Suicide - she's not coming back

by Charlotte Fantelli

Life & death - Looking at the world through child's eyes

February this year saw a friend of mine commit suicide or as I like to see it a friend was allowed to die in a secure unit despite repeated cries for help. She was the partner of one of my best friends, a friend who has stood by me through thick and thin. I'd say the most loyal friend I have ever known, Danielle.

Last weekend my son and I went to a heavy horse farm with Danielle, we drove tractors and rode horses and carts with 'Aunty Dans'. On the way my son of four asked (as he does every time we see Dans) 'Will aunty Lou be there mummy?' He'd never known Dans without Lou.

I hadn't wanted to shatter his perceptions of the world at four years old, (or three as he was at the time she died). I had tried to leave the 'life and death' conversation as long as possible, and God forbid answering questions about the circumstances!

I had hoped that at three he would have simply faded the memory of Aunty Lou, but no, this time I knew a brush off simply wouldn't do!

'No she won't darling.'

'Why? Is she still poorly?'

'No, she's not still poorly... She's gone to heaven sweetheart'

He pondered this for a moment and you could see him thinking...

'But why mummy? Only old people go to heaven, Lou hadn't even grown a beard yet, she wasn't old!' Was his very sweet and childlike reply.

I wondered if I could just lead the conversation off down the road of 'ladies don't have beards', but I stuck to the point.

'Lou really wanted to go to heaven so God let her in early.'

'Why?'

'Well He couldn't make her better here on earth, so agreed to take her to heaven to make it all better.'

'I bet aunty Dans didn't want her to go'

'No she didn't sweetheart, but she let her go because she knew it was what she wanted.'

'I love Aunty Dans'

Pause

'Will Lou be coming back?'

'No my darling, she's not coming back'

'Why?'

'It's so nice there and she's better and at peace,'

'Will I be able to visit her in heaven when I am really old and have a beard?'

'Yes darling, but only when you are really old and go to heaven.'

'Oh, okay then mummy.'

...The logic and innocence of a child. It does me good to see the world through his sweet and beautiful eyes from time to time...

Rest in peace Lou x

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