It's been just over a year since I began talking to people for this podcast, when it began, I was really nervous. I felt really vulnerable opening up to people talking about such a sensitive topic and something that brought up so many difficult feelings for me. Listeners of the show will know that I felt angry, I felt sad. I've laughed and I've cried a lot. And though we've talked at length about grief being a messy personal journey with no linear path, I think the last year and two seasons of open and honest conversations have helped me arrive at a different place.
I still miss my mom every single day, but I recognize my grief more. I know how to handle it a little bit better. This season on Debt Becomes Him. I talk to people who have experienced unimaginable loss.
Each of their stories is unique, but as always, there was one commonality. Talking about it is therapy. On this episode of Death Becomes Him, I sit down with Lisa Shannon.
Lisa is known to many for her incredible talents as a makeup artist. She's a gorgeous woman with a wide smile and beautiful young family. But today, Lisa opens up and shares her story, a history that she has kept close to her heart for years. Lisa lost her mom, Harlina, after a long battle with mental illness.
Lisa talks about supporting her mother and finding happiness after tragic loss.
Lisa, how are you? Great, how are you? I'm good, thank you. Welcome to your episode of Debt Becomes The Last I've Seen You Face to Face was pre covered. It was Christmas. Twenty nineteen it was.
And I made my way across Temple Bar like totally like real nervous because I'm going to beat this like a useful celebrity wannabe, just like makeup.
I do. And you couldn't have been more welcoming every time.
I think you're going on a Christmas night actually. Yes it was. I was still up to the nines.
You look still at me, but you are so genuinely nice. It's a common thread. People say that about you and you come to the hotel and off. Tonight, we're going on the Ray D'Arcy show. That's why you said glow. Oh, yes, I did. You did.
You really looked gorgeous, though, because I was pause. I said, oh, look at his cheekbones. Do you know what was so funny when I went? You know, when you go on to do something about sometimes people say really nice things, so nice people say not so nice things about. My sister sent me some screenshots. I'm not appearance, but people are saying all he used to be such a good looking fellow. He's ruined his face, all the injectables and stuff.
I was looking going. I may have had some help with the lips. I may have had some help with the lips.
Probably not who I am, but also the face. That's my face was just good. Highlighting, contrasting. That is good makeup. And that's the point I'm making because I love looking Chloe dewy and looking good.
Yes. Yeah. Who doesn't. I think as a man nowadays in twenty twenty one we can look as good as women. Absolutely.
And you're allowed to wear ten times more makeup and skincare than you want. And I think it needs to be like shared more like I love seeing tutorials online as well with, with like, you know, men doing their makeup and you know, it can be the no makeup makeup. But why isn't it more accepted? You know, I think so. I get so many DM's when I do your makeup that that time you have two or three guys, like what was the color of the Charlotte we've lost what to use there.
How funny. I know. And I was like, delighted. I was like, oh yeah, no problems. And they sent me a little product list and it was just really refreshing.
You are coming in here to that set. I authorizer. Give me an extra hour to get ready and I'll tell you, I had the products out. There was a character under the eyes. It was a green character on the face. This is what you do with your world to kind of make an effort.
If you see my makeup bag, you'd be like back in Joe Sally from down the road on that. And it's about twenty five years old and I got to perhaps having to make myself remotely normal. Well, that's true.
Also, congratulations baby Matilda.
Yes, she is three months old. Just under three months. Yeah.
What's it like being a new mom. Terrifying. You don't look tired. Well that is a little bit of an enormous camouflage. She is the most magical little angel. But my God, talk about turn your life upside down. No one prepares you because you can never tell new mom the actual reality. The truth.
I want to terrify them so I don't get into it. And for like a couple of months later, you just think to yourself, what did I do with my life before? How was your pregnancy? Especially through covid and through twenty. Twenty. Yeah.
Do you know what though? I feel like it's a bit bittersweet with it because if I wasn't pregnant I would have been up in arms about the business and thinking, oh my God, I'm losing all my beautiful brides. I'm having this, I'm losing that. I didn't give it really much thought because I couldn't because I was just nauseated for ten months.
So it was I was just pregnant. I was twenty twenty.
So really, I'm, you know, I'm an only child. I have a very small circle of people that I surround myself with. So within the lockdown's, when we could get out, I made sure I got around. I spoke on the phone. I had Owen, who was like literally the love of my life. Thank God for him. I would be a broken woman with very handsome also. Thank you.
Yes, I chose well, yes, but yeah, I, I didn't find it really difficult. I didn't find it lonely because I was living with him, you know. But I found more so when I had her and leading into, you know, family, you know, I missed my mom and I would have missed, you know, all my friends call down. I didn't have that lovely like reveal. Yeah. You know, where everyone says you're lucky you didn't have that reveal because people record.
But I think I really wanted it. I wanted loads people to be coming down with their casseroles on their design years and dropping balls of wind. And I didn't have any that. You know, you don't. But what I do have is a beautiful, healthy little baby and a lovely fiance. So I have to count my blessings.
You sadly lost your mom in twenty thirteen. Yes. So when you were pregnant with Matilda, was that a time obviously you've missed your mom for years. Was that a time in your life being pregnant for the first time when you wanted your mom there. But we had so many questions to ask her.
Oh like it's funny because when you mentioned to me when we first met, that was only twenty eighteen. Yeah. This is a little seedy.
I'm not saying yes and I don't know how it came up, but you said to me, I lost my mom and you told me about a story and then I just I'm quite private, like I think a lot of people who are. This who follow my Instagram would be like, God, I didn't know her mom died or certainly not in the circumstances, but I think if you had said to me, then, would you like to know? No, no, no, no.
I couldn't I couldn't speak about it so obliquely. But through my pregnancy and through becoming a mother, I feel like I wanted to share my experiences now because I only realize now what she actually did for me. And if I could maybe reach somebody who's lost their mom in a similar way or anyone and give them a tiny little flicker of hope that things will get. So they will get better sometimes. That's why I wanted to do it. And, you know, I suppose becoming a mother and having this little baby, I just I see I see little flickers of my mom in her mom, and that's all I wanted.
I just like when she smiles, it's the same smile, but it's really bittersweet. Look, any milestones when you've lost a parent or sibling are tarnished when you'd come to the hotel. And we were chatting and I talked obviously about my mom. I remember being quite nervous. If I have to speak publicly, like on television. Yes. I don't want to get upset. Yes.
So that's my fear is always getting towards you. And then you would said to me, oh, I've also lost my mom. And then you said, sadly, you'd your mom had passed by suicide. I remember meeting you and I think you said to me you were feeling emotional even with me just talking about.
Yes, my mom, because it's a circumstance that is there is a stigma surrounded with the word. If you want to empty your room, you say, my mom died by suicide. Yeah. People, they want to support you within any other way of when someone dies. You know, like you might say, my mom died of the way she died. Yes. But when I mention suicide, people become awkward. They don't know what to say.
And it's not their fault. You know, they I just want to remove the stigma around it. It's it's a death like any other. I think it's people are fearful if they use the wrong word. If I didn't know that even saying committed suicide is people that do that, they've committed nothing. If they've died by suicide, they pass by suicide. I didn't know that until I started reporting death becomes them. Yeah, because if you think about, like, committed to commit adultery.
Exactly. Yes. No, they just died through an illness. When you said they didn't commit a sin back in the day, you and years and years ago, that was the stigma.
