A somber note about the past 2 days

Only 4 days into my blogging challenge and I've already 'fallen off the wagon'.

I'm forgiving myself, though, as the reason i haven't posted for a few days is both sad and important.

We heard that one of our son's Year 12 classmates took his own life earlier this week.

There are no words to say that will console those grieving right now. There is nothing that can be done that will bring this young man back to us or quickly release our sorrow.

Yet being the practical, 'I've got to do something' kind of person that I am, I've decided that something I can do is write this post.

Parents - please stay connected with your kids. Communicate, laugh, listen - and most importantly, just be there for them.

Children - share your problems, talk with your friends, take time out to re-energise and nurture yourself. Ask for help when you need  it - there is absolutely no shame in this. So many people think they have to 'do it all alone' and are frightened to show any vulnerability or 'crack in their armour'. But the truth is - none of us knows everything. None of us are 'perfect' or have all the answers. So reach out as you need to.

And if you or someone you love is in need of some extra help, here are some great resources - please use them, and encourage anyone who needs help to do so, too. - Online Youth Mental Health Service

Headspace - National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Kids Helpline (for those under 18 years old)   Phone: 1800 55 1800

Lifeline  Phone: 13 11 14


Take care of yourself - and those you love.

Maylene Sutherland says:
Sandi firstly I just wanted to let you know my thoughts are with you and your family and you son’s broader school community. Best wishes to all.
Also thanks for that timely reminder. I have an 18 year old son in year 12 as well and I know there are so many pressures for them. Pressure to grow up. Pressure from friends, do I drink and how much? Work and study pressures. They are asking themselves what am I going to do next year? What am I going to do for the rest of my life? How does my girlfriend fit into that picture? Where will I live? The problem I am having is I’ve got my own pressures, being a single parent, having just lost my job, thinking about moving to be closer to family. Where will I live? What will I do? Where will I enrol the boys at school? What is the right timing? Is there any vacancy at the local crèche?. Where in the hell is the nearest supermarket, butcher, doctor, dentist, newsagent… ?
Scarily it has been very easy to become distracted from my own son’s needs. I spent two days this week at interviews – physically away from home to get more support from my family to look after the littlest members of the family whilst I embark on my personal mission to find work, leaving him and his 15 year old brother to their own devices. I came back to a boy on crutches, he’s torn some ligaments playing basketball. He asked me to help him make his bed. I got cross. Perhaps I wouldn’t have gotten cross if he had started with “How are you?” “How did the interviews go?” or simply “Hi Mum, welcome back” but I got “What’s for tea and can you help me make my bed” I saw red and said no because I was tired, and I had worked all day, then been to the grocery store, travelled, and I came back to a mess. I also then went on to point out all the clothes he’s left in the bathroom, and how he let me down on the weekend, and that he broke his word on something else and it escalated due to his defensive responses and my personal craziness at that time to me saying “I can’t wait until you move out” … I stopped, too late, when I saw the tears in my son’s eyes. He is officially a man but there is a boy in that man’s body who has actually managed quietly until I got back and who right then just needed his Mum. I think my son did need lesson on courtesy. A reminder of being respectful , a jolt about the undone homework and job application on his desk that needed to be completed. But did I need to do that right then? The answer surely is no. I could have made his bed and sat on it with him later and talked about those things calmly and rationally. He might have even remembered to say thank you.
Please sit with your children occasionally. Watch what they are watching on TV, ask them about what you see on the computer screen. Eat dinner together every night. Start a tickle fight, play hide and seek, spray them with the hose when you are watering the garden. Show them how to make their favourite dinner. Go through a photo album with them. Ask them what they would like to do on the weekends, where they would like to go to school after the move. Tell them what they can do for you. Ask them about their day and then listen. You can’t always make things better but you can always listen.

How beautiful, Maylene ... so many wise ideas you have shared here - thank you.

And please be gentle with yourself - you are human, too. OK, your timing was slightly off, but your heartfelt intentions are always clear - trust me. I know the gentle, loving, caring and generous person you are ... don't ever change.
Sandi says:
How beautiful, Maylene ... so many wise ideas you have shared here - thank you.

And please be gentle with yourself - you are human, too. OK, your timing was slightly off, but your heartfelt intentions are always clear - trust me. I know the gentle, loving, caring and generous person you are ... don't ever change.

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