and the walls are quite thin, where as when I was in one of the rooms in the Leeds Mind building I know that I had total privacy and what I said was private and confidential which means it wouldn’t be shared with anyone else. I had lovely Sophie as my practitioner for 1-to-1 sessions together, which I found so helpful. I felt like I was listened to and we talked lots about how to look after myself. My favourite part was when we did an arts activity where we drew the outline of a person, then drew or wrote feelings inside or outside of how my grief affects me physically and emotionally.
There was also the chance to be part of group workshops such as living with my loss, self–care, art and grief workshop, anniversaries and significant dates. Although they were all quite difficult to go through and I did like doing the workshops and learnt a lot. It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone in my grieving and there was other people feeling similar to what I felt. I found it was quite hard seeing other people get upset and it was hard not to being able to comfort them. We were also given handouts with different ways to help us understand the grief cycle better, we’d also go through the handouts with activities to do in between.
I am so grateful for the support I got from everyone at the charity and to Sophie for helping me because I wouldn’t be as confident and less lonely with my grief than I am now.
I have made it my mission to make my brother proud every day like one of my favourite quote says “we love them, we miss them, we grieve them, so we live our lives to make them proud.” I know he would want me to live my life and be happy but also to Be Kind.