That was the stigma. It's also trickled through our generation, sadly. And, you know, even the word depression, mental health, it's also linked with this MADD side violence. You know, this person is unstable. That's not the case. This person is sick. Would we ever treat someone who had another long term illness like that? No, absolutely not. You know, we treat them with empathy, but I think people with mental health are terrified to speak out sometimes because of that, because of that stigma.
They don't want to be seen as this week person who has a choice about how sick they are.
Talk to me about your mom to get a visual. She is the replica. I'm the replica of her. Right. Because I can only do you know, when someone asked me about my mom, I am literally her doorbell because I. She created me. Yeah. Like, my dad was great at times, but my mother brought me up, you know, she was the type of person that could light of a room if she came in here.
Now the arms and hands everywhere and very dramatic. Her smile always met her eyes. She was loud. She never touched a drop, a drink or smoke or anything. And you bring her to a party.
And my friends were like, It's your mad because you're not makeshifts. She doesn't drink.
That is why I live with. And she just had this, like, light around her always. And she always she was a stay at home mom for from when I was very young. She had me when she was twenty one. Yeah. Same as my mom. Oh really. Yes. Yes. So very young. Out of wedlock. Absolutely hard. Yes. Shame. Shame.
So within a year they got married. You know her. My dad and my mom. I only learned after she suffered very bad post-partum depression. OK, and for about six months. So you know, the depression was always there, but I didn't see it throughout my whole childhood growing up in that situation.
And, you know, that could be or there is a mental health issue. Are you aware of it growing up? And now you look back and go, oh, that's what it was. Absolutely.
Right now, as I was growing up, it wasn't severe. I think the postpartum was the worst. And then she got through that and she I think I brought a little bit of love back into her life. And, you know, she became this incredible mother, like she was the type of woman who'd be up at half six in the morning. Listen to Elvis, who is and has condemned the counters. This woman was not your I suppose, your textbook depressed.
My depressive. Yeah. Because he didn't sleep in bed all day. It doesn't look the way you think it looks. Absolutely not. And everyone's journey with mental and I just want to reiterate, I am not an expert on mental health. I am not an expert on Russian. I lived with this alongside it for twelve years, really bad, you know, because I don't see her as a, you know, being sick until I was like fourteen or fifteen.
So I had two mothers. I essentially had two mothers. I had my mother who was like the first person to be at the school gates. She'd be there like I never got left waiting. She'd have like I remember being in, like, plays and school and she'd be like. Tickets for the whole week and should be the first row, you know, and she'd take the same photo 18 times, she was mother, that was her job.
Yeah, and she did it with flying colors. She was amazing. And she brought me up, like, such a good person because she was so kind. My mom would be the type to stop on the street and help somebody cross the road or she'd stop if she seen an elderly person with their shopping. And we'd have to help this person and that like it lives in me, you know, and I'm so glad I had those years with her.
And I am not bitter that she's gone because I got so much from her. And I think about people who maybe lost their mother childbirth or lost their mother at the age of three or 11 or whatever. I had twenty six years of good memories, good memories and some really, really awful ones.
But I still have them, you know, so I try and I try and count my blessings and I try and see the positivity and in what Mark Marks left on me. Yeah, she was amazing. When you say you two mothers in a sense of what age did you think was at 40? And I think you mentioned that you thought there may be an issue here. There's something wrong with mom. She's struggling through something's things changing. Yeah. Yes.
So that's probably a better word. Yes, something's changing.
I was like, this is not my mom. So my mom and dad had an extraordinarily turbulent relationship from as long as I can remember. He was a heavy drinker. She didn't drink and she was a spender. He was like software and like they literally were polar opposites. And I spoke to my dad yesterday. We we we had a terrible relationship for a couple of years, but we're very much on the mend. And, you know, he is really like, you know, become the father I need him to become.
Well, that's amazing. Yes. Yeah, yeah. It's taken him a long time, but he's done a great job there. He did. Yeah.
I said to him, you know, I think Mom. Wanted to be loved by you in a way that you could never love her, and he said, I did love her. It's just that I moved through life quicker than her. Right. Like I wanted to set up a business. And she was terrified to get into debt. I wanted to, you know, buy another house. And she was so scared that we wouldn't be able to afford.
So it's like she pulled him back to stay in her little world. She wanted to be safe. She wanted to be safe. And it all comes back to this. And her whole illness is driven by fear of losing control. And in every way and I remember being little and everything was pristine. If I got something on my dress, the panic, the drama over this small spill, it was so big and like it was like it was hysteria nearly.
And now when I look back, it was all about control. Everything needs to be in its place a certain way. New sheets need to be opened. A certain like she had like, you know, a control issue, almost like OCD and it's almost like OCD. And she wanted my dad to fit into that. And he was just like he wants to go out Friday to Sunday. He was a young dad. He was 22. He was much so.
You know, if you think about this, we were like, oh, my God, I would have been terrible. Was like, poor Matilda. Thank God she waited like 13 years. But my dad was a crazy lunatic and he just wanted to be out drinking with Ladds and she wanted to be a homemaker. And so him being so mad actually caused her more anxiety. But she couldn't be without him. She couldn't she could live without him. She was so pure Romeo and Juliet thing like literally so overwhelmingly and he couldn't get back to her.
So going back to what you asked me, he left. Right. And he had an affair. He had an affair with a woman who he'd met prior to meet my mom. And I think they were always in love and they're still together now. You know, they're they're still with each other now. How are you with all of that?
I have good relationships with it and I have a great relationship with Rosemary was my dad's partner now, but I didn't speak to them for years. And I blame them for everything I was going to say. Did you point the finger at them worse? You know, because I didn't know that my mom had suffered to her life with depression. So in my head, it was my dad left us and he went off another woman and my mom got depressed.
And now I have this other mom who is very sick because you're so young and you don't have that at that age, the mental capacity to understand relationship and to understand life, to understand other issues at play. But in a sense, it's kind of nice as a child. You also want to protect your mom and you're stating the obvious. It's your fault.
Yeah, like, yeah, you're her protector. I was I'm an only child. We were like sisters. We were best friends. Yeah. Because my mom was so young as well. She nearly treated me like a sister. Sometimes she let me know way too much. She told me way too much about the relationship. I knew way too much. And you know, as a child, it's a lot to take, you know.
And so he left and initially, you know, she lost all the way. She made new friends. This went on for a couple of months. And I said this once, don't they call that the revenge revenge diet looked fabulous.
Body revenge or revenge body divers, I hope.
Do you think it could have been I'm not your your mom was doing years before Khloe Kardashian.
So she and I was like, OK. And I remember the day to a tee. I went to the debs with a guy that was in sixth year, but I was on picture. So like that was a big scandal, you know, and she waved me off.
And, you know, you get home like four or five o'clock in the morning. And when we got home, she wasn't there. And it was so unusual for my mom not to be where she said she'd be. My mom only learned to drive when she was 30. She was terrified of the road and she was a horrific driver. If you ever want have seen on the road, you drive the opposite away. The car was gone. I was like, where she I thought, you know, we had phones and stuff, but it wasn't the same.
A God to show shows your age. I'm an one like, um, but no car. So we sat on the bench, him and myself for was five o'clock in the morning, sat six, seven, eight, nine. You couldn't get in. I couldn't get in now because she said she'd collectors' and obviously she didn't. And then we made our way back. There was no kind of animated by ten o'clock her my granny drove into the driveway and I just looked at my mother and I said, what's wrong?
