At the radio yesterday I played a track called ‘All the love’ by Kate Bush. It’s no big secret that I am a Kate Bush fan, even having a signed photo that says: “To Jenny, with love from Kate” (yes, it is genuine). The track got me thinking, because the LP it is on shares a PVC sleeve with another LP and a 12″ for protection (I was planning on playing a track off the 12″ which was why they were with me). I haven’t actually played the LP in a very long time, because I always thought it was her weakest album.
I’ve put it on the turntable in my office tonight and has a listen through and it has prompted an awful lot of memories. I remember when I last played it: around 1999. It has sat languishing for ten years. It was bought even earlier on a shopping trip with my first fiancée, Steffi, some time around 1996. Back then we were inseperable and hung out with each other all the time, even being engaged for a year once we disappeared off to University. Long distance relationships are hard; too hard at times. We were at opposite ends of the country, and because of that and a load of other reasons (she got in with a bad crowd and started doing heavy drugs) we split up. We stayed in contact though, and up until a few years ago I still visited her and her new partner, Manda, in Wisbech where they went to live.
The record reminds me of her, and makes me feel quite sad listening to it. Why? Because she commited suicide last year along with her partner. It is hard losing some-one who is a solemate, and I still regarded Steffi as that despite calling off our engagement. I guess it was best for both of us, and she found some-one who cared immensely for her. But she is gone now, and it leaves me thinking a lot about the issues around suicide. I’ve had many problems in my life, and spent too long in hospitals to forget it. But things are better now; I worked through the worst of those pits of despair. But Steffi didn’t. Suffering with agoraphobia and paranoia at the very end, she finally did what for many years she talked about. It was hard losing her even if in the last year our only contact was one phonecall and several others and a letter that went unanswered. I know now why the answers stopped.
There are people I know who have issues that are taking them to dark places. It pains me to see it happening; I don’t want to lose more people to suicide, especially when I’ve seen what happens to those around them who have to pick up the pieces.
Please don’t. Things get better, honest