Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year - that’s one person every 40 seconds. This year, the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is 'Working Together to Prevent Suicide.’ On the launch of her new book Finding Blossoms in the Darkness, Simin Sarikhani shares the personal story of her son’s suicide with Female First.
There is no greater love than the love for a child. No greater injustice than the loss of a child. Their name remains on our lips, their love within our hearts, their memory within our minds. Drowning in the sudden tsunami of grief, the thought that we could live again seems inconceivable, utterly impossible. My son Zhubin was just 21 years old when he ended his young life. I had to learn patience, for no matter how painful the situation, there is always a slender trace of hope that eventually a path out of the quagmire will be found.
I saw that what I had lost was the ability to 'feel my son’ - the pain, the guilt and the regret had emptied my heart. What is brutally ripped away and goes missing when a mother’s child dies is the pure God-given gift that she was granted the moment she felt her baby next to her heart. The most noble, irreplaceable, treasured love without equal – a golden cord connecting the souls of mother and child. The loss of a child severs this golden cord. To survive, a mother’s need to find a way to stitch it back together is as vital as the air she breathes.
It was here that I began to understand that pain is a fire; one that burns yet is capable of forging faith.
Healing Through Helping
Volunteer work would prove to have a very powerful effect on me in many different ways, providing me with a number of eye-opening experiences and making me aware of how many people and families suffer with unimaginably difficult challenges of all kinds. Not only would it prove to be a way to learn about life, but helping others would also became a very unexpected way of healing myself.
Learning to Live Again
I learnt that there is no magic cure for grief and that I had to fight to live again. To know how to fight, I first had to know what I would be fighting for:
- to overcome the emptiness within;
- to be humble;
- to be eager and willing to start the work;
- to accept my challenges;
- to have the courage I would need;
- to continue on my journey with dignity and hope;
- and to have joy, no matter what.
At last I realised that I was capable of standing on my own two feet. I knew the path ahead would still be steep, but understood that I could not give up and had to do something with my life. I could learn from my mistakes and, like a child after falling, could pick myself up and teach myself to walk again.
Hear this. If your child leaves this world before you, they would want you:
- to trust;
- to believe;
- to be strong;
- to live - yes, even be happy;
- to work on your heart and to open it to the Universe and to that marvellous abundant love.
My new book is a collection of the inspirational letters that my son left for me before he ended his life. I hope that my personal story will help others to recognise that what has happened to them has a reason beyond our limited understanding and knowledge. I believe that nothing happens by accident, nothing by chance. Everything is measured, everything is counted – all our experiences, even our steps, the people and the countless faces we see. I hope these words will find the hearts of those in need and help them find the strength to move forward.
If you have experienced grief, you may have already found, or will soon find, your path to the belief that what was yours still is and will always be. Our loved ones are never lost; they remain by our side. We cannot give up and lose hope. Our loved ones are alive - more than we can imagine. They become our guides and our healing angels. They are always with us.
The energy of love never dies. Of course, I miss my son terribly, always. Of course, I must still face this challenge every day. It will be so until we meet again. But with faith and hope the rest of the journey can still be fruitful and rich.
Simin Sarikhani is the author of Finding Blossoms in the Darkness, published by Cultureshock Media, RRP. £17.95 www.findingblossomsinthedarkness.com