In March 2019 I ended up in a dark place.  I was struggling to come to terms with my Dad’s death 10 months previously.  

They say there is no time-scale to grief but, while watching everyone else move on, I couldn’t understand why I was at a standstill.     It all came to a head one Sunday morning when my partner suggested a walk.  I didn’t want to leave the house at all, I felt anxious and the further I walked away the more this grew.  I stopped, literally yards from behind my house and just stared at the large tree to the back of the garden, my mind was overflowing with ridiculous notions.  My partner encouraged me to walk a little further but the further I walked the more I felt overwhelmed and anxious and I begged her that I needed to go home and burst into tears, turned and practically ran to the house.

My life had come to a point where I felt I couldn’t cope anymore.  I didn’t understand why, I didn’t have half the worries that some people have, I have a partner who loves and cares for me, I have a beautiful confident daughter with 2 amazing grand-daughters who I loved without question, I didn’t struggle with money, have friends that I could rely on and a job I have always enjoyed.    My mum also seemed to be coping well and moving on with her life, so why was I stuck, all these amazing things around me and it had been 10 months? 


I was constantly having the darkest, most negative thoughts that anyone should have, thinking of ending my own life.  I worried about who would find me if I did end it, I thought about the effect it would have on them, I then thought of ways around it to save them that fate.   I also thought about how selfish it would have been to end my life in my house, it would spoil it for anyone who may want to live there in the future.  This is how I came to stop and stare at that tree. 

When my partner followed me home, I was a mess, she confessed that the past 10 months had been very tough and she could no longer cope alone to support me, it was putting a strain on our relationship, mood swings and arguments, things that never happened before.  She asked me to seek professional help to accept and face the grief that I was feeling from my Dad’s death or things wouldn’t move forward for me.   My partner had tried to support me,  listen to me but I needed someone who was detached from the situation, unaffected by the sadness as well.  


A close friend of mine had been involved in responding to a tragic accident which resulted in a death not long before.  During a rugby match one of the visiting teams players collapsed, my friend was one of the first aiders for the match and involved in trying to save the mans life.  I asked him how he came to terms with the death when being closely involved in the incident and he mentioned support from Sporting Chance.  


I arranged an informal meeting with Colin from the charity, who put a lot of what I was feeling into context for me.  The confusion in my mind, I now know was from being brought up/ and playing sport in an era where showing emotion was not done.  However, I was feeling so much emotion from the loss of my dad and was keeping it all inside.  In fact, my dads words rang in my mind  ‘ stop crying or you’ll get something to cry for’ – probably one of the most heard of parent phrases of my generation!  My dad was my hero, my constant source of guidance and the person I tried so hard in life to make proud of me and now he had gone, I felt empty and had no idea how to deal with it apart from block it out.   Sporting Chance helped me see it was ok NOT to be ok and from that initial meeting I began to take small steps to begin to feel ok again.  One sentence I remember from that initial session was ‘Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem’ I will remember this if I fall back in the dark. 


So this is me giving back something to Sporting Chance, a thank you if you like.  I will never forget how low I was and the support they provided me.  I know and accept now however that that my sadness was born out of the depth of love I had and still have for my Dad.




Craig Forsyth

Tel: +44 7808 473195


© 2019 Craig Forsyth