A few years ago, I employed a young guy. 22 years of age he was at the time. I had interviewed many people, but I went with the one candidate that everyone guided me against. Everyone cast their individual judgements and rolled their eyes at me for selecting him, yet he was the ONLY youngster that had bothered to put on a collared shirt for his interview and despite his awkward nervousness, I could very much FEEL his enthusiasm and a gentle warmth about him, so I stuck to my guns and gave him the job.

Nothing about how he operated was conventional, but then hell – nothing about how I operate is conventional either – so who am I to play judge to that?! Jake worked for me for approx. two years and he was nothing short of adored by our customers. He was the most loving, compassionate and empathetic individual that I have ever met. He was an absolute pleasure to work with and became a very good friend.

Yes, he was an employee, but I realised quite early on that he had quiet burdens that ran very deep and so I began to initiate conversation with him. He would talk to me about the things happening with his family, his girlfriend, music and plenty else. He became quite comfortable sharing his personal stories with me and vice versa. Sadly, about a year after I closed my business Jake committed suicide. He had called his girlfriend that day to tell her that he was not having a great day. He took the dog for a walk and when he got home, he threw his phone into the toilet and hung himself with his belt.


I carried a lot of guilt for his death for a very long time, in fact I think I still do because I feel like our work environment, our team and my personal friendship with him, were his life lines – and I took those away from him and even worse, I made the decision to cut contact with him because I felt like we all needed a clean start. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t reflect on how it used to make me so happy when I saw him “letting go” and enjoying little slices of life. He was a terribly misunderstood young man and was judged and cast aside by so many, including his father because of his quiet awkwardness.

This got me thinking yesterday about people, relationships and friendships. What does friendship even mean in this world? Is it something that still contains substance or has it become like every other fashionable fad that you wear for as long as it is popular and convenient and then cast it aside when it no longer suits your agenda?! Lately, I have been leaning a lot towards the latter.

It is just starting to seem like people are all out for themselves these days and no matter how much you share with another, how many times you go out of your way, how much you give of yourself or how many memories have been enjoyed together – at a whim they are willing to discard it all and shove you into a corner of “has beens”. I realise that it was not my intent to do this to Jake, but in a manner of speaking - I feel like I did. And as I sit here now and look back, I realise this.

Perhaps I am a little bit old fashioned when it comes to things like this, much as I am about things like marriage. You don’t get married to get divorced. You get married to stick things out through thick and thin, as I did. You get married to stand together and you have one another’s backs no matter what! I am of the opinion that friendship should embody the same set of ethics and principles, but again and again I am being shown that it simply doesn’t to many people.

I would give anything to change my decision to distance myself from Jake as his friend if it meant that he would still be here enjoying the life he was meant to, but I didn't and he isn’t. He felt so utterly unloved and worthless that he took his own life. This reality penetrates very deeply and it has made me realise that whilst I went about my day to day routines and activities, chatting to real people in a virtual world – that young man was plummeting into a pit of hopelessness and despair.

Somehow this makes me feel like I had my priorities all wrong and that I gave of myself to all the wrong people in all the wrong directions. Oddly enough, I actually sent him a message to say hi about three days before he died but he never read it. I found out at his funeral that he had changed his number. I wonder what might have transpired differently, if anything – had he received that message and known that he still had a friend in me.

Jake was a living, breathing soul with a heart of gold that so few ever got to see or experience, simply because they didn't take the time to look beyond the lies, the judgements, assumptions and his external attire.

In almost eerie coincidence, I wrote THIS post a week before he passed and had him in the forefront of my mind as I wrote it because Linkin Park was his all-time favourite band and the content of the post was highly relevant to him and his life. It was a few days after publishing that post that I attempted to get in touch with him.

hush 1.png

When I got divorced, my husband of eight years told friends, customers and complete strangers that I was not only physically abusing him but our two month old son too. The feeling of trust being utterly shattered from all sides is still acutely present in my mind as I recall all the people I had considered friends for years - turn their backs on me and walk away.