I thought, I'm going to die out. And my granny said, Oh, come on in. We've just been to the doctor. You know, we need to talk to you. And the word depression. It was the first time I heard I was fifteen and I was like, OK, what do you mean? Like, she's depressed. Like, she's sad. Like she should be quiet.
Like, she'll be fine. Just give her a cup of tea. Yeah, she'll be fine. And I remember looking at my mom in the sitting room and she had these like, incredible, like bright blue eyes. Like they were so beautiful and they were great. I remember being like where it's like where where was her like? And I didn't know that that's what I was asking myself at the time. But it was like the life had been sucked out of her.
So anyway, my granny was like, these are her tablets. You know, it was instant. It was like, this is this is old school. This wasn't like the world we live in today. This was she. Don't tell anyone you're depressed. Here's a few tablets. Take them. You'll be grants, you know, and there was a very much a stigma attached to it. And I started to feel that stigma instantly because it was like she don't tell the neighbors, don't you know?
So I said, OK, well, I lived on my own with her. At this point, obviously, data left. I'm an only child. And I looked at this woman and I said, Mom, and she just wouldn't answer me. And it was literally like a switch had gone off. And I just. I was lost, I was can be lost, so I went through like a haze of these couple of weeks we're given of the tablets and, you know, I'd go off to school.
I was still in school. I was coming into my ear. It's like you become the mother. Yeah.
And that didn't stop until she died because you were only 15 years old, Yakunin, 16. And it was your responsibility to give your mom her medication and to make sure she was safe and OK.
Yeah, and it's funny when I look back and not that anyone meant to do it, but they kind of just left me like I'm obviously an only child. My mom had a couple of sisters, but my granddad was really ill with Alzheimer's as well. And I think they will be fine. We need to deal with that. And her friends were good, but I don't think they realized how severe it was that I was going to say because they were Angelina has this.
Yeah, she's so she's so full of so together it'll pass.
But maybe they didn't think it was as serious as it actually was. And because you're living right there twenty four, seven years before you decide whether you've such a vision of your mom having these bright blue eyes, and then you look at her and you go, they changed color like they were great. It gives me a total visual. Yeah.
Of what you were seeing and uneven her almost, Larry. It is eerie. Yeah, it is eerie. Unlike when I speak about my mom death and the day she died, she was dying for years. My mom was dying before my eyes, but nobody could see it the way I seen it. Like if someone dies of cancer, you can see that visibly. You know, that person deteriorates in front of you. But I could see it in those eyes.
And her body language obviously change. She became like, you know, in on herself. And she'd do this thing with her hands day hour, but it would never stop. It was obviously dealing with, like the level of anxiety she was feeling inside. And it was all because her life had come crumbling down. So my dad was the breadwinner. He was the love of her life. He was everything was my dad. And then I came second.
And I think she didn't even she couldn't control that. That is that is how life was for my mother. And he just he left and he took all that security with him. And any depression that had it been that had been hiding in there, just exploded inside of her. And I believe that there's like two things that can affect us, probably more than two things. But I believe circumstances can affect someone's depression and it can throw you into a deep, dark depression.
But I think my mother was massively hormonal. Right? I think, you know, pregnancy obviously was a huge rock for her. And it showed and then the six months afterwards. And I think then the shock of my dad leaving was circumstantial. But I do think my mom always had that level of imbalance in her. She was sometimes she was so intensely high, like so happy you'd be bit like this. She's handsome. Yeah, but she wasn't, you know, and life when I live high on life and it's so funny cause I am I'll get I'll go forward a little bit.
I remember six months after she died, I met this woman in the town and she hadn't seen her. She's to volunteer in the school that I was in when I was kids to do it with the kids or whatever, and I'd be wrong.
And I want to go anyway. And this woman said, How's your mom? And I said, she's great. But she was dead because I couldn't let the light in this woman's eyes talking about my mom. I couldn't I didn't know how to say the words because she was just like, oh, I love telling Taylor Talos asking for her.
And my heart was breaking. Well, sometimes it's quite nice. I know. Tense little white lie to me. Yeah.
And also maybe you're conscious of maybe you are also conscious of that lady's reaction. If you had said my mom's passed away, I wasn't ready to deal with that six months after I wasn't ready for her to give me the look that everyone gives you, you know?
And so it spiraled her depression spiraled into then her and attempting suicide. Then maybe about nine months after that first initial morning. And you were sixteen at this point. Sixteen.
Yeah. So sixteen. And I was actually I was on the school she was collecting from school cause I started a part time job. Deepavali, what class of sixteen are you.
And I was in charge you know I really don't to be six year. I know I turned seventeen in the July. I was sixteen to my Levenson's. That's young so I know I was eighteen and you know, you're way more intelligent.
I say how can you find me drinking, you know. Yeah.
Yeah. Because I start school nights for and I started school when I was two. When I was six and I, and I skipped transition year.
I didn't do a transition.
You that you're still two years old just so.
But I remember I said to connect me from school today because I'm starting a part time job and SUPERVALU roots. You are so excited.
Oh my God. Buzenberg independence. Yeah. Your own money. Oh we got four hours twice a week you know Grace.
Forty five quid an hour literally and a few sausage rolls and not embossed. So I got, I got to the school gates and she'd never be late and as I said to mom was mom and this. So anyway no sign of her. Ten minutes goes by ringing the phone, no sign of her. So start walking.
I'm not that far from the jigme anyway. Ask her for a lift. So and walking home, and when I got to the top of my road, there is there's two entrances to my state. There's an old field that's quicker. And I just seen the ambulance lights. And I just knew, I just knew and I ran to the field and I remember it was like dark and mucky and the smoke was everywhere and I was just like I was my heart was beating to my chest.
All I was saying is, please be someone else. And that's terrible. But that's all I did. And I seen the ambulance and my granddad, my grandmother had lived would they lived around the corner and they'd been trying to get in touch with her all day. And my granddad had a key God love them. And he found her and she was unconscious and they did revive her. But she was in intensive care for a while, for a good while.
And I think that was the moment where everyone was like, oh, shit, this is real.
What age is your mom then?
The first attempt to let me think, maybe 30, maybe thirty seven, maybe about ten years before, OK, because that was very early on in her depression. Yeah. And that was like a big eye opener. What, because then it's a real for everyone to go. Hang on. You're also dealing with this. But this is just give her a couple of tablets if you tell her and she's fine. Yeah. This is way more serious.
It's a serious disease. This is now getting to the point where this is life or death. Were you were you scared? I was terrified and I lived that fear until she died from that day thinking she she'll do it again. Oh, yeah. And, you know, I live I lived my worst nightmare. My worst nightmare actually came true because every day of my life I spent obviously I loved life. But there was a moment of my life every day when my phone rang that I was thinking, is my mom alive or dead?
Or if you say she's going to be somewhere and she's not gonna go back to being that girl from the Dabbs, literally. That's it. I got it. So they took her off, whatever. And I remember when she came around and I said, Mom, please, please, please don't do this, please. And she said, I'm so sorry. And, you know, everything seemed I thought, this is you know, she's she's she's realized what she's doing.
This will be fine. And that was the start of the worst depression spell. So then she was in and out of hospital for about three years.
