It is R U OK? Day on Thursday, 13 September.
to help end suicide by empowering people to make a difference through open and honest conversation and to drive real connection.
My life has been profoundly affected by the death of my brother, John, thirty years ago. He is in my thoughts most days and thirty years seems like thirty seconds sometimes.
Gavin Larkin and Janina Nearn developed R U OK? Day to inspire Australians to stay connected and support each other. It is almost a year to the day that Gavin died after a long battle against cancer. Gavin was forty-two when he died. John was twenty-six.
I have thought about Gavin a great deal too in the last year. Gav and John came strongly into my thoughts when I learned of Non Thomas’s death earlier this year. Non was a colleague from UWIC. Gary Speed’s death late in 2011 showed me just how fragile coping with a sudden death in the family can be. His death brought back my family’s experience thirty years ago and how public private lives can become.
On the 13th I will be thinking about, John, Gav, Non and Gary. I will remember too that R U OK? is an everyday question with profound significance.