On Sunday 15th May 2016 our lives changed in an instant, as a result we would be forever broken.
Ben our brother left the family house that night and seemed totally normal, he told us he was going around to his best mate Nicks house for a chat. About 20 minutes later we then received a call from his ex- partner who he had recently separated from .She asked did I know where Ben went? Because he had called her moments earlier and said “ He didn’t want to be in this world if it wasn’t with her and Annabella”. He didn’t elaborate to where he was, only saying that he was in ‘the middle of nowhere’. We rang around to our other siblings and Dad to get the word out quickly. Another 5 minutes passed, and we found his location through the Find my Phone app. Everyone rushed to where the app had picked up his phone, all of us coming from our respective areas.
We all expected to find Ben crying in his car, honestly, we did; because that’s the kind of sensitive soul Ben was. Ben had intentionally made a split decision to take his own life that night. We found Ben very close to the family home us children had grown up on, Ben was killed instantly. We arrived to something our eyes will never be able to unsee.
When our father arrived he got out of the car and ran over to see our brother Ben, Police officers tried to stop him from getting close. We still remember him yelling back at them “you’re not going to stop me, that’s my son!”
Ben was 22 years old.
Ben was employed full time.
Ben loved his boss and job.
Ben was a third year apprentice plumber.
Ben had three loving sisters.
Ben’s family were all very close.
Ben had enough savings for a house deposit.
Ben had a beautiful daughter who is 19 months old.
Ben only drank occasionally.
Ben wasn’t involved in drugs.
Ben was always happy.
Or so it seemed.
There were no signs.
Ben was the kind of person who wouldn’t leave anywhere without saying goodbye, yet that night he left us with no note, no explanation, just us heartbreakingly wondering why? As a family none of us will ever be angry at Ben, we just hope that in his final moments that he wasn’t scared and he knew how much we all loved him. The lovable boy we have described to you, was far too special to us to let him just be forgotten or become just another number in the suicide statistics.
After losing Ben our family made a promise to each other that, this was it, no more pain for us, we’d been through enough.
That is why we started It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.
If we can help one person in this world, then that is enough, and we have done our job. We don’t want any other family to wake up each morning to the living, breathing hell that our family have to face daily.
If you can help someone in anyway, big or small you should do it. Because we are all in this together and that may be the only positive thing that happens to that person today.
It’s okay not to be okay mean to us;
It’s okay to grieve for however long you need to.
It’s okay to reach out for help.
It’s okay to cry and admit you’re having a bad day.
It’s okay to take medication and seek professional help.
It’s even ok to put your hand up and say I’m not okay in fact doing so is really brave.
Being a good mate sometimes means getting them help, even if takes a bit of courage to do so. We know that help can look so different for everyone. It’s okay not to be okay mission is to advocate and create change in mental health, grief and suicide prevention. We do this by hosting events, through running social media campaigns through all of our platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
We encourage people to wear our message and be a part of this important conversation. We acknowledge this is a worldwide issue with many people affected and more needs to be done. We are not mental health experts, we are 3 grieving sisters. We don’t have all the answers we are just trying to share what worked for us and what didn’t. We’re giving it everything we’ve got and we hope to just make a small difference.
Thank you for supporting us.
Love Hayleigh, Georgia and Maddi