So I just kept and bear with me because I like I'm just thinking about my own mom now, which, you know, it's different, but I'm just thinking of you being so young at sixteen and, you know, your mom has attempted suicide and you're almost you're playing with her because you're scared and you're a child and you need your mom and you're but she's obviously really sick. Yeah. You know, and that's what's up. That's what's so sad about it, is that you you're a child and you want your mom stay alive because you don't want your mom to die by your own hand.
Because because I thought that she could control it. Yeah.
Then of course, now I understand that she did. She wasn't able. And, you know, when people and if there's anyone listening that thinks, you know, they've lost it by suicide, but that person had a choice, that person doesn't. You only choose something when you're rational. These people aren't rational when they decide to do something like that. Yeah. You know, so, you know, I was I was so angry with her, but I never let her see the anger.
I was thinking if she thinks she'll try again. Yeah, yeah. It's the fear. It's the fear. Yeah.
So it's it's God that was even after that, like, I think my life was a blur. So she was sick on and off then for about three years. So we obviously admitted her to the local psychiatric hospital.
After that, she needed extra care and they would like to kind of cope with this on her own. So she went up to the hospital. It was all throughout. So it's able to visit.
And did you feel like your mom was solely your responsibility? Absolutely right. You must be quite angry at everyone. I was so angry. I was so angry. I was living at home with nobody and my mom was in hospital. Your mom was struggling. And I remember her and my mom. Sorry. You know, the thing about my mother, she used to wear like the full glam and get a blow dryer treatment.
You got it. You know, and I was scalded to doing her makeup and we had murdered.
Don't let the dog. Did you do your mom's makeup? Oh, yes, she did kill it. If I didn't do the makeup right.
But I'd be I'd be willing to head off her, like, I'd be like, how do I look this way?
I'd never treat it like that. I got I tell you about your man's crooked.
And did she love looking glamorous, looking good. Goodness. Like I hope some of her friends listen to this. I know it would be a hard lesson, but I want them to remember that side of her is a oh my God, three times a week she'll get blow. I didn't watch her on air. That's high maintenance. Oh, I like that. Oh, no, I don't want to ruin the nails. If I wash my hair and, you know, dressed to the nines like she was so funny.
She worked for. She worked for. She worked. She didn't work for a long time. She was a stay at home mom, which is the hardest job of all, which I have now learned. Yes. Then she did a few odd jobs.
I remember like this is who my mom was a summer up. She she cleaned a little bit when I was very small and she became the best friend of the woman whose house she cleaned who does stuff like we end up going to prison all with them.
Like I still see those those kids. And like we are like because your mom, you know, obviously they know she's passed, but that's the type of person she was.
And she broke up with like, you know, a blazer and a skirt. Do the clean chic.
Yeah. With the full face of makeup like the lady, the mannerisms that the. Actually, the cleaner, but, you know, it could be. Yeah, but I remember going up to the hospital and obviously she had started to lose all that pride and to those couple of months before the first attempt of suicide. And she she hadn't showered in like two or three days.
And I sat in front of her and I said, can you see me? Can you see me? And she's denounce me like it was like I wasn't there. And anyway, I was like, I don't care what happened. You're getting a shower and I'm drying your hair. I'm putting on your makeup. And I dragged her into the shower and I stood in my clothes and I undressed or on my shoulder. And I tried her hair and makeup on and she still didn't speak to me, but I still felt better.
And when I left, I never cried so much. In my life, what was it that moved you so much about that, because I've never seen my mom look that bad and it was like finally I could see what was on the inside. On the outside.
It's like she was showing you how she was feeling. Yeah. With her appearance. Yeah. And I can imagine that's quite startling and scary. Yes. Because if you're carrying something on the inside, you're carrying your pain, you're carrying your your sickness and your trauma and then you wear it for everyone to see. Yeah. It's a memory that you now have that you get. Yeah.
And it was terrifying. And I was like, is she ever like ever going to get my mom back ever. And I did all right. Yeah. Little curveball.
Yeah. So I, I don't want to get into the mental health system in Ireland. I don't, I don't know enough about it to be making calls on who did what and what doctor said what and what treatment worked and what didn't.
You're talking about your personal experience totally.
Initially it was like, let's try a load of tablets of this woman. And what they did was they know wonder to the point where she could barely recognize me and I lost almost sedated her, sedated her.
They sedated her yet because I think they were so lost at what this was manifesting into, because initially it was just depression and then it started to manifest into manic depression and then it became quite psychotic. So I can't pinpoint what made her better or why. But I remember one morning. So anyway, she got discharged from the hospital after a couple of months. In and out. In and out. In and out. In and out. So she come home for the weekend to be a great day where I'd see a little spark.
And then the next day it was like all my hopes be crushed again and she'd be back to square one. And I'll never forget wrestling her into the car because she didn't want to go back, obviously. And it was like fighting with a toddler. I thought, how how am I am I was in the garden like wrestling her back into the car. Anyway, one morning I got up on the tablets in the bin. I said, What are you done?
What what are you doing?
She goes, I don't need them today. And we'd murder in the kitchen. No blue murder. I said, You can't live without these. What if things happen to good Lisa?
Trust me. Well, you just to trust her because she's your mom. I know. So I did and she threw out all the tablets. I'm going in a couple of months. She was she was better than ever. She was better.
So I thought you were going to say whenever something like this is leading up to something bad happening now and you're like and I'm like, she's what you do. And you're like and she was better. I don't know what happened.
And I certainly would never advocate anybody again throwing my personal experience.
And it was my mother's own decision. And how does a daughter tell her mother what to do? You know? So you're living with hope? I'm living with hope. And I'm thinking I've tried everything. We've tried every medication, I've tried every quote. Like I used to, like, recite quotes to my mother about how amazing she was to try and get her to see that I loved her. I was thinking, oh, I you know, what if I just sit here for two weeks and monitor you try to try and get this one to go.
I was literally just like, all right, I'll sit in the house for two weeks and watch it. And she started to come around and I started to trust her and start going to the car and then one minute to go back to get a job at the Alzheimer's Society.
And I said, OK, that's great. And then she came home another day and she's like, Oh, I met this man. And I used to be with him when I was 16. And I was like, I know his name and everything. And this, like, romance started on.
This job had come up and all her all she did have a handful of friends who never left her side. And they are incredible people. I actually only bumped into them on a distant walk. I was walking to Grayson's Matilda and my eyes welled up looking at them, looking it up. Mattilda and I knew that they were thinking, Hellenes is not here to do this, you know? But anyway, then she was fundraising and she was there.
And this went on for like three or four years. You must have been so happy. I was it was like it was like I just won the lotto. I was like, I got my mom back. Like, this is this is over. I did. You don't do you believe that was done? I believe it was done. This woman, it was like she was better than she'd ever been. I actually nearly too cocky. I used to come down a peg.
You she's mad about herself. Yeah.
Like I laugh, you know, I wish you back into the glamour that oh, everything, everything ever was a man sniffing around, you know, and he and like to this day, that man loved her unconditionally and stood by her till the day she died. And he he said, like, I've always loved your mother from the minute he was her first love. No, I'm funny because my dad's partner was his first love. Yeah.
It's you know, like, how can I be angry now, you know, and it's it's hard mantic.
Yeah. It's like it's like a movie. As I said earlier, it's really like a Romeo and Juliet thing. Yeah. But he stood by her and he couldn't even see her illness. That's how much he loved her. He was soul mates, soul mates. But love is just not enough when you're sick. It's just not. But I cherish those times. And you know, I had my twenty first in those years and I look back at the photos to organize this beautiful party.