It took two years for the wheel of life to turn full circle, but when all those people started to realise that the "convincing truths" they had been fed about me were nothing more than blatant lies and I started getting apologies from all angles - it was just too late. Those friendships could never be the same again. These were people that knew me a long time before I even met him. These were people that had been witness to his physical abuse toward me and yet, when I asked for their help to testify in my defense for sole custody of my son - I suddenly stood completely alone. As long as I didn't ask anything of them, they were willing and ready to "put the past behind" and rekindle our friendships - amazing, isn't it! - Well, I was not prepared to accept that any longer.

Prompted by an entirely separate set of events, I broke down into tears last night as I faced a very similar harsh reality for the second time in my life and that is, people are only “there for you” for as long as it suits them. People will assume and judge without balanced perspective, they will say you are “this” when in fact you are actually “that” and at the end of the day, they will walk away - tossing to the curb any value to history shared – almost as if it never existed... maybe it didn't.

As I sat there contemplating a million and one things whilst staring at the face of a friend that I let down, I made a decision. Never again will I do that to another human being even when I (and others) may not fully understand the “why’s” of who they are or what they do, and I will also never again accept being on the receiving end of that stick. Jake deserved more than that - I deserved more than that back then and I deserve it now - and for that reason, I will afford myself the respect I deserve by eliminating such toxicities and walking away from them.

Life is far too short to fill it with fickle people and fair weather friends.

This one goes out to you Jakey... you shared this song with me during one of our many lengthy musical chats and I hope your mind, soul and heart are at peace now.


Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx


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Oh Jaynie. I am so sorry you had to bear such pain. I remember when i was with an ex who was the only one who pushed me far enough to even consider suicide. It's a terrible feeling, but I'm so glad I pulled out of it. I also had friends like yours, who judged and walked away when i needee them. I've learnt i am much better off without them. As are you. Sending all my love

I've learnt i am much better off without them.


A touching story. I'm quite speechless after having read this. Take care. 🙏🙏

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no need for words hon. Your sentiment is present. xxx

God blessed you @jaynie 🙏

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!giphy virtual+hugs

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good grief, that's horrible. I too know multiple people that were involved in my life that killed themselves and I always ask myself "what could I have done to prevent this?" and i suppose that is not fair to do to ourselves.

I'm nice to people for the most part and I would be willing to bet that you are as well.

That story about your ex is horrible and the friends that took off, well, you don't need them.

Yes, the "what if's" can be a real killer, but I suppose to a degree I have started to accept that I was at least able to brighten his world for a time - be it a short time.

You would think that realisation would set in after having had so many people "discard you" but I am a stubbornly eternal optimist and I always try and see the best in people - this is where I often fall short... I think. However, on the flipside of that coin, I never want to harden my heart... but I am realising that I need to see things for what they truly are and cut my losses, as you said.

suicide looks cinematic but its really heartbreaking when it happens really.😢

I know you talked about him in a blog a few months ago, it’s sad and sometimes hard not to judge I do it too guess I am human too hahahhH

We all are hon haha - and that is just my point. When you, we, us - all falter - what gives anyone the right to an alter.

OMG I am a poet and I didn't even know it hahahaahaha!!!

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OMG this breaks my heart. I too, have been
A. close to taking my own life, and
B. the apparent reason for another taking his.
I had a 'friend', we were both heavy drinkers and drug users at the time.
He "wanted" more from me than I was willing to give, in a physical
Sexual sense. I just wasn't attracted to him.
We drifted apart, I began going farther down my spiral, and I assumed
He did with his.
One Saturday morning, the phone rang, it was his sister telling me
That he had blown his brains out with a shotgun.
He had a mobile home in the backyard of his parents house.
His father never accepted his sexual preferences.
They heard the gunshot and came out, forced the door open and found him.
His sister said when she got there, their mom was crying and
Trying to put his brains back in his head.
I actually had to call his sister back, I wasn't sure the whole
Thing wasn't a nightmare. It wasn't. 😭
I can't find the one and only photo on the computer, I may have
Never scanned it yet.
Like has been said, we can never know the storms that are raging
In the hearts and minds of those around us.
I guess we are just lucky if we can endure our own.
Much love @jaynie.

