As told by Jason’s mother Julie
My son, Jason Cartwright, took his own life on September 3,2009. I miss him so much it is unbelievable. He was a wonderful and beautiful person, a cherished son, a loving brother and a great friend. Jason was a genius and a gem. He struggled for many, many years with depression, bipolar and addictions, sought treatment, tried medications, attempted suicide several times, and finally sought peace in his mind by actually taking his own life.
Words cannot convey the pain I as a mother have experienced since Jason is gone. There are good days and not so good days, and time helps to heal, but there is and always will be a deep ache inside and the feeling that a part of me is gone. I have been through the guilt and the anger and had no idea that tears could flow so freely. The heartache is still raw. The thoughts of how bad my son must have felt to do what he did are so painful and haunt me at times. I try to think of how he made me laugh and what a kind person he was and how much I enjoyed him while he was here.
For anyone considering taking their own life, I wish to say to you that I care and I love you and so do many others, even if you think you have no one. Don’t give up. Seek help. Find a place where you can get help with addictions or depression. Whatever is going on in your mind and your life that causes you to wish you were gone, you CAN feel better and get help. There truly are people who care and want to help. Nothing is insurmountable.
Advice I would like to pass along as a mother watching the demise of her son over a period of time, leading to suicide is this: Never give up. If you have a gut feeling about something bad occurring such as suicide, find help no matter what it takes. Don’t give up trying to find help even if others say there is nothing that can be done or that the person cannot be helped. Don’t leave the person you are worried about alone. Let them know that you truly do care and that you will help them find help somehow, some way, and keep trying. Accept your loved ones for who they are. Don’t fight with those you love – life literally is too short. Listen, listen, and keep listening. Seek counselling and physicians to help your loved one. If this does not seem to help, seek more.
If someone you love has taken their life, try not to let the feelings of guilt overwhelm you. That person would not want you to feel that way. Take care of yourself and forgive yourself. Forgive the person who took their life. Don’t find fault and place blame. Love yourself and love others. Smile at the good memories and cry about the hard times and the struggles. Go on and try your best to make the world a better place and help anyone else you can.
Bless you – Julie Handy
You can read Jason’s memorial on Stephanie’s personal blog here.
Open letters to Jason (written by Stephanie) can be found Here & Here