And, you know, she was my mom again. She really was. And you know, I do cherish those years. And, you know, fast forward then maybe till I was twenty four and I was in my back and I miss my trainer. You made you know, I thought I was great. My life was great. I was single. All I got I hope I not look like you.
You couldn't have been like the doctor. I know somebody one of those before to date and seen I was on the date and saw you on Tinder swiping left and right.
I was pure date and I was pure date. Yeah I was. Yeah. And I was fabulous. I was like ten and I was gorgeous.
Oh I know Matilda. You've destroyed me forever. And I was in back and we used to do all our training in the Gibson Hotel. And can I just say my friends who I met, met and married my bridesmaids, they are they are so incredible for my manager that I had at the time. Gillick She did so much to support me through it all. But on this day particularly, and I was doing training and you're training for forty people, but they all gone on launch.
You don't look at your family, you're training because you're facilitating to a room. And I remember looking at my phone and I fourteen missed calls. My aunt and I collapsed crying all around because I knew my mom was sick. I just fell to my knees. There wasn't anyone in the room with me and Nicky came in from down to the bottom and I was hysterical and I hadn't even rang them back. And she said, Lisa, OK.
And I said, No, no, you've no idea. You've no idea. This is like my worst fear. No, I'm telling you, this is this is real. And obviously, she didn't really know because she hadn't been a child's manager when it had first started back story.
And I didn't know I didn't let anybody know who was new in my life because I wanted to leave it there. And so I ran. And lo and behold, she was she'd been admitted back to hospital. We they'd found her book and I don't know, some mountain and I don't know what she was about to do, but she was about to do something. And so she went back in and sadly, she never recovered.
How many years from when she said that day to you? Yes, the tabloids are going in the bin and you're like for two weeks we're staying here together. Yeah, I you on that. What was the time maybe about. Lawyers for really good, amazing years. Yeah, I know it's it's mind boggling because usually when someone gets that dark and that into themselves, it's very hard to pull out. But there is hope because she did and there was no triggers during those four years.
No, this is it's the one she must get involved. Or maybe she did. I don't know. I don't know what she heard or seen or felt. Maybe there was a trigger. But in my eyes, looking into her life, she done the job. It was I was, you know, flying around doing my thing. She didn't have any worries. She didn't have any money worries. She was a she'd a great life.
But isn't isn't not the thing. And that's we're having this conversation is not the thing, though, with mental health and depression. And it makes no difference. Absolutely.
You are what you look like and what you have. It's like any disease out there. Yeah. It makes no difference. Know, and maybe your mom got really good at masking it for those for you. Maybe maybe she was also aware of the consequences if she allowed treatment. Hospital medication. Yes. And I think that was dormant. It was just dormant. She just put it behind her. But it was there when I visited her in the hospital, I was like, this is another level.
So first of all, you fall to the ground, you get very dramatic and stop. What then? Who did you speak to your uncle? Yes, I rang and she said, look, we found Helinet. She's not in a good way up the mountain. We need to send we need to put her in hospital. We need to come home, Gramps. So I go to the hospital, I look at her and it's like we've rewound for years and added on ten times the intensity of the depression out of nowhere.
And I was like, ma'am, ma'am, ma'am, I'm here, I'm here. What's wrong? Everything's fine. What? What's going on?
I can't be here. I can't be here. I can't. I can't. I can't be here. I can't live. I can't live. I'm a burden. I'm a burden. And the word burden. And I know if is anyone listening who's ever had a suicidal heart, you are never a burden. The pain that you leave behind is so much harder to deal with than the illness that we can work through together. If does anyone like you're not a burden, you know, and I know it might feel that way because like, you know, you have to the hospital visits, you have to keep your momentum up with it.
But it's just it's never the answer. And so anyway, it got dark and she got into a very dark place at this point. And the hospital essentially released her because they just didn't know what to do with her. After a couple of weeks, so even though they were aware of how bad it was, yep, yep.
So in the case, I thought, what, it's a depression or a mental health issue.
Is your mom able to sign herself in and out of hospital or just someone else helped her and she was able and the second time she volunteers, I said, Pete, sorry, my aunt would have said, please don't make us do this. Yeah. Sign yourself in. Please don't make us do this. But she could also sign herself it and it's funny because I was speaking to my friend Lisa Baron, who, my God, I couldn't do this without her.
She's literally like, oh, she just held me up at the toughest times. But we are chatting about this because I said, I'm gonna do the podcast because I think it's a really good time for you. I think you're strong enough. And I think being a mother yourself, you've got just a kind of a new know vision of it all. And she's so not emotional. And I could hear her breaking down and she said, I remember a day where you got a call.
They said, you're release and your mom released your mom and you were so helpless on the phone and you begged them, please, please, please don't. Please don't. Were you preempting the outcome? Yeah, but it was a year before she actually died. So I was thinking, OK, look, now she lived. She went to live with John. So I was living at my own. I was living on my own at this point in the house that my me, my mom, where I grew up and my mom, John, said I'd love to come and live with me.
I think he was terrified because I was he had work to go to and everything, whereas I think he just he wanted to of that might have made you feel safe.
It did a bit. Yeah, it would have. And also a bit of guilt because I was thinking, am I just given this man all the responsibility of keeping my mom alive? What it was like?
Am I being selfish? Yes. Yes, I know. But you're not. I know. And I'm also twenty four. I think. So I was also quite I was also very much, you know, out I was drinking a lot. I was I was living her illness with her. But then on the weekends I was, I was just outlet. I was just and I surrounded myself the wrong people. I was I was in a bad place.
And I think even John probably recognized that. I was probably thinking to myself here, she's not gonna be much better with you. I'll take her. So I visited her most nights. Where do we only live throughout it? It wasn't far. And there she was again. Just not my mom. She was my older mom, the sick mom. And I'd ring her every single day, every single day. And she didn't answer phone. I'd ring and I rang and rang.
And then she went on. I drive up and that was my life. I lived on a knife edge for like years and I didn't realize I was living on a knife edge until I actually just like until God, God love her. When she passed, I was like, when the phone rings, my worst nightmare has already happened. It doesn't matter what's on the other end of the line. Yeah. It'll never be as bad. It'll never be as bad.
And so anyway, we'll fast forward. She went missing within that year. One Friday night, Johnny got home. She was gone. She drove him car not to bother her. She loved driving in the car and he runs a home. She down there said, no, no, no, a couple of hours past, no sign.
And you just are like, oh, my God, where's this? Where's this person? So we started ringing everyone. And then people start arriving at my house. And I was like, this is serious. Where's my mother? Like five, six hours. I was driving the roads. I drove to all the places where I know she goes nowhere to be found. What were you thinking? I was thinking she was dead, OK? I really was.
Initially, it was like just about that whole feeling of I was shaking. I was in complete shock, but I was also trying to be rational. I mean, like, OK, look, you know, she never comes for, you know, first of everything.
So hard to be rational when you're thinking about death. I know it's not. But it it is. I'm feeling I'm feeling what you're what you were feeling.
It's so it's I know it's like when you heard when your mom died, you're like, OK, I need to be rational because I need to get myself home. I need to actually function as a human. Yes. But my feeling these emotions and I'm about to vomit. I know. Yeah. Yeah. So so this happened and it's so funny. I was only speaking down by this how incredible the society has become with suicide and depression, how we use social media now to find people.