That is tragic beyond words fit to describe it.

Like has been said, we can never know the storms that are raging
In the hearts and minds of those around us.

Yes precisely! and this is why it upsets me that people (especially online) are so in-fucking-tolerant of people that don't fit into their "pretty" purple little box!

Oh man @jaynie, so sorry you had to bear all this pain, but I'm so glad you've realised the truth and walk away from those who are only there for their own self gratification with your head held high!
I've been through the pain of 2 suicides, my brother many moons ago and last year my son's best friend; I still carry the guilt that I should have realised what my brother was going through and should have done more to help him, but we can't protect them all of the time from that deep dark despair, depression is very real and can be fatal if not treated by medical or holistic healers!
By telling your story you are giving others hope!

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but I'm so glad you've realised the truth and walk away from those who are only there for their own self gratification with your head held high!

Thank you for that vote of confidence @lizelle. I appreciate it - a LOT! Although I will be honest in saying it is not easy.

I am so sorry for what you went through with your son. I think, as a mother there could not be anything more traumatic, but you are right... despite how much we question "what more we could have done" - there is actually only so much that can be done. The spirals of the mind can indeed be very lethal.

Jaynie, I am so sorry you are suffering right now. Just know you gave that young man a wonderful 2 years he would otherwise not have experienced. You believed in him and lifted him up! I am sorry his depression drove him to such lengths, horrible and so sad. We humans are falible and all we can do is be the best person we can be! You are a wonderful example to your sweet son Jake! Keep doing what you do, look forward and stay true and honest and continue to love all of those around you. Blessings to you and your family :)

Thank you love. Appreciate your kind words. Loss, in all it's forms is incredibly hard to process and accept - but we have to if we ever want peace.

Sorry about the death of your friend and that method of death is one of the hardest to deal with. However you did right by him and that has to be a good feeling

Thank you @chelsea88 appreciate your kind words.

I cant help but cry while reading your post because I know too many friends who just decided to quit life. And you're right it really does help to have friends around, and just knowing your not alone can give so much comfort. Thank you so much for caring, and for sharing this story. This reminded me so much of the importance of caring, and connections.

Sending you many virtual hugs. 🤗🤗🤗

Glad it resonated with you @pinoy.viajero and I am even happier that it brought to the surface of your mind, the importance of appreciating value and showing appreciation to the people in your life that really matter.

My friend committed suicide three years ago, only a few days after a great night out we all had. It seemed like he had it all. You just never know and it does haunt you a wee bit.

On a cheerier note, my first marriage lasted such a short time that many people joked I did get married to get divorced :0)

Was it a "hollywood wedding"? hehe :)

Yes, it is rather haunting, but what I just fail to process in the grand scheme of things is how shallow the human race has become.

It pretty much was, lol!

I think it had become more shallow. I blame social media not for causing it but exposing us to do much more of it

Well, clearly your hollywood ending was for good reason... as you have a very good woman in your life who makes you rake leaves when grossly hungover, because she adores you and knows what is best for you! hehehehe :P #respect! haha!

Oh, I think you hit the nail on the head there! That rings oh so true!

Goose bumps reading this one......

life and it's brutal moments has a tendency to do that I guess.

Life and it's brutal
Moments has a tendency
To do that I guess.

                 - jaynie

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

@jaynie - it's impossible to be all things to all people, and it's tragic to look back with hindsight to see what you might have done better. I know with my son and his drug addiction and his now bein in prison for his addiction, looking back I question myself relentlessly in the dead of the night over what I might have done differently. And fair weather friends are a dime a dozen, it's the few true friends that are priceless.

