When a Parent Dies By Suicide with Shiggi Pakter - E015
Today's episode is all about dealing with the death of a parent.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and over eight hundred thousand people per year, worldwide, died by suicide. On today's episode, I talk with Shiggi Pakter, a Kenyan born woman, who now lives in London, who last year lost her mother, by suicide.
This episode is something different than other episodes. We all deal with grief differently. We share our experiences of losing a parent and how we dealt with it. Go ahead and take a listen to this episode and then message me on Instagram in case this is a subject you want to talk about!
TODAY'S GUEST: SHIGGI PAKTER
> Shiggi's Story background (01:30)
> The story behind Shiggi's mom Suicide (11:52)
> Shiggi's copy mechanisms and how she dealt with the loss(24:14)
> How dark humor has helped her (34:40)
> Shiggi's mom story about moving to USA (45:34)
E015 When a Parent Dies By Suicide with Shiggi Pakter
Trigger warning: Suicide.
When a parent dies by suicide, you may feel all the emotions.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and over 800,000 people per year world wide die by suicide. These statistics are shocking. On today’s episode, I sit down with Shiggi Pakter, a Kenyan-born woman who now lives in London, who, last year, lost her mother by suicide.
This episode is something different. Shiggi shares her experience having to fly from London to the United States and then to Kenya, to honor the traditions of her family when it comes to death. There is a bit of dark humor, and when I say a bit, it’s really a lot. Throughout this interview, you will hear Shiggi and myself laugh quite a lot. For some, it may feel uncomfortable, and for others, it will feel right at home.
Grief is weird. Grief does not look the same on everyone. And as Shiggi who lost her mother to suicide and I lost my father recently, we were able to share the way that we have also dealt with the death of a parent. Not to mention a death of a parent, that we weren’t on the best of terms with. Especially if that parents dies by suicide.
This episode is long, it’s beautiful, and it’s insightful. I’m very rarely lost at words, but for most of this episode, I mostly listened. I hope you will take away as much as I did for this so greatly needed and very important conversation about suicide in 2020.
Amy: [00:02:48] Welcome back to this episode of What We're Not Talking About.
Today I have with me Shiggi Pakter, who is a Dutch-Kenyan DJ, podcaster, Owner and Head Sound Engineer of Audiofy.
Welcome to the show.
Shiggi: [00:03:06] Hi, thank you for having me.
Amy: [00:03:10] I’m very excited. Although, it's kind of a weird adjective to use considering the topic at hand, but before we get into it, I just want to mention to the listeners that there is going to be a lot of trigger, um, triggers in this conversation, mainly around suicide. And then also all of the intricacies that go with it.
So please bear that in mind, if that's something that feels too overwhelming or like you don't want to listen to. Please just shut it off. So I'm gonna, we're gonna start, we're gonna learn about each other. I always like to frame our relationship. So, we don't really know each other. I'm learning just as much as listeners are, and there's really no background information to this other than a paragraph or two.
So Shiggi please, why don't we start this off with just giving a little bit of information about you and your background.
Shiggi: [00:04:12] Okay. it's a very, long background, so I'm going to try and make it as concise as possible. So, I guess starting with the Dutch-Kenyan thing, cause that always throws people off. I'm not. Dutch-Dutch as then. I haven't actually lived in the country. It's just by virtue of my stepfather who's Dutch-Israeli, and I'm born and raised Kenyan.
So born, there stayed there until the age of 15 and then sent off to boarding school, at the age of 14/15 to England where I am now.
So, I've spent half my life in Kenya, and half my life so far in England.
And, I'm basically fully Kenyan by blood. And just by virtue of a passport I'm Dutch and, that's, that's quite nice to have, I guess, given the current climate of Brexit and everything.
So, after boarding school in England, I basically decided to stay here when the university became an option. I didn't really like any of the options I was given. But I tried a few degrees. I tried three different degrees, music technology, media technology, and architecture got bored of all three of them.
I know it's a pretty pompous problem to have, but I had it. So there. And yeah, I tried the office drop of one. Yeah. I worked for yellow pages as a graphic designer. Got, signed off. So in the UK we have the NHS national health service and, And I go to a doctor and they can, give you certain things.
They can sign you off of work if you're sick or whatever. And I had clinical depression and anxiety. And if you ever met me in person, you'd be like, that's not possible. Like, how is depression and anxiety even part of your lexicon? It was, mostly because I discovered after that, I basically quit the job and I was fine.
You know, they were upping the dosage of fluoxetine and various antidepressants. Nothing was working the second I quit the job, I quit the pills and I was just like, Oh, what's that it, that was the, that was literally it. So, From that point in 2008, I decided I would never work in an office again because it doesn't suit me.
I did a whole myriad of different jobs.
I've been a life model, a manager at a stadium for security, and a manager at the London 2012 Olympics as well. An event manager, worked in various night clubs. I've been a DJ since 2004. Yes, 2004. It's a long time ago. Like your memory starts going and you just like, are you sure I'm not even that old I'm only like 30 something.
So, yeah, from, from that, did loads of different jobs. After the 2012 Olympic games, I finished my diplomas and stuff in personal training, became a personal trainer. I'm still a personal trainer now, but I'm an executive personal trainer and that's only through referrals. And even through the referrals, if I don't like you, I won't train you.
So, yeah, I've got five people that I train very privately. No one really knows about it.
And yeah, the Audio book business kind of came into fruition two years ago. So Audiofy, the business I work in and I do podcasts. So I'm a podcast or just as a hobby, which is now turning into a business and I edit audio books.
And that was literally a friend saying, I've got these audio files. I need someone to make them into a thing. I was like, that's the thing. How do I not know that this is a thing? So I edited it and uploaded it for him. And I now have. Eight books under my name for editing audio books. And that was started two years ago after having sound engineering as a qualification since 2008. I’ve done a lot of things, still doing a lot of things.
So that's my life in a nutshell, I think.
Amy: [00:07:52] Well, thank you for sharing. Yeah, you are... I thought I did a lot of stuff, but after hearing your resume, I feel like I am not even close to that. So, wow. May I ask, what is your favorite, I don't want to say hobby, but I don't feel like it's a job either, but thing that you do? What's your most favorite?
Shiggi: [00:08:09] Easily DJ-ing, which I miss. So, so much right now because, I'd imagine at the time of this going out, we probably we'll still have our Western lockdown happening. But yeah, my clubs are gonna be like the last thing that will be allowed basically. And I haven't, DJ-ed in a nightclub with a whole bunch of people for seven months, eight months, eight months.