Whereas back then I said, I'm so embarrassed, please don't share a photo. And it got to the point where I had to and I was full of shame. I was full of shame because I was thinking, people don't know this about my mom. And, you know, she's she's a forty six year old woman. She should have her shit together. And we're looking for her on Facebook. And I was mortified of so embarrassed. But also, you know what you were you were you're trying to give her some sort of privacy to protect her from people's opinions on her.
And it's funny because nowadays people are like, let's give this person love. Let's go, you know, and it's amazing. Nearly like 48 hours passed and through Facebook, someone had said, I think I seen that woman's car. She's just sitting in a car park down. I think it was gory. So we made our way down, found her. She wasn't in a good way, but she wasn't she hadn't, like, tried to take her own life.
If she was alive, which she said to me that followed me there, followed me, so I then knew this is another level of her illness that I didn't even know existed. And she was terrified. She was like that. And she was fully convinced that those people followed.
Did she say who or no, no people? And this then manifested it. So she went back into hospital after that because that was obviously a trigger. They said, OK, this is this woman needs help again.
And then she'd ring me kind of most nights and be like, are you safe at home? Because I think just people after you she lived believing that I was in danger and that she was in danger. And it's I think it magnified the depression, manifested in such a dark way that then turned into like a psychotic episode. That's how bad she got. And no medication in the world could sedate this this this emotion she couldn't get rid of. This fear lived in fear for like months before she died.
And also, as a mother, she was worried for you. Yeah, I know that you're a mother.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Like, you can imagine that she was almost her fear was secondary to yours. Yes. She had to protect you. Yeah.
And I'd be laughing at her. I was like because I had to laugh because if I actually listened and believed that she was going through this fear, I would have felt like it was it was killing me anyway. But I stopped saying I was trying to get me and oh, shit, she'd drink. And then she told my dad, she'd say, I have to take. She was so sick, did you at any point during any of this thing?
She was right. Did you even allow yourself at all to go at all one day? Maybe you thought someone was too cool for you?
I'm just wondering, do you know do you do you try to think maybe maybe she's right? No, no.
Because her illness was so evident at that point. And also that was just another problem I would have had to deal with.
No, please. No stalkers here. No, I've no I've no time for you.
I'm just wondering if you if you you're so involved in a month, do you think to yourself, perhaps, you know, I know you're saying you're looking for reason.
And also someone asked me a few people to ask me, did you not go insane yourself? Like, did you not feel depression?
Well, in the way you said yourself, you were obviously acting out and you were hanging around with. That was my drinking. That was my outlet. That was your idea?
It was it was my outlet, you know. And so anyway, in and out the hospital again, it was literally history repeating. I have to ask you a question. What color were eyes when I found her gray gone so funny?
God, for those four years, it's like I knew when she was really sick. I mean, she was really. Yes. And also her smile used to meet her eyes. And when they didn't meet her eyes, it wasn't real.
Like, it's I have to say, I'm going to send you a picture because her smile could light up a room like you couldn't smile when she smiled. It's funny that when it was real that you knew just by looking at her eyes and her smile, she didn't have to say anything to you. Nothing. Nothing. And she was a facher, you know, she used to lie to get herself out of. So I'm like I drink and I'm like, Mom, where are you?
And I know she'd be OK. Maybe God knows where she'd be in the world. And I where you. Well, if you're not in this place in fifteen minutes now, I'm going to be there and she's like, oh, she would lie to her teeth to get out of get married to get out of me given out to her.
Yet you might get in trouble. You want to play with the mother again. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah.
You like there was a merger between us like we used to have married your line. Don't call me a liar. I think you are a liar. You're lying to me now and I know you're lying.
She's like, how do I know what you're talking to through all this? God love her. Her dad was dying of Alzheimer's. You know, he was dying as well. And your mom worked for the.
Yes, they were very close to my mom and her dad. And she had a beautiful upbringing and everything that my granddaughter, my my grandmother gave her great life, you know.
And as you said, you know, depression doesn't just affect people who have had a good or a bad life. You are literally no one is safe. Open season. Yeah, no, it is safe. And so she live with John.
She was still sick. We were getting through day to day.
That was one. And I'll never forget the last conversation I had with her because ever because it was the most random conversation.
But when you know the person's dead, you remember every single word of us, they always tend to be quite random, random, just normal, just normal. But actually there was so much meaning in it when I look like so I was working from I still do my training, doing the training at the end.
That's always seem to be doing is doing a little training because I was the trainer, we did a Monday to Friday training and on the Friday you one of the trainers would go, you take a group photo and you'd write a lovely message to each individual person and you have to go off to Java Center and get their photos printed back. Then he put them in. So I was off getting the photos printed and I ran her. It was a Friday evening at about four o'clock and I think, where are you?
That was like I didn't even say hello to my mother. I was like, where are you? OK, how's your day lalala? It was the exact same conversation. Every day all there is to do is hear a voice.
So that's all that I cared about.
And I was coming down the escalator, Boots and Jarvis and she was like, she seemed really good. She was in great spirits.
I said after buying a new duvet set for your bets, I said, Why did you spend money, mom, don't be so silly.
And my bed had broken. Not true.
Any activity, but, you know, it has to be thoroughly vetted, broken.
And John said, I'm going to pop down and I'm going to put a slash underneath, fix your bed and your mom is going to put new duvet on and everything. She's she's determined to put this duvet settle. And I was like, Mom, it's cold. And I don't know. But that's typical mommy. Typical Mommy. That's a typical mommy. Yeah. So I was like it was like a little flicker of my mom, like, you know, and she goes, What are you doing now?
She's been real inquisitive. She was what are you doing that Steven? And I said, I'm actually going to happen. I was like, my my friend's dad's having a retirement party.
I'm going down with Stacey. Stacey is the sister that should have been like my sister, but she's my cousin. We're both only children and we're we are sisters. You know, I said I'm done with Stacey. We're going to Danielle's dad's retirement party. And she was oh, you have a great time. Now, when you come home tomorrow, you're better be made and I'm going to clean your room. And I was like, she's she's great.
She is on the mend, you know? So I went to the retirement party, got drunk, and my mind had a great time.
And on the Saturday morning, my phone was ringing and it was my dad and my dad never rings. And I instantly my heart started to beat really fast and I said higher and he didn't answer when I said I and I just knew something really bad had happened. And he said, Where are you? No, take your time. He said, excuse me. He said, Where are you? And I said, I'm in. And he was like, OK, well, we can't find your mom.
Um, so I said, OK, OK, I'm going to be home soon. And then I was in complete denial. I just thought I knew I really knew in the back of my mind. But my defense mechanism was saying it's an accident. She's fine. She's fine.
They'll find her. And I said, Stacey, just an accident.
We need to pack her stuff. And then after probably about 30 seconds, I just remember screaming because I think that something that was really hurt and I don't really remember anything, to be honest.
After that, Stacey drove the car to drive from covid back to great gravestones, torture, torture. And I remember ringing my Lisa, my best friend, Lisa, and we're like, this is happening.
Just calm down, calm down, calm down.
I'm going to be at the house when you get there.
So anyway, I remember Stacy like, because she would have been really close to my mom. And when we got to the telexes, she just erupted and I said, I'm going to drive. And I took the car and it helped me to focus and like your structure, distract myself so I could compose myself before I got to the house to deal with whatever news I needed to be met with.
