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,
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