It is truly tragic what drugs do to a person, and as a mother I can understand how this must have literally killed you from the inside out :( but yes, as my dad has always said to me, our choices in life will affect us for years and years after.

As for the "dime a dozen" - yip. true story. It just really hurts when you HONESTLY believed that with over a decade under the belt as "friends" there would be a little weight there that afforded you the benefit of the doubt - or at least ASKED about things so that you had the opportunity to give your side of the story. Apparently not.

But, onward and upward... :)


Fair weather friends are the worst and it is best for you to realize that their actions are a direct result of who they are - not who you are. true friends will stick by your side no matter what.

A lesson I really should have learned by now haha!!! Anyhooo.... here we go again :D

It is indeed.

Road of life sure in bumpy whether you are young or old it carries on, losing friends along the way, take only the good memories forward, leave the bad behind.

We will never fully understand the next person, best friend, partner, hell half the time we cannot comprehend ourselves completely.

Understanding why some take their own life is never answered, when people do wrong by you, the truth always reveals itself eventually, (those who deserted you, did not treasure your friendship, dust off and keep moving forward).

Life really is too short!

hell half the time we cannot comprehend ourselves completely.

hahaha well said Joan!

the truth always reveals itself eventually

Yes, I am a firm believer in that!

and yes, life is WAY too short to not appreciate and enjoy all the moments that count and people who do in fact cherish us.


Eish, Jayne, I am sorry that you're still grieving for Jake. All losses are dreadful and hard to work through. Real friends are always there for you - you know where to find me. Hang in there.

real friends. Let me Google that definition.

Beautiful Tribute to a Friend, gone too quickly, terrible things happen in life, unfortunately, but you were strong enough to overcome them.

I'm sorry for what you had to go through. I was the abused on in my first marriage. And when I left, everyone left behind thought ill of me - unaware of what had gone on behind the closed doors... A couple had an idea... but most were completely clueless. I would not have left the sinking ship if it weren't for the fact that the other captain was acting thus.

Your young man that you hired reminded me of something else too. I worked for a short time at a hotel as a maid. I very quickly learned my trade to the point that I could teach others.

We had a highschooler "intern" with us (I can't work out how anyone thought this was a good idea, but there you have it.) She quickly gained a bad reputation with the others who trained her who found her lazy.

I had a very different experience. I showed her how to do each part of the room. Then we would split the task, I would do one part while she did the other. I would check her work, then we moved on. I had no problem with her - because I expected her to do what I knew she could do...

Very often, we live up - or down - to people's expectations. When they expect little, we perform little, but when they expect greatness, that is how we perform. (Those who do not perform to the great expectations probably have another underlying issue which must be resolved first.)

I come from a rural town on the west of ireland. Not many jobs, prospects or anything else to keep the young people occupied who then turn to drink and drugs in unhealthy amounts to pass the time and numb the boredom. This had led to a lot of suicide throughout the area as the future is bleak and mixed with drugs only gets worse.

Sad to say that it isn't getting any better but is just covered up instead of putting solutions in place. The media is blocked to mention suicide in case others follow their example instead of the government giving the people a different option and a future. It's sad to hear about your friend and there are lots of different reasons behind a tragedy like this but hopefully people can learn lessons from the past and do more in the future.

Talking is the first step as it acknowledges the problem. Then you can look for a solution. I would like to think that you offered him a glimpse of a better future while you were working together even if it didn't work out on this occasion.

Hi @jaynie. I'm in awe of your strength through everything you have been through. I need to tell you that sometimes no matter what you do or say, how much you reach out, you may not be able to alter the outcome of certain situations. I've dealt with a situation such as that also.

Putting it into words helps you a bit to release the whirlwind of thoughts surrounding a situation. You may not feel comfortable telling family or friends, but memorializing it in print helps.

Your decision to share your story is a way of healing.

Take care always.

Thank you sweetie and yes you are right... it is very much a part of the healing process... in more ways than one! Appreciate the kind words xxx