You know, um, so I got there and the guards were there and actually it was like, OK.
And, uh, so the guards I can I can I talk to your dad? And we walked in and he was like, you know, sadly, you know, your mom's your mom's been in an accident. And I still said, can I she in hospital, like, can I please take note of, you know, she's she's gone. She's gone.
And I remember just feeling this like red hot fear that I have to live with this now. I'm never going to be the same. I'm never going to not hear those words.
And I was just like an oh, so worst day of my life.
Um, and I think part. Oh, so I don't mess around how we didn't run for the hills.
Um, and his family have literally adopted me and and showered me with love and support what I don't even own in the July and pure feeling like giong that he's three years older than me.
And I was like wait like you're not like this is going to be nothin. And he was supposed to go to New Zealand anyway in the October.
And he he he fell in love, I think. And I remember I was up at my mom's room and he had come from I think he was out with the lads in or something and he just put his arm around me and he said, come here, I'm not going anywhere. And he never has left since. And that moment when he put his arms around me, I just knew it'd be safe.
Yeah. You just wanted to feel safe, get out. Yeah, did you at all you know what your mom did? You did any part of you think that she she was at peace at all?
Yes. And, you know, she she had attempted suicide twice before this second one. I didn't really get into it was we saved her life the third time when she attempted suicide. There was no coming back from this. We couldn't save her from what she did. Yeah. There was no fight in her life. We couldn't save her. So I knew what she did was final.
And that was that was a message enough for me, you know.
And I used it. I used to think to myself. About being in pain for a minute, I woke up to the minute I went to bed and not want to be here either, and that was the only way I could rationalize her decision. But even the word decision can't be used here because you have to be in your right mind to make a decision. And she wasn't. And anyone who does that isn't. And we can never blame them for that moment because that's what it was.
It was a moment of madness to release her from the severe pain she felt inside. And she just she couldn't do it anymore.
How amazing, though, for your last conversation with her, that it was a very normal. Yes, I said, you know, I didn't sleep in the bed for like a year that I made the bed. She didn't make the bed. Oh, my God, amazing. I couldn't bring myself to sleep. And I still am in her room. I'm still in her room.
I moved into her room and I didn't touch the bed sheets because it's she was like her last because it was perfect. Yeah.
Because we used to have murder over me not being clean and her always having to clean my shit up. And yeah, I couldn't I couldn't lie in the bed.
Do you think she knew when she was going to do it and the fact that you were so far away. Yeah. And her making your bed and making your bed perfect for you was the last thing she was going to do for you. Ask her mom because she knew be like life anymore.
Yeah. And I know that some people might say what you just said. She's not rational and but that still isn't rational behavior because she was preparing herself to die. Yeah. Yeah. And she left me in her way. Comfortable. That was her way.
So comforting me in your bed. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I never knew the extent. No, when we had that conversation in twenty nineteen in my hotel room, when you said about your mom and passed by suicide and, you know, it's a journey, you're not among the Boston bombings that different from being a child to being an adult and to being to being a mom.
And if anyone is survivor is a survivor of loss of suicide in the in the in the in the aftermath, initially, it is the most painful and it makes it makes it makes you want to vomit because all you think is what if I had said what if I had done all those emotions and all those thoughts, they'll come, but you have to release them and remove them because they'll do, you know, no good.
It's like I know what you're thinking. Did I have to go to that retirement party?
And if I was clothed, she would have done it some time. Difference would have been a different it would have been a different day. Totally.
And, you know, for there is hope because look at my life now and I and I have to say it's because of my own and my my closest circle of friends that I can count on one hand, because I lost a lot of people when my mom died because they couldn't deal with the pain that I was surrounded in. I was I was lost. I was broken. If I was a China ball, someone had smashed me in a million pieces and bit by bit and put me back together.
It took years, years.
And he'd met me when I when I like. We were so fresh in our relationship, like how we wish. He didn't say one way ticket to New Zealand. Thanks a million here is beyond me by fear.
And I remember the night my mother died. I only met his parents once or twice. He said, You come into my house and they open their door and they said, Our door's always open for you, Lisa. And I've walked through that door so many times and I remember those words every day. And I just want to say thank you to these pictures.
Do you think in a way your mom brought along in his family? Oh, my God.
Oh, my God. A million percent like I know exactly what you're saying. Mom says goodbye and he calls and they say hello. And they basically say to you and verbally say, our door, our home is your home.
Yes, I've said that. I have literally said that, as you've said of people. Yeah, yeah. Like as in she had departed. She's gone. And she met him once. She got to me. Thumbs up. Thumbs up. Oh, there we go.
And I always think that maybe she sees something in him that he was he was going to stick around, you know. Yes. You know, I was facher I'd, I'd, I'd be like, I'm Dave, this guy. I don't like him anymore. Did this guy I didn't know he didn't like me anymore.
And so like me when I was 19. But this is different. Damn. Owen said to me he's like, you know, I fell in love with you to your grief because you were so strong. And I just don't believe I was able to take some strength from him, like, am I to support his way.
I totally get it because it's heavy and it's got you know, it's it's so dark.
And I remember waking up raw and, like, crying for my mother, you know, and like, he was just there. Always this warmth, always. It's funny that you used you went back, you said, I didn't know the extent and nobody knows. I've never spoke about it. Like, I really appreciate about you being so honest today.
Oh, and, you know, there's no point me doing nothing. Yeah. And I think, you know, I'm just a normal girl. I do makeup. And I think the few people who follow me on Instagram, I think they know my mom died. But I think a lot of people assume she died maybe of a different illness or she could have been sick or maybe could have been an accident. And it's funny because obviously my work surrounds me with mothers and daughters because I do so many weddings.
And so people said to me before, you know, oh, God, is that really difficult? Is that really hard? I no, because I relish when I see it with moments where I just see this magic between them and I just feel inside me and I just feel her. So I'm not bitter or I don't resent that love. I love being in it and being around it. But it's funny because some people always feel like they put their foot in it.
But I'm just not that kind of person like some of my friends like she's got I could kill myself there.
I'm like, I would never stop with you, you know, I've got it.
I have bigger, thicker skin that I'm from what you're describing, I'd say she had a really good sense of best crack. Yeah, she was she was funny. But although then she took her to far that she kind of it's not what you speak to for two days, but I always remember this poor mother deprived God love her.
She was like, you are such a lovely girl. Your mother must be so proud. You know, I've heard it a few times, obviously. I'm like, oh, you know.
And I stop myself then from lying. And I used to say, oh, sadly, you know, my mom passed away.
She said she she must've been so young. And you're like, yeah, yeah. No, she was. And the last thing you want to say is the word suicide on the morning. Someone's when I know. You know, totally, and then it's like, God, did she die? And I just now I just say it was quite tragic. I don't want to take the town down in the morning yet, but I almost think now when, you know, someone has passed and you go a super young, I think people should educate themselves a bit not to ask the third question.
If you should feel comfortable enough or maybe just because of society, it is it's your job carrying the stigma with you potentially, but you don't want to make them uncomfortable. On the morning of their evening, they've asked what they've asked the question of sometimes, you know, be careful what you ask for, because I may tell you the truth.
Exactly. And the I can't say the word in the environment that I just say it was really tragic. And, you know, I don't want to tone down it. Yes. And maybe what you're saying is that that was in a social setting, dinner or drinks. You could easily have the conversation that way. Exactly.
