It’s “Are You Ok?” Day today in Australia. Pity this wasn’t around in 2008. Our lovely daughter, Miriam, aged 24, was lost to suicide late September 2008. She had been suffering depression but, because she lived away from home, and with friends, we were largely unaware of her condition. Every time she visited us, or spoke on the phone, she was always our lovely bubbly Mirri. But after she was gone we heard stories from her friends of her real behaviour and activity and we wondered how we could have possibly missed this side of our daughter that we didn’t know.
I do truly believe, that if her friends, who lived with her, or saw her regularly, had contacted us to voice their concerns about her, she may well be with us today. Through a misguided loyalty and sense of betrayal, they chose not to do or say anything to the ‘olds’ keeping it to themselves. Today they probably wonder if they could have done any different.
The idea behind “Are You Ok” Day is to speak up and let people know you do notice them and you do notice their feelings. They might deny and say they’re ok, but friends should keep a close eye on anyone they feel that things are not right for, and speak up, even if to seek advice from someone else in confidence. You may just save a life.
If you want to know more about this day, click here. And if you have concern for a family member or a friend, or colleague, speak up! Your friend or family member may get temporarily angry with you, but later on, when things are fine again, they will recognise that you had their best interests at heart and that you truly did care.
For us, it is nearly 5 years since we lost our lovely daughter. How we wish we could see and speak with you again in this lifetime.