Two cops came to our door. They told me he had been found dead. My son. He had ended his life.
They handed me his wallet and his key ring. One of the keys was his drum key. It certainly was his.
But he was only 20. This must be wrong. Someone who stole his things could be that person who was found. They seemed to be sure it was him by his skin colour, his clothes, his hair.
Was this possible? He was ill but this? We saw the doctor 2 days ago. He said nothing about this. How could this be?
A Quick timeline
July 2014: Saagar Naresh is a delightful chap who loves fast bowling for his cricket team, is passionate about percussion, having fun with words, learning languages, laughing his infectious laugh, making everyone crack up, looking after his grand parents and spending time with friends. He has just finished second year at university and is home for the summer holidays.
August 2014: He is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
16th October 2014: He dies by suicide.
I stand in the middle of my living room but I am not there. I am blank. The world turns into a big nothing. Hit by a tsunami, the pillars of my existence are pulled off their roots and hang suspended underwater, moving in slow motion as do I, submerged in a sea of numbness.
Words fall short. They don’t do justice to our deepest feelings. Silence and music are better.
Yet, a few words keep me anchored to Mother Earth.
Engulfed in a thick haze, all I could clutch at were words. Simple words. This could not be ‘The End’. This wretched day could not be allowed to pass off as just any other day.
Saagar could not cease to exist because he had left his body. His story needed to be told. His brilliance needed to be shared. Our love is still alive. It needed to be expressed. I needed time with him. I needed to write.
Blogs were things I had only heard of.
With the help of a close friend who knew about these things, I started writing a blog that night. I called it ‘kidsaregifts’. The first entry was titled, ‘Today is Day 0’. It was when everything changed forever.
Each day since, I have written one post. I can’t remember much about the early days but I do remember writing just before going to bed. The thought of writing got me through the day. While writing, I came up for air. It sustained me through the submergence.
Today is ‘Day 890’. Two birthdays, two Christmas’, three Diwalis and two death anniversaries have come and gone.
I am still here, writing, breathing, being.
On some days, I am bursting with things to say. Other days, I can’t contain my love. Some days anger and grief pour out like red-hot molten lava, consuming everything in its path.
Guilt makes many guest appearances, threatening to take over completely. Some days, I can’t find any words. I am back to being numb and blank, locked inside a dark cupboard. Everyday, I sit with what is, witnessing it, acknowledging it, validating it and honouring it. Sometimes, fighting it.
Over time writing has come to mean different things – a resource, a rubbish heap, a trusted friend, a creative exercise, a vent, a meditation, a rant, a discipline, a party, a shrine, a storybook, , a protest, a place of understanding, a campaign, a tribute, a sounding board, a loudspeaker, a protest, a thoughts-and-feelings processor, a companion.
My partner, Simon, is my ’editor’. Writing is now a big part of our ‘quality time’ together.
It is a platform for us to share our thoughts and ideas and create something new together everyday.
I have learnt about the state of mental health care in the UK, the human condition and myself through the process of writing. It has given me purpose and focus.
It has been the bridge between my days and nights, gently carrying me from one potentially unsurvivable day to the next.
Now, it has assumed a life of its own. I am told it offers solace and comfort to many, especially bereaved families and young people who can relate with our story. It is a resource for understanding suicide and suicide prevention.
For some it is ‘thought for the day’. Some readers have come to know and love Saagar even though they have never met him. I miss him terribly and always will. Through my love for him, I share our experience of being human.
You can read Sangeeta's blog about her experience of grief here. There are currently over 900 entries.
She also recently shared her experiences in the Huffington Post.
If you have lost someone to suicide, you may find our information on bereavment might be helpful. We also have information on coping with suicidal feelings and supporting someone with suicidal feelings.