Jake died. You never really know…

Here is Jake. Jake is my work colleague. Sorry, I mean Jake WAS my work colleague. We’ll never see him again. Ever.

Everyone, where I work, will always say this about Jake, he was lovely, he was friendly, he never had a bad word to say about anybody, he smiled even though we knew he was struggling with the loss of his father, we thought he was brave. A brave boy.

Last month I took one of the last photos ever of Jake, the one above. If only I knew he was so fragile, everyone is thinking that now about the last time they talked to Jake. If only we knew, if only we could have reached out….

Out of respect for the family I’ve not shared this for the last couple of weeks, to be honest I’ve been too sad too, but I’ve been assured by colleagues that doing everything possible to help Jakes family is something we must now all do. Jakes Mum lost her husband just months ago and now she has lost her darling boy. Being a mother who loves her children more than anything else on earth, I know her heart must be truly broken.

Mental Health, and not knowing how to deal with your thoughts and feelings, KILLS. There, I’ve said it. We have to be vigilant, make sure we have conversations out loud to anyone who will listen in our workplaces, in the pubs, on birthdays, at Christmas, at funerals. We have to normalize this quiet taker of our children, our friends, our family, in the hope it may save just one precious life so people like Jake’s mum get to hug their child for another day.

The financial burden for this family is now immense. At work we’ve decided to do all we can to at least help financially, pay for the funeral and a bit more, at least we can try.

There are two things I am asking my readers, my friends, my old friends to do right now. Any of them will help. Both of them will help more.

a) Share this post to start a mental health conversation

b) Please, please, please go without your takeaway coffee today and instead donate that money to Jakes family.


For everyone who donates anything or shares this post, I’ll add your first name to Jakes wall, I think it would be nice to give this to his Mum to show her how many people thought of her son. And for anyone who donates £5 or more I will send you a Christmas postcard, to say thank you for your kindness wherever you are in the world.

This is an effort by all of us at work so please if you donate, drop me a message with your name (and address if you’d like me to send you a postcard in December).

I really didn’t know what I could do to raise money so I hope you don’t mind.

I thank you with all my heart,

C xxxxxx

Cheers Jake

PS: Filling up Jakes wall with the first names of all those who have shared blog or social posts or donated and I’m going to print it off and mount it for his Mum just so she can see how many people were thinking of him. Thank you once again all xxx

22 thoughts on “Jake died. You never really know…

  1. Hard to like this page. We, too, have recently lost someone to mental health issues. It’s so devastating. So much loss already, we need to make this a regular conversation and make it easy to share your struggles. Lots of love to you and to Jake’s family.

    • Very well said Sara, if we can save one precious life like Jakes by talking about mental health then that is progress. I still can’t stop thinking about poor Jake xxxxxx

  2. What a beautiful boy in that photograph you took. No, we don’t ever really know what’s going on with people; I still find this with my own adult children. It’s hard to find a balance between feeling like I’m prying and genuine concern, and having those I’m asking not wanting to “burden” me with their problems. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, and the loss of a spouse and child for his mom. I hope he was not an only child. If I lost my spouse and child in such a short space of time, I would not be upright.

  3. Mental health issues are tragic. Poor family. I don’t have much but I’ve donated. Such a thoughtful fundraiser -well done.

    • Dear Luffy, its such hard times for many at the moment, emotionally and economically so I truly appreciate this donation for Jakes family/funeral. Thank you xxxx

  4. Heartbreaking😭
    Yes, yes, be the ear to listen, the shoulder to lean on and above all, brave enough to ask others how they really are, how can I help, how can I pray for you…with you, what do you need?

    • Thank you so much for your kind donation Elizabeth. Really appreciate that, I know his family will too. It is difficult. I’d remove this in a heart beat if the family find it upsetting but work colleagues said we should share and try and help them out. Thank you xx

  5. This would have been a very hard and emotional post to write Carolyn. My thoughts and prayers are being sent to Jake’s family and his friends. Linda (donation made for Jake’s family) xoxo

    • Thank you so much for your donation Linda, I am sure his family will really appreciate your kindness xxxx I don’t know Jakes Mum or sister but my heart breaks for them xxxx

  6. I am so sorry to all and especially for Jake’s mum. I will be touching base with some friends and colleagues who may be struggling with mental health in honor of Jake.

    • Dear MaryAnn, thank you so very much for your generous donation, I’ve just sat down for the evening and thought I’d open up my computer and check in on everything. I will be also sure to add your name to Jakes wall xxx Thank you

  7. Please could you pass on the details of our charity to Jakes family and anyone close to him, We support those bereaved by suicide and also anyone struggling with their mental health. http://www.quinnsretreat.org.uk We do this in memory of my amazing 17 year old daughter Quinn and my beautiful 21 year old son Dyl who we sadly lost to suicide within 10 months of each other.

    My thoughts and love to everyone who knew and loved Jake xx

    • Oh gosh what an absolutely lovely thing you do in memory of your children and to help out those who are bereaved by suicide. Barnard Castle is a lovely area. I am so sorry about your tragedy, I can’t even begin to imagine, hugs xxxx I will pass on this information. Will print off details and hand them over with the Jakes wall picture. xxx

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. This is so tough. He was so young. We never know what is going through someone’s mind and young people have been under so much pressure these last 18 months. they have really missed out on other people’s company and support. I think they have suffered more than the older generation, but they’ve been little credit for the sacrifices they made.

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