In 2005 Brenda’s 21-year-old son sadly died in ICU. He had been depressed for some time and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now Brenda focuses as much as she can on remembering the good memories they all shared as a family.
Brenda’s 21-year-old son had bipolar disorder, which used to be called manic-depression. In 2005, when he was severely depressed, he took an overdose of tablets. Brenda does not believe that her son really meant to take his own life. She thinks that he just wanted some respite. She and her husband waited in Accident and Emergency for almost nine hours, not knowing anything about their son’s condition while the medical staff treated him. This was an extremely difficult time, waiting and not knowing what was going on. Her son was admitted to ICU later that night. While he was in ICU Brenda and her husband stayed overnight at the hospital almost all of the time. Friends and neighbours were very supportive. At times there were almost too many friends at the hospital. The doctors and nurses did everything they could but sadly Brenda’s son died ten days later.
This was a terrible time for Brenda and her husband. There were many tears and much emotion. The next day Brenda had to tell friends and relatives what had happened, which was a difficult task. She had a neighbour to help her break this awful news. Brenda and her husband both went to see their son lying at rest, which Brenda’s says was a really important thing to do. Their son looked very peaceful and absolutely lovely.
Brenda’s son’s funeral took place about three weeks after his death, following a coroner’s inquest. Friends and family wore colours to the funeral as she and her husband did not want a traditional funeral. Her son was buried and she finds great comfort in having a place to visit him.
Brenda still misses her son dreadfully and sometimes cries inconsolably. However, she knows that her son would not want her to cry and so she says she keeps strong for him. She and her husband were offered professional counselling but they felt they had enough support from friends and family. Brenda’s husband has had a little informal counselling, which he found helpful. Brenda has had to support her parents, because they have also lost a dearly loved grand-son.
Brenda focuses as much as she can on the good memories they all shared. She has also found it helpful to focus on helping other people rather than concentrating solely on her own feelings. She likes to talk to other people about what happened, but she finds it helpful to keep occupied with other interests. She thinks it is important to get involved in other people’s lives and other projects. This helps her to cope with her grief. Brenda thinks that it is important to try to move on and that people should not feel guilty if they want to enjoy themselves, in spite of having lost someone they love.
Brenda was interviewed in 2006