In July of 2016, Jacks mother who he describes as a women who lived a selfless and beautiful life decided to take that life.
When Jack speaks about his mother it is with such sincerity and love;
“When I say ‘selfless’ it can’t really sum her up, her whole life was a series of selfless acts and professions, and pure love for other people. She was madly in love with my Dad from 13 years old and they raised 4 boys together. She had surrogate families everywhere, looking after kids as an adopted auntie, friends that had become sisters, caring for relatives and friends into old age. She was a force of compassion. Doing all of this whilst working as a nurse, then a social worker and finally with war veterans. I hadn’t fully appreciated what a special lady she was, I had grown up with her, it just seemed normal and she never took any credit for anything she did, she just got on with it. I’ve heard people say suicide is selfish like it is some sort of betrayal to the people left behind. I don’t feel betrayed, I feel loved and how her life ended has nothing to do with that. You wouldn’t feel angry, upset or betrayed with someone who died of cancer, and I don’t see any difference with depression and anxiety. It doesn’t change the wonderful woman she was.”
His whole life was turned upside-down. He couldn’t fathom what he missed, he said to his girlfriend; “I don’t feel like a kid anymore” because the person who saw him as one wasn’t around.
He has decided to fundraise for the Mental Health Charity Mind by walking 130 miles over 8 days at the end of this month.
Jack tells us about why he wanted to do the walk; “I wanted to do something physically and mentally that would even slightly resemble the pain being in the depth of a depression. I am fully expecting to become miserable, angry, exhausted and elated at times, which is all part of it and is welcome for the reason that I am doing it.”
He talks strongly about how mental illness is no different from physical illnesses despite the fact that 56% of people go untreated due to the stigma attached to having this kind of disease.
On the 28th of August through to September 5th he will be walking with his friend Lee Cowperthwaite from Falmouth to Newquay in Cornwall in hopes to raise money for those who need the support the charity can give.
“The response and support has just floored me, its just so overwhelming. Initially there was a huge response for all the people that cared for my mum, which was really heart-warming . But as I went through the process I starting getting donations from people I didn’t know, that had been affected by depression, anxiety or suicide and their messages have been really important to me,” Jack thanks and is so grateful to all that have donated and messaged him.
So far he has raised more than his £1000 target. If you would like to visit his JustGiving page you can here.