Yeah, I miss it.
Amy: [00:08:36] Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's one thing that I have been following. Weirdly kind of closely, especially in England and Ireland and a lot of the Western European countries, the impact of the sound industry. I'll just say sound industry, music industry, the entertainment industry, like live events and what's happening there.
And yeah, it's a, for lack of better term, a shit show. Isn't it?
Shiggi: [00:09:06] It really is and what I find amusing because equally, you know, I follow a lot of artists in the States and it's almost as if... I don't know when the error of drive through cinema was a thing in America, but it's like, that's been the saving grace for artists.
There’s one guy I follow who's literally helped me through lockdown.
His name's Mark Rebillet, spelled R-E-B-I-L-L-E-T. It's like a French last name. And, you know, he does, he creates everything off the fly, just off the cuff. Give him a word and he turns it into a song and he did a drive-through performance. I think he was one of the first artists in the U S to do drive-throughs where people come in their cars. They get their spaces, there's audio outside, but you can tap into the audio in your car as well.
And I'm just like, we don't have drive-ins in the UK. So we are like, even if we try to doing it in a car park, it still wouldn't work because everything here is smaller. We don't have as much space as the US. So just trying to figure out options, like a lot of the entertainment guys that I worked with in the past were all just, you know, banging our heads together, trying to figure out ways to do stuff, but even open field gatherings are banned in and, people are very strict their, their ability to be stricter here than in the US is a quite large.
Amy: [00:10:29] Yeah. I have a few friends that live in London and they've been telling me what's going on and I'm in Canada. So, I feel like I'm in-between the laissez fairness of it. United States, and then the curfew and all those tight knit regulations that have been implemented.
In fairness, the province that I live in has literally live cases of like 20 people.
So, it's not really here, which is interesting because still we have a lot of regulations in place. We have to wear masks. We have to wear it, put hand sanitizer on our hands before we go into stores, and very simple things that are still causing so many people to just be up in arms about, which is just, you know, privileged in a sense.
But anyways, I get on these, I feel like every conversation I have with someone, I always get this tirade about how ridiculous COVID is not the regulation part, but just the way that people have-
Shiggi: [00:11:30] The people.
Amy: [00:11:52] -responded to it.
Shiggi: [00:11:53] It's true. I mean, it's to try and avoid this conversation would be silly because it's affecting our livelihoods in one way or another. If it's not directly affecting us, it's affecting us by proxy and... Yeah, just at least a hat tip towards the mundane stupidity. I don't wanna call it stupidity, but it is a little bit stupid.
Some of the things that are going on, like in the, I failed to mention, hobbies wise, you're talking about... I do Brazilian jiu jitsu, a lot. I used to. Do jiu jitsu, probably five to six times a week. anywhere from one hour to three and a half hours, four hours at a time.
And that dropped to zero because, shy of rugby, jiu jitsu and wrestling is the most in-your-face kind of activity you can do outside of the bedroom.
We do solo drills. I had a class today, and I got promoted today. Yay. And, it was all solo drills. So, even when I caught my promotion on my belt, the usual things like you'd hug your professor and you know, you'd say thank you and stuff. And I broke protocol by shaking his hand.
I'm not about to have this promotion and not have some form of external contact validation that I've worked hard for this.
Amy: [00:12:50] Absolutely. I get that a hundred percent.
Shiggi: [00:12:53] He was cool with it. The professor that I role with, like we go climbing together. So he's part of my support bubble anyway. And I'm just like, ah. Yeah, it has to be spoken about, but just for how long?
Amy: [00:13:06] Yeah. That's, that's the question really? For how long? Hopefully not too bad. Well, first of all, before I ask another question, I just wanna say congratulations on the promotion.
Shiggi: [00:13:16] Thank you!
Amy: [00:13:18] So just to make sure does that mean that you go up a level of... Do they do belts in Brazilian jiu jitsu?
Shiggi: [00:13:24] Yeah. So, Brazilian jiu jitsu does. So you get white, blue, purple, brown, black, and then, black, black-red, red or coral, white. But you basically are 90 by the time you reach that point. And then in between each belt color, you have four stripes.
I am a blue belt and I got my first stripe on my blue belt.
Amy: [00:13:43] Oh, amazing. That's so great. I know so many people that have practiced a form of martial art that has explained to me how empowering it is and how it's really helped manage their mental health in ways that they couldn't foresee even a slight possibility of it having the impact that it had.
Shiggi: [00:14:06] Absolutely. And, as we get into dealing with what happened last year with my mum, jiu jitsu, Brazillian jiu jitsu, has a very big kind of... Crushing cushion effect on what I had to deal with. Especially when you're talking about mental health. And I tend to refer to it as mental tenacity because basically that's the words that came out of the entire crusade I went through. It’s hard when a parent dies by suicide.
Amy: [00:14:36] Yeah. So why don't you take this opportunity to share with me a little bit more about what happened with your mom last year, as well as the listeners?
Shiggi: [00:14:48] Sure. So yeah, again, just a little heads-up for listeners. My mom lived in the States and she went. As a person who lives in Europe, we don't have guns in Europe. I'm kind of slowly edging into this, because I realize sometimes when I talk about this people just like, “Oh wow, that's gotten really extreme really quickly.” And it is hard when a parents dies by suicide, especially in that way.
So, my mother took her life last year, in May. I think it was May 6th. I was watching the Avengers and then I was at the pub and then I got a phone call from my dad. So, my mom took her life on May 6th last year.
We weren't really on the best of talking terms, but I still love her dearly.
And I always wished her the best.
My step sister called me through Facebook messenger through my dad's profile. My stepdad is 93. Okay. So, getting a phone call from your 93 year old father on Facebook, you're like, “Okay, I have to drop everything because something's happened.” Hey, there's panic.
You're not even meant to know how to do this. What is this witchcraft? So, I pick up the phone. My step sister, eldest stepsister, is speaking in broken English, kind of going, “Shiggi, I'm so sorry.” I'm just like, “What? What? What's going on? Is my dad okay?” She was like, “He's fine.”
And he’s shouting in the background going, “Have you spoken to her? Is she speaking?” in that very Israeli kind of manner, because he's back in Israel. And I'm trying to get these words out of her and she's skirting the conversation. Eventually she tells me, “Your mother's died.” And I kind of already expected her to go at some point because she had a massive thyroid issue.