So what the day we got engaged, Owen played a blinder. Now, he was terrible with surprises, like wouldn't even surprise about Chinese now, like, literally wouldn't like terrible was like the least romantic man in the world would has the biggest heart to the kind of guy they can never be like this bottle of wine. You have to surprise me. Terrible. So we went to Italy.
It says my and we were doing their Malfi and everything. And he said, oh, I'm a good old days, the 2090.
You know, I don't want people to be like, obsessed by me. Talk about Italy, because the most incredible country in the fact they're probably going to get there for ten years.
But anyway, he said we're going over because we're going to Capri anyway. So I said, why were you on a day trip to Capri? We're going anyway. He goes, Oh, we've only got two days. Let's go over early and have a few drinks and get our bearings, you know, real Irish things.
They get our beards. So he said we were this amazing hotel. Sorento had a few drinks. I was quite we got the boat over. He'd organized this little boat and got out. He proposed ball and cry and we were in the lap of luxury, like, amazing. And I had no signal on the boat.
So when I got back onto shore, I obviously was ringing people and my dad was what I go back and I said, oh, you want to see the high by boat this huge, like Audrey Hepburn white hat?
Like, who the hell do you think I was? I thought you were fucking fabulous. And you are. So I did. And I had about them always.
So I thought I was actually Bob and got back on track and I had this rat like who? Facebook Messenger anymore. Random Facebook message. And I'm so like you, I'm a real skeptic. I'm a bit more I'm a bit more porous to the spiritual world coming in now.
And this girl, who I'd probably met once in my life, had messaged me a photograph of my mom about an hour prior, but I'd only gotten it.
So as I was getting engaged, she said, remember, my mom used to just come across this photo and it's just this beaming smile coming out of the photo. And it was a photograph of my mother that she'd messaged me. I just got goose pimples and I was roaring what I'd say.
People thought I loved her and she said no. And I was like, it's OK, it's OK. I was hysterical.
What is it like in a good spot in the world?
In the best way I was I was high on love and life and champagne and I'm always a and and it was like she sent me this little she did tiny flicker.
You have to believe she did. I had to believe because this like literally there hadn't been a message before or after. She doesn't know that girl, if she ever listens, doesn't know what she did to me that day because it was magic. And obviously during my labor, I very much felt her. So the labor was horrendous.
Different podcast. No. Oh, awful. But the outcome was incredible. And towards the end it was like all the awfulness that had happened and all the pain and all that had just it was just gone and I was delivering baby and I just had to and I feel her. I think she's here. She's here. And I just felt like just like warmth and justice. Love. Anderson was rising and literally the sun the sun was setting in the sky.
And I was like, this is magic. This is amazing. I think she's here.
It's so funny that when you needed her, she was there for you on your engagement. And actually. Yes. And then you're in such pain, you know, during childbirth. Yeah. The sun is rising and rising. Yeah. You feel so content. Yeah. And you know that your mom's there with you. I dedicate my happiness to her because I didn't allow myself to follow her footsteps because I know that's not what she would have wanted. So I dedicate my happiness to my mother and I think with suicide and I hate comparing grief.
And, you know, it's an awful thing to do to say, oh, well, you know, my mom died like this and, oh, my mom did. Everyone's grief is as painful as their own. I hate comparing grief because we brought her to me. She seems to have a terrible pain. Yes, but why is my grief any worse than anyone else's? It doesn't work like that, you know, but I think with suicide, there's just a little sliver of of guilt that always runs through it.
And for a long time, even laughing. I used to feel guilty. I like the. Be laughing, you know, but that's all gone now, and I've had the right people in my life and I sought out help. I went to an incredible counselor. She she just let me talk, you know, and she she should be charged under your.
Thank you so much. Cash obligations broken.
But it is and I love that you say talking is therapy because even as I'm speaking, I've laughed, I've cried, and my memory of her is now in my heart, so strong at the minute now and I feel so close to her.
Are you religious? No.
Well, that was a no. Well, people are, you know.
You know you know, it's that I feel like a real hypocrite if I say I'm ready, just like I don't go to church. Like I know you need to go to church. And I'm saying this as an out gay man. You know, I used to always think after Big Brother when everyone knew I was gay. It's a chance for me and my sister when I put up my sister and I would look for beer.
I like to believe that there's a God and God is, as you know, taken my mom in and now she's up there happy as Larry.
But where is she? What's she doing? Oh, do you know where she is? She's up there with not a screed of SPF on her drinking orange juice.
And what what was that real old time years ago? How I gold or how I am? Oh, I like the smell of the wine shop at Chevy.
Like a beet root out the back. That's what she's doing now. Big sun hot off the press. And then sometimes she be like, I have a Smirnoff ice and she drink one. Oh no. I feel a bit of that. And I'm like, OK. And that's what she's doing. That is what she's doing. It's it's hard to think like if like I said, she spoke about two different people in this podcast from doing that becomes hm.
I have learned so much on different aspects. I've learned so much on suicide and mental health is that you had two moms. And that's a great way to explain it. Yeah. To people. Yeah, it is. You want to live your life in a very positive. Yeah. Loving way and almost for your mom.
Yes. And it is for my mom. It is. Do you still get upset. Oh my God. Yes. Yeah.
Like it could be a song. He I have a huge attachment to ladybirds so my mom died in November. I went to the grave in February. Snow all around it. This little lady bird lady ladybirds even survive in snow.
And I was like, oh, but then I was in the car a couple of days later and this little old granny jammed up in front of me, nearly went into her. It was nearly absolute carnage on the roads.
I said, oh, my God, you need to be more careful.
Jeez, I got back into the car and was Lady Bird on the passenger seat of the car. Do you ever feel regret that you never said goodbye to your mom? Oh, my God. My father and I never got to see her again. Like, I didn't get a funeral like a normal person so I couldn't hold her hand or can work or something. So, yeah. And you know what? This is a little moment of madness sometimes if I see someone from behind.
I just just like less than five percent, I mean, it's like it's horrible because I didn't actually see her, you know. Yeah, so yeah, huge regret. And I think, like I did say, I loved her the last phone call, thank God. But I didn't.
Yeah, I didn't say enough. I got closure even though she wasn't sick, you know, physically sick, mentally sick mind. You know, my mom just went to sleep so I at least I had the coffin thing. You didn't have that you don't have but goodbye. And that's that's something you probably wish that you had. Absolutely. Yeah, I will do so, Terrorista. Yeah, totally.
And, you know, I'm glad you believe talking is therapy also. I do. Yes. Thank you. Lisa Shannon, thank you so much.
Thank you. Lisa offers a truly unique perspective on mental illness and the insight she offered will stick with me for a long time. I cannot thank you enough for her honesty and vulnerability and sharing her story.
Next week on Death Becomes I chat to Amanda Cambridge.
Amanda lost her beautiful boy, Avery, after a devastating pool accident in Spain. In twenty nineteen, she talks about coping with the tragedy, her reflections on the incident and the work she does now to ensure other families don't experience the same loss.
He was with me. It was our holiday. I did leave the door open. I did leave him on the couch while I went into the bathroom and he did walk out. And yeah, I 100 percent believed that it was my fault, that it was my responsibility with my child and that I was responsible. He wasn't responsible. I was the adult. I was the mother. And and that it was my fault.