She had a thyroid removed. She was on about 15 different tablets already. She’s not really happy at work, very stressed out, kind of just... Some people process stress in a good way. And other people process stress in a very bad way. My mother just got so tired with everything, she started processing it in a very negative manner, which meant she just lashed out at everybody, including myself. So I distanced myself.
I was expecting a heart attack maybe or something, or maybe alcohol and pills again or something. But no, my sister said, “No, she shot herself.” So my mom died by sucicide. It was shocking, having a parent who dies by suicide.
And I'm just like, “Wow. I mean, if you're gonna go, then why not go in a very violent manner?”
Dark humor is my way of handling conversations by the way. So, if anyone finds any of the dark humor that I use offensive, I'm sorry. That's just my managing, coping mechanism. And this is kind of part of the bereavement side of things. If you do have someone around you who does have to go through suicide bereavement, try not to police the way they manage it.
So, I'm just putting that out there. Because I know some people have tried to tell me, “You can't, you shouldn't say things like that.” And I'm like, “No, I'll manage my life the way I want to. Thank you very much.”
So, my sister told me that my mother shot herself. It was a shock, a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge shock. And I don't think I have screamed so loudly in an open road in my life. I also witnessed English people being very, very painfully English. Just give me a very, very wide space, just like, “Oh, no, there's someone being very emotional. Let's just walk around them.”
Amy: [00:18:08] That is my experience with most English people. Yes.
Shiggi: [00:18:11] It really is.
If they have to, they might come up to you and be like, “There there. Everything's okay. It's not that bad.”
And I think that actually happened. One oldish dear kind of walked near me, I think. Because I was pacing, just hardcore pacing up and down the street whilst my sister was talking to me and then my stepdad started talking to me and I was just like trying to mentally just put my brain back in my head.
And an old dear just kind of walked by me. She said, “It's okay. It's not that bad.” And I turned around and said, “My mom just shot herself.” And she looked at me and just carried on. I kind of regret saying that to her now, but when you're in the wake of just hearing something that insane you don't really have an ability to curtail your feelings or curb your enthusiasm about what's going on. I mean, I was a person who parent dies by suicide.
So, just kind of fast forwarding, because there's a lot of intricate things I can go into, but I don't think they're really necessary. Like emotionally processing that. And then having to step up was interesting because talking to a couple of other people about exactly the same situations, but they had it with their parents from drink or drugs or, or something else. Instead of having a parent who dies by suicide.
Suicide. People will either step up and just, you know, kind of become the spearhead if they need to. Other people just completely shut down. And it's interesting that the background that person has usually depicts what happened. So I, for all intents and purposes, I'm kind of an only child, even though I'm a child of nine siblings across three families.
It's really complicated, but I feel like I've always been an only child because I was raised on my own.
My brother got born when I was eight, but then I got carted off to boarding school, like five years later, so no real interaction.
So, I spearheaded it. I called my uncle. I told him he did exactly the same thing I did, just screaming so loud. I'm like, “Oh, wow, we are biologically related.” Whole thing. And the biggest thing that happens with suicide is “Why?” Right? Everyone asks. Why? Why, why, why, why, why? And it's just like, “Ask a better question.” I mean, I have an answer to that because I have attempted suicide three times so far in my life, and I completely understood why my mother did it. That's later. I understand why a someone would attempt suicide. I understand why a parent dies by suicide
For the time being people are asking why. I'm like, “I don't have- I don't know.” Like, it's happened. We need to fix the first problem. There's a dead body. My mother's dead body is in America, and we have a family cemetery. I don't like the word cemetery, burial ground. We have a family burial ground in Kenya where I'm from on our farm.
We have a family farm and everyone who passes away, we all go home. Essentially. So that's, that's a kind of part of it. I don't know if it's a hugely African thing, but I know in Kenya at least people come home, regardless of where they are in the world. So, that was the first thing on my mind. I had to go there being her eldest daughter.
So, just watching family members I haven't spoken to for 20 plus years, just rally up and a new WhatsApp group was created for various family members.
I got shoved in there and people are just organizing things like, “Okay, we're going to come with you.” I'm like, “No. No one's coming with me. I do not need to deal with anybody else's bullshit. This is me. I have my bullshit to deal with. I am not going to mother anyone else because I need to mother myself right now.” Which apparently is a very only child comment
Amy: [00:21:49] I am also an only child. And I am just nodding along with you being like, “Yes, this is exactly what I would do.”
Shiggi: [00:21:56] Right? So when you're an only child and you fall and you hurt yourself and you're on your own. No one comes and helps you. You just kind of have to suck it up and probably lick your wounds a little bit, then carry on. Because there's no one there. So that kind of mentality has stayed with me and I think will stay with me forever.
And my step dad stepped up to the plate. He sorted flights out. I said I was going to stay in the Airbnb. He's like, “No, you need to have a place to sleep comfortably. And you needs to have food.” So he covered that. And I said, “No, I don't.” And he said, “Shut up. Yes you do.” So that's the Israeli aspect. Love my dad for it. Just very like that, he's in his nineties, he's a Holocaust survivor as well. He's the only dad I've known. I think he married my mom when I was two.
So, having that kind of mentality as well is why I have this tenacious, militant kind of outlook with things.
And, weirdly, even though we don't talk, having him kind of call me up and say, “This is what's happening. This is how it's going to go down. Get your side of the family to sort stuff out, but this is what I'm doing. Okay, bye.” And I'm like, “Okay, cool.” That's the way my dad loves people.
Flying over there was insane. Just being so alone, and knowing that you're going to go see your mother, but she's not actually there. It is a really weird concept to process.
And I can say this now, because I've gone over it so many times, and I've written so much about it just for myself, but at the time you don't feel anything. You're just numb. You're just like, “Okay, I have to go do this thing. I don't know what I'm doing, but I know I have to go there. I know I have to at least put my feet on the ground.”
And then from there, I suppose I'll figure out the next step. And that's literally how it was. It's just like step by step by step. I figured another thing out. There's no field manual. As much as I'd love there to be one as much as I protested very loudly on my Instagram stories. I used Instagram stories as a coping mechanism.
Not Facebook cause that's too permanent.
IG stories, a great 24 hours, you say your stuff, it's gone. Boom. And a lot of friends carried me through the IG stories and they'd send me messages and they'd call me and stuff just to make sure I was okay. My partner at the time didn't, but that's a separate story.
Sorry, ex partner, but partner at the time. And it’s so important to have a supportive partner when your parent dies by suicide.
Amy: [00:24:19] There we go.
Shiggi: [00:24:23] No, what? He's in the next room, then I'm going to say how much of a dickhead he was. Yeah. So, getting there was pretty mental, and my uncle from my mother's sister's side, he was there, and bless him. He was dealing with his own issues because he has cancer.
And he came and picked me up, looked after me, just made sure I was okay. Took me to her flat, her apartment. Sorry. And he's like, do you want me to open a door for you? I'm like, “No, I need to open the door myself.” And if you watch a lot of horror movies or a lot of horror/sci-fi like I do, like you have the worst possible idea in your head of like what the apartment's going to be.
You're imagining like flies everywhere and it's just putrid and it smells of death. And like there's... I've watched Dexter a lot as well.
Amy: [00:25:11] Me too. Yeah.
Shiggi: [00:25:15] Okay, good. Right.
So I'm not going to go into the details.
Cause again, I don't want us to be too triggering. But if you've watched Dexter, think of Dexter, think of the room. Think of a bad room, basically. That's what I was mentally thinking of. I have a very vivid imagination, so the smells as well. The smells were already in mind of just putrid rotting, fat, festering things. I imagined what it was like when a parent dies by suicide and is left there.
It wasn't that long of an amount of time between my mum doing, you know, completing it and the police being there because my mom actually phoned this. I found this out later, my mom actually phoned this to the police. They figured out through what she was saying that she was in danger of herself, to herself.
There was a police officer in the apartment block who came down. My brother was in the flat in the apartment as well. And unfortunately, my brother actually had his hand on the door while my mother shot herself. He was front and center to when a parent dies by suicide. So, I don't know how he's doing. He has Aspergers. That's a whole other story. He's still in the States at the moment on his own, which absolutely kills me. But you know, you have to choose the right battles. You can't be in every single battlefield at the same time. It's physically impossible.
So, I came in.
Thankfully the apartment was actually okay.
It was nothing like I thought an apartment that a parent dies by suicide would be like. You know, the electricity was still running. The water was still running. Extraction fans were all on, which was very disturbing. It was just, they don't do extraction fans in the movies. So that was a new one. And the room itself was not a Dexter scene. There wasn't any evidence of anything other than she was on the bed and that's where it all got removed. So to the mattress and everything was removed. There was nothing on the floor.
I later found out that she had planned how she was going to do it. So there was minimal, zero splatter. I can't think of a better word. I'm sorry. I was trying, so good up until that point. So she figured out with a gun doing it to the temple is where there's nothing for the bullet to have resistance against. So it just comes out the other end, and makes a mess. Whereas if you do it under the chin, then you know. There's, depending on the angle, a better chance for it to be lodged in the head. So, she did that. There was nothing, there was no mess really.
And just going through her estate. That's something that people talk about, that you'll have to deal with her affairs and you have to do this, that, or the other. I'm like, “Okay, cool.” So, I told the family I need at least two and a half, three weeks to get everything done. And everyone's like, “Oh, we can do it in a week!”
I’m like, “No. Three weeks to a month. If you can't give me that, then I'll find a way to pay for it, if you guys can't help me with that.”
But they did.
And I did need that time because I went through all the emotions, all of them in quick succession, sometimes on a minute by minute basis. When a parent dies by suicide, that’ll happen And then it kind of slowed into like, I suppose 10 minute chunks. 10 minutes of crying, 10 minutes of being okay. 20 minutes of crying, 5 minutes of being okay. Half an hour of needing to just go and get some donuts. Because I just need a pattern interrupt. And I have to tip my hat off to the people in Georgia. Because that's where my mom was, in Atlanta, Georgia. The whole Southern hospitality thing is a thing and oh, my god, was I and am I so thankful for it!
Just having just anyone just come up and just have a conversation with you because they see you looking a bit down and just being really nice was so welcoming. Because you know… Again, you're just really alone trying to process all this kind of stuff.
And even when you tell people like, “Look, my mom shot herself,” a lot of people were just like, “I completely understand that. A friend shot themselves, a family member shot themselves. I can't tell you anything because it's different for everyone and just know you'll get through it.” Having those kind of people is so helpful when a parent dies by suicide. And even just that kind of stuff was really, really nice to hear whilst drinking my fifth cup of coffee in the morning. It hadn't even been midday.
If a parent dies by suicide, don’t read their diaries.
One thing I could tell people if anyone does have to go through having to deal with or tend to their parents' affairs, don't read their diaries. Don't do it. Don't read their diaries. Yes. You need to find information. Maybe you need to find passwords for this, that, the other, but don't do it.
Because you will think you are a horrible person. If you and your family and your family member did not get on and you ended up discovering five huge ass journals about you. Don’t do it.
I made a mistake the first day and I felt so bad. I was just like, “I'm not this bad person. What the hell is this?” A friend of mine, thankfully called and said, “Get the paper shredder.” I responded, “Okay, I'll do it tomorrow.” She's like, “No, no, no, no, no. Go to the apartment right now while I'm on the phone, go get the paper shredder.”
I think this was like nine o'clock in the evening where I was, and it was five hours. So two o'clock in the morning in the UK and she's like, “Go get the diaries.” I'm like, “Okay.” She's like “Shred them now.” I'm like, “But what if the passwords that-” She’s like, “She won't have the passwords in the diary. It's literally just an avenue for her to get her frustrations out about your relationship and that's going to damage you.
I said, “Okay, you're right.” A friend deciphered through my Instagram stories that I was doing that. She says, “Okay, you need to get rid of it.” Everyone needs a friend like that when their parent dies of suicide.
Amy: [00:30:40] That's a fantastic and very detective-esque friend.
Shiggi: [00:30:46] Yes.
So, I don't think we spoke about this, but I have ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and I'm very systems oriented. I hate them, but I love them at the same time. Patterns, systems, routines are very, very important to me and I have friends who are similar.
So just looking at what's being said in the IG story, she knows me well enough. And she just rang me. She knows I hate phone calls, but she also knows that I would pick up a phone call if I knew it was two o'clock in the morning in the UK and I thought that they had a problem. So, it was sneaky, reverse psychology that she did on me.
I love her for it, but also sneaky, sneaky nurses. But yeah, when you have to deal with your parents or even a friend's affairs or whatever, just don't go through the really, really personal stuff. Unless, you need to, and if you do, don't read word by word. Because if there's stuff about you, we're all curious about what other people think of ourselves, of us. Right?
And, yeah, don't do it, especially if you're not in a good relationship with that person. Because it will literally throw your head upside down. Don’t read your parents journal, especially if you have that parent dies by suicide.
You know, dealing with the estates and all of that was one aspect.
Having to deal with the body itself was tough because you have to go and claim the body for one, which is really weird. It's like, “Ah, I'm going to claim this dead person. Yes. She's a relative.” So doing that was interesting. I thought, you know, maybe they'd have to do a DNA test because anyone could just come up and say, “That's my mother give me the body. I'm going to claim it.”
But, I found stuff that they could see we looked literally alike. And it was really easy. Again, Southern hospitality was shining through and the guys that at the - mortuary? - morgue were super cool. I'm like, “Do I have to see my mother? Do I have to identify her by face?” They were like, “No, you don't need to that.” And I was like, “Good, because I don't think I could keep my shit together.”
Like seriously. They started laughing. They're like, “No, I understand that. I understand, but don't worry. You don't have to do that. Her face is still intact.” I'm like, “Oh, okay. That's great.” So she had some stuff in her and I had to claim that not to sign it off. And the guy that helped me identify her as well as do the whole identification thing.
He was super helpful in telling me the next steps, because I just said to him, “Mate, I don't know what I'm doing, but this was my first rodeo. And I hope it's my last rodeo, but I don't know what I'm doing.” And he laughed and he's like, “No, I get that. These are the next steps that you need to do.”
And I'm like, “Why isn't there a field manual?” And he just laughed and shrugged and left.
Why isn’t there a field manual for when a parent dies by suicide?
So, yeah. finding a crematorium was another thing. She got cremated on Labor Day? No, the day after Labor Day. I'm not familiar with American holidays, but it was Labor Day or something. It was a day late because of a holiday, I think it was Labor Day.
So, the next kind of point of weird dark humor is when I had to go collect my mother. Which is weird, cause I'm not collecting a human, I'm collecting a box with human ashes in it. Which you're just like, “This is just way too surreal. Here's a box of powdered human and you're going to put that person in your backpack.”
Amy: [00:34:05] So I saw, I just want to say my father died last year. His box is literally next to me right now. So, I completely understand, it's strange. I'm very similar to you where I use dark humor and everyone gets really uncomfortable.
I had to drive around with him in my car for about three weeks. So whenever I had someone in the car with me, I'd always be like, “Do you want to see my dad?” And they'd be like, “What?” I'm like, “Yeah, do you want to see him?” They're like, “What are you talking about?” I wouldn't show the ashes, but I'd show the box. And they were all like, “You’re so messed up.”
And I'm like, “I'm not though.” I actually found it really funny.
I use dark humor even though I didn’t have a parent dies of suicide.
Shiggi: [00:34:45] No, like literally, that was a running gag. It was a running gag that I had as I was in the airport coming over to Kenya. But yeah, dark humor, that kind of stuff, it helps. For people to project a weird unsubstantiated fear, I think is more damaging than to just laugh. Just be like, you know what? This makes me really uncomfortable, but it's also really hilarious.
It's quite funny. You know, just give me some solidarity, give me some validation through my dark humor to ensure everything's okay. That's all we're doing. Literally, that's all we're doing. And using dark humor helped me through the fact that my parent dies by suicide.
So yeah, so when they brought my mum, I was in an office room. I just sat there kind of just looking at all these urns that ranged from like a $79 urn to like a $2,000 urn.
And I'm just like, “But it's ashes!” What? What? Why would you pay $2,000 marble urn? Let the person sink in the ground. Don't hold them in this thing forever. Unless of course, you know, they're going to sit on your mantle piece or something. Then in which case, encrust it with Swarovski crystals. Oh, I should have done that.
Anyways. So, she comes in. This guy brings a travel urn in. So a travel urn is basically just like thick, industrial, black plastic with like a certificate slapped on the front of it. That's it. There's nothing celebratory about it. It's just industrial as hell.
He puts it on the table and there's the assistant or the secretary.
She sat there for emotional support. And I'm just like, “I'm probably gonna mess your head up today.” She's like, “No, it's fine. I've heard it all.” I'm like, “Okay, cool.” So I'm like, “My mom's on the table. Kind of weird, she always told me off for putting my feet on the table.” The assistant is like, “What?!” It’s comforting to use dark humor when your parent dies by suicide.
Amy: [00:36:30] Sorry, that's actually so funny. I think that's really fun.
Shiggi: [00:36:35] I thought so, too. But like you don't think of things, just words come out because coping mechanisms happened. I put my hands up the second I came off the airplane, I just put my hands up and said, “Whatever comes out of my mouth comes out my mouth. I'm not responsible for it, to a point. But, if it's around my mom and me managing this whole surreal situation, there'll be fun.”
That came out and then putting her into my backpack, I lifted her up and went, “Holy crap! She's heavy!” Both of the guys, the head dudes, crematory dude, whatever, and the secretary, they're looking at me. And they're like, “Are you okay?” I'm like, “Yeah, I'm fine. I just wasn't expecting my mom to be this heavy still.” And they, again, didn't know how to process that.
I'm just like, “She's probably about 10 kilos, maybe seven kilos. That's not bad for someone who was like, you know, 70 kilos.”
And I think if we're going to talk pounds, I think 10 kilos is, what?
Amy: [00:37:34] It's like 22. It's 22 ish. Like the... 70 kilos is like, what? 170 maybe? Maybe a little less. Yeah.
Shiggi: [00:37:42] Yeah. So, for a very rough, broad conversion. See, the weight really threw me off because I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting what I got. So, you know, process that.
So, dealing with all of that, dealing with my brother as well was a huge thing. And then there was leg two of the whole situation, which was flying back with certain parts of her affairs. It’s interesting to fly when your parent dies by suicide.
So I needed certain things of hers. Just for future prospects back home in Kenya. So I had an overweight suitcase, I had my suitcase, the suitcase of my mom's stuff, and my backpack, which had my mum in it. My mother's and my backpack was the theme of getting home. So getting the flight, I was really tired and really cranky and it was a long line because a lot of people go into Mexico in the same queue that I was going through the UK.
And I just went up to someone and said, “Look, I'm really sorry. My mom's in my backpack. Do you have somewhere else where I can just put my stuff in and get checked in?”
And the woman didn't even blink. It's insanely professional. I told this woman, using my dark humor, that my parent dies by suicide and she didn’t even blink. She just looked at me and she had “Right this way, ma'am.” And I'm just like, “Did she hear what I just said?” Apparently she did. Right? Because she didn't even blink, which was insane. And she went and explained it to another lady. This was on the business lounge side of Delta airlines.
And she literally just told me to stay here. She went and talked to her and the lady looked up at me and she's like, “This lady will help you.” So I go over and this lady is like, “How are you doing today?” I'm like, “I am terrible. My mom's in my backpack. I've got these two suitcases. I'm just really tired.”
And she's like, “No worries, we'll help you out.” And she just kept on talking and just checked everything in. I didn't even realize what was going on. Both of my suitcases were two times the weight allowance. I didn't get charged for that. That's insane. And she said, “Here's your fast track to get through security checks and everything. Just show this to this guy, go to this side.”
And literally throughout the entire airport, everyone was insanely lovely.
And I was just like, no one has to be this nice, but my mother is in my backpack, so that's cool. So, I just kept on doing that and even on the airplane, the back of my backpack was too big to stay with me. So I said the same thing.
I said, “Look, my mom's in my backpack. If you're going to take my bag, I do not want it to be put underneath the plane, right? You'll have my mother's ashes everywhere. It's not pressurized.” And the woman looked at me and she was like, “Well, legally, we can't even do that. Anyway, you have to declare it,” and do all that jazz. And I continued to use dark humor to deal with my parent dies by suicide.
So that was good. The flight was terrible, but that's fine. I came back to the UK. My partner was absolutely terrible, but we won't add that in there. Actually, just support from partners is really, really important. And sometimes you can be the hero and second guess what your partner needs and hit it and get it right.
Other times you can be completely out of it. And if you have a partner who's very vocal, like me, they will tell you what they need. And I needed him to shut the hell up and just sit next to me. That's it. That's all I wanted to say. When I come home, I just want to sit in quiet and just have someone tell me things are going to be okay or something.
I don't want questions.
Because I have to deal with questions from my family who are huge. There's a thousand of us. Thankfully, only 0.2% of them were talking to me. So, that didn't happen with him, unfortunately. And I just left it, because that's to go to Kenya, I had to go deal with all of that and I couldn't deal with any more drama.
So change my clothes, grab my backpack, and flew down to Kenya. UK people don't care about death very much. I mentioned right at the beginning, people will avoid any emotional conversations. Some like, “Oh my mom's a backpack. Like, can I just go through the fast track? There's no one there.”
Just like, “Oh, my Nan, my uncle, and my granddad wrote my mantle. It's all right. You'll be alright.” I'm like, “Okay, fine. I see your tricks. I'll carry on.” So will that stiff upper lip and hail Brittania, we're not emotional people. We'll just get through everything, which is fair. It’s hard when a parent dies by suicide, but using dark humor helped.
The Kenya leg of it was weird because a lot of people don't really realize that death. I can't say Africa cause there's like 56 countries. So, I'm not going to be a representative for all of that. But in Kenya at least, death is still a very, what's the word I want to want to use?
It's still something that requires a lot of people to be involved if you die. Right?
I keep on messing my tribe up and I think my uncle's literally going to hit me the next time he sees me, but I think I am Luhya.
In Kenya, we have tribes. So we have like, kikuyu, akamba, taita. I think in part tighter as well from my biological father's side. You know, Maasai is the most popular one to some brewer people or these kinds of things.
So in my tribe, there's three things that don't believe in: suicide, divorce, and cremation. And having a parent dies by suicide, I can see that.
Amy: [00:42:48] Oh, wow. Okay.
Shiggi: [00:42:50] So my mother is a triple threat. So, I told my uncle, cause I kind of knew this was going to be a thing. So, whilst I was in the States, I told him, “Look, when I get to Kenya, I'm just the urn holder. Like I am not getting involved in any conversations. One, because I don't speak Swahili anymore anyway.
Two, I am tired. Right? If you don't want me to join my mom in her little itty-bitty travel urn, then please take over everything. And I will just do, as I'm told.” And he's like, “Fine.”
So two weeks worth of talking to the village elders to allow us to bury our own sibling mother in our own farm lot was what happened, which always weirds me out. We own the property. It's ours. It's been in our family for like ages. But we still need to get permission to put one of our own in our own ground.
Amy: [00:43:44] And was that strictly because she had been the triple threat?
Shiggi: [00:43:48] Yeah.
Amy: [00:43:50] Okay. So...
Shiggi: [00:43:51] It's also because the husband is still alive. All right?
So, typically if the husband is still alive, then the duty would fall to the husband to deal with the burial kind of arrangements and everything.
And possibly for her to be buried on the husband's land. Which there should be one, but you married an Israeli person that the land will probably be in Israel.
So, that was one of the main difficulties that we dealt with there. But everything else kind of went without a hitch. I still have my reservations about a cremated person being put into a casket and then buried in a concrete grave. Like, why? It just, I dunno, even to this day, I just don't understand unless people freak out about zombies or something, but like beyond that...
It's a cremated person. Just put them in the ground. And let’s let them turn into a tree or something, you know? Let them give back to nature. No, we're going to put you in a cement box and that'll be it. You'll be Schrodinger's human. Ah, fine. Okay. Is she or isn't she in the box? Which one? There's three. So, I'll stop now. It’s hard when a parent dies by suicide, but dark humor can help.
Basically that's like the long and short of the actual ordeal.
I call it a crusade because that's what it was.
It was a three-part crusade of getting my mother home basically. And just understanding and accepting being the point of being the spearhead of the whole thing and not knowing what the hell you're doing, but you're going to do it anyway.
Amy: [00:45:25] And to have to travel, too, on top of everything. You have to go from the UK to the United States back to then to go to Kenya.
Shiggi: [00:45:34] Yep. That's the whole thing. I mean, I'm thankful that between the UK and Kenya, there's only a three hour time zone difference, which is not so bad. And then obviously with the U.S. like there's a five hour time zone difference, which wasn't so bad. I think if it was the West coast, that would have messed me up more.
It’s like an additional four or five hours or something.
Amy: [00:45:54] So when did your mom leave Kenya to move to the United States or were there other countries in between?
Shiggi: [00:46:02] No, she officially left Kenya before I went to boarding school. So she left in ‘99. And she was doing okay. She was doing really, really well. But then I think everything started turning on her. The property crash happened in 2008, because she bought a house and it's a really nice house. But, the property crash happened and she had to foreclose.
So, that takes a toll on you, right? When you're just working your butt off to try and create this amazing little nest for your kids who you left. Right? You left her kids back in Kenya to make a new start because everything kind of went to shit with the family and everything.
Then a global economic pandemic happened, and she never really recovered from it.
Amy: [00:46:54] Yeah. And that, I mean that is compounding so much, the feel failure, feeling a failure as a mother, as a human. As an immigrant. Was she a citizen of the United States?
Shiggi: [00:47:08] She got her citizenship four years ago, as well. So yeah, she literally was just systematically grinding. If you want to know about someone who is a hustler and grinds, but a corporate grinder. So, that's a little bit different that you know about people with their side hustle. But you want to know about corporate grinder.
When she was a sales executive for AT&T, she had a 527% sale. Things. She was like the top sales person in Northeastern region of the US. So yeah, she knew exactly what she was doing. And if you want tenacity, you want to know what tenacious looks like, that was her. But like a freight train when they derail, it's pretty damn tragic. It gets intense, real fast. And then just like that, it's done. That's exactly what happened
Amy: [00:48:07] When you returned to the UK, how was the…
Shiggi: [00:48:12] Landing?
Amy: [00:48:13] Recollection? The landing? Yeah, the landing, the recollection, the rebuilding, like all of it.
Shiggi: [00:48:21] So, it was full of distractions. I came back. May it happened. Then I came back in mid-June. It was about a month worth of crusade antics.
To be honest, when I came back, I had a distraction out of six foot two distraction in my apartment.
And he was going through his thing and he went and did Iowaska to cure himself of his own problems.
His father passed away the year before in November, the year before, but it was from natural causes. I supported him through it because I'm really empathetic and I know how to help people. And through studying behavioral psychology, just as a hobby for the last 15 years and through having a psychotherapist for the last 18 years, so I helped him out as best as I could and really supported him.
He needed to go do his Iowaska thing. So I'm like, “Yeah, fine. Okay. I'll support you. Even though my mother just killed herself, I've just come back from the crusade. But no, you go do your thing, baby. It's fine. Like, I'll look after you too.” And that was actually a distraction from the parent dies by suicide thing.
I clung on to that just to make sure he was okay. And he wasn't okay. but after that he came back a vegan. And 10 days later there was goat’s cheese in the fridge and I'm like, “You literally haven't changed.” He’s like, “I have changed!” I'm like, “No, you haven't. All the habits you have, your patterns have literally not changed.”
I ended it because I'm just like, “I can’t look after you and your son and myself after what I've dealt through. I need someone to support me.”
And - this is bad - there's this thing, which I think is still true. Like, if a parent kills themselves, if a parent dies by suicide, then the children have a higher possibility of also doing the same. I think it's the same with spouses or anyone who has to deal with very intense, close suicide bereavement. They have a higher propensity for possibly, maybe kind of following suit. And given my own personal track record of all of that. I'm like, “I'm in a good space right now and I don't want to go anywhere. But I know I'm going to have dark days.”
You know, the black dog, which is a thing for depression, it sits on my shoulder very often. Most of the time it's a little puppy. Sometimes it turns into a huge ass fricking, I dunno, Irish wolfhound. but those days I have friends nearby. So, I got rid of the man thing and I just basically dove into work a lot and I actually started my podcast as my own form of therapy. I couldn't really afford to see my therapist, because the therapist I have is a great therapist. He also charges a lot.
So I started my podcast, “Getting Shiggi With,” in September and the very first episode is “Suicide Happens on a Monday.”
Because that's when my mother killed herself, on a Monday. I think it's 90 minutes long where I just literally just spout everything out as raw as it is just for a way for me to kind of mentally manage everything. And I did that religiously, I think for about three months. Every Wednesday at 6:00 PM, there would be an episode out and it would just whatever I felt like talking at the time, I did that. And that helped me talk about the fact that parents dies by suicide.
So I think talking out in that manner was part of the healing process I needed. And talking to people in person as well, especially to people who helped me via Instagram stories, which I still think is quite funny. But whatever works, works, right? And yeah, a lot of them were still reaching out on Instagram, just like, “Hey, are you okay?” It helps when your parent dies by suicide that people check in on you.
These are people who like in Sweden or in Kenya or South Africa or Australia and New Zealand. I've a nice broad range of friends, which I can thankfully say, come from jiu jitsu, from my entertainment background from being a DJ, and every aspect of life/hobby that I've had. That's basically what my personal IG is populated by.
So... Oh, have I forgotten the most important thing about jiu jitsu? Yeah! I forgot about the jiu jitsu aspect. Okay, yes! So I'm with Gracie Baha, which are one of the bigger associates, or clubs, in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
And I had my Gracie Baha competitors' hoodie on for 2019.
That was last year. That was kind of like my blankie. You know our kids have their blankie, their comfort thing? That was my comfort thing. And if I was feeling really fragile and vulnerable, any day, I'd put that hoodie on because I knew if someone saw it and they did jiu jitsu, that at least kind of gave me a wave. A kind of like, “Hey, we're brethren kind of thing.”
And I know that it sounds silly, but when you're in such a position that you feel so lost and so alone, just having something that kind of says, “Hey, you're not alone,” even if it's just a hoodie that says Brazilian jiu jitsu on it, and someone else who may be did jiu jitsu for like two minutes? Right? But they recognize it and they give you a smile. That works.
I don't know who you are. We don't even have to say hello, but if you just smile at me and because I'm wearing my jiu jitsu hoodie, then I feel a bit better about myself. And when your parent dies by suicide, that helps so much.
So before going over to the States, I actually registered for my first Brazilian jiu jitsu competition, and I was a white belt at the time. I was a three stripe white belt, and you're only allowed to compete when you get your third stripe. The second I got my third stripe, which was March, I registered to do my first competition, which was in June.
So I had this arrow going through everything, even though I didn't know what I was doing with my mom and everything.
I knew that when I came back, I would have two weeks to go back into competition prep for my first Brazilian jiu jitsu competition.
And that's what I did, when I came back, I stuck my head straight into jujitsu training. Which was great after my parent dies by suicide.
I trained every day without fail, sometimes twice a day, just because I needed a distraction. I did my competition. Stress actually robs you of your weight a lot, so I was underweight. I lost 66 kilos. And I was trying to diet down just about 62 kilos for the Brazilian jiu jitsu competition. By the time I came back, I was 58 kilos.
Amy: [00:54:43] Oh, wow.
Shiggi: [00:54:45] I have not been 58 kilos since I was 14 years old. That was terrifying.
Amy: [00:54:550] Yeah, that’s a lot of weight. That's like, just for the Americans, the North Americans in the room, it's roughly 20 pounds. More than that.
Shiggi: [00:54:56] Exactly. If you, if you wanna learn how I did it, have someone pass away and get stressed out and forget to eat for a month. It's amazing. No, I'm joking. Joking. Don't do it. Don’t do it. Stress is evil. And you get stressed when a parent dies by suicide.
The day before my competition day, it was my friend's engagement party. So my dear friends, Charlotte and Sean, they're both really good friends of mine. They got engaged and it was the engagement party. So I basically ate all their engagement cake to try and put weight back on and drank lots and lots of like soda as well. Because I, being a personal trainer and nutritionist, I know like these dirty little hacks that you can do.
The hacks are not great for competitions, because the next day when I did my competition, I lost in my weight category.
But I made weight. I gained from 58 kilos of gain back up to 61.8 kilos. So I was still in my weight category, just. But in my weight category I lost and the other category we have is called the absolute, so it's open weight. I think it was the under 69 kilos weight categories. What I got put in, and I won.
So, I was like -
Amy: [00:56:06] Well, congrats! That’s awesome. For your first competition, too!
Shiggi: [00:56:10] First competition, lose my weight category, but smash absolute giants who are bigger and faster than me. But I'm running on rage, sheer tiredness, and I dunno what else. Yeah, sugar. Loads and loads of sugar.
So, that was the jiu jitsu kind of aspect where, just having my jiu jitsu friends still checking in with me whilst I was away, wearing the hoodie and just having that feeling of being part of something whilst I felt lost. It was really key. And then having the focus of the company when I got back, you know, just to give me something to really jump into and really, like, bite down on, that was positive.
Cause I've heard, when a parent dies by suicide, with suicide bereavement, a lot of people try to kind of deal with stress differently. Their alcohol intake will increase - they won't even notice - or smoking or reckless behavior, whatever it is kind of that's negative tends to increase. They don't notice.
So, I'm super thankful that I had jiu jitsu to do that.
Just to lash out on something, someone - usually tried to choke them - you know. But it was constructive. Just having something constructive to fall back on and having a really good net of people to fall back on. Even if a lot of people just sit with me and just be quiet.
That's all. I want people just to shut up. And they get that. Not having people question, “I don't feel like I'm doing enough.” I'm like, “Why is the easiest task in the world so hard for you to do?” You know? And that's what the ex partner had an issue with. He didn't feel like he was doing enough. He didn't feel validated enough, just sitting there being quiet. I'm just like, “Argh!”
Amy: [00:58:00] Yeah, that, that sounds horrible. Stating your boundaries to saying what you want. Your partner very easily being able to just sit there and then you have to stroke the ego to be like, “No, you're actually like impactful. Don't worry about it. Like, no wonder. I couldn't. That sounds like my sort of hell.
Shiggi: [00:58:21] Yeah. Well, I didn't.
I think to be honest, that was a little detour, but I think I stayed in that relationship more for his son because his son was 10/11 years old.
We had a really good bond. And I know when I was that age, you have the mother, the father, and the other, right?
Someone that you can kind of rely on and tell secrets to. Yeah, I was like the other, which was weird, cause kids are great, but I don't really want to hang around them. Then I realized actually ten-year-olds are awesome because I can play Call of Duty with them and then they just tell you stuff.
And I'm just like, “So you fancy this girl, what are you going to do? Has she said anything to you on the playground yet?” All that kind of cool stuff. I'm like, “Oh, I get to be the weird auntie, even though I'm dating your dad.” But anyway, that's that? Yeah, that was the thing. So that ended.
Amy: [00:56:09] Well, wow. I mean, that is like... My experience with parental death is very dramatic, but not in that sense where my parent dies from suicide. My father died, but he did not... Well, arguably he did kill himself through food, but not the same thing. It's just so interesting to hear how people grieve. And also you're making me feel a little bit more normal because I've not met anyone that makes jokes after the deaths of their parents. It’s hard when a parent dies by suicide, but dark humor can help.
It is making me feel a little bit more understood. So thank you for that.
Shiggi: [00:59:50] You're welcome.
Amy: [00:59:51] And thank you so much for sharing that. And I hope that so many people that are listening to this have taken something from this. It’s hard when a parent dies from suicide. Obviously, I don't want to put anything on to anyone, but I'm very rarely at a loss for words. I feel like I am right now, which is confusing for even me.
But yeah, thank you so much. I love having these conversations. I have a lot of private and public conversations about so many different traumatic events, as well as just life. Being as a lot of us are experiencing trauma right now. I mean, arguably we are all experiencing trauma right now because of the pandemic.
Thank you so much. Shiggi, I really appreciate it.
Shiggi: [01:00:36] You're very, very welcome.
Amy: [01:00:37] And for being so open and honest and authentically you, I think that is so important.
Shiggi: [01:00:43] More than happy to be on here. And I have spoken on a few other podcasts and I will carry on because I think normalizing the conversation is really, really important. We need to talk about suicide more, be it when a parents dies by suicide, friends, siblings, anyone at all.
And I feel, with the way I talk about it because I am - I thank my stepdad for this - I am very brutish, really in your face about it and very matter of fact. I did actually kind of pull back a little bit cause I tend to just go into graphic details as well.
Because that if people can kind of get over that and feel slightly desensitized to that, then that's when you can open up the avenue of a normal conversation around suicide.
So, I'm happy to be that extreme end for people. And if they can kind of get through me talking about it in very, very graphic detail, then you can kind of take the steps backwards to maybe helping someone who's not feeling great and just talk in their language. Or, you know, just find the way to be able to talk about suicide.
And I'm always around, I'm on Instagram a lot, as elshig, E L S H I G. I'm on Twitter as elshig, again, E L S H I G. I'm on Facebook, just as Shiggimus. If you want to do Facebook, they'll come for slash. Forward slash I can never say it. Right. S H I G G I M, for mother, U S. I'm on there. My profile's public. I talk a lot of crap, but if you, yeah, if anyone ever wants to just talk about anything, I'm always around and happy to talk.
Amy: [01:02:15] Amazing. And I'll make sure that all those links aren't on the show notes, which is in the description of this episode. So, if you want to connect with Shiggi on social, please know that it will be easy to do.
Shiggi, this the last question I'm going to ask you.
I always get the guests to share some words of advice, words of wisdom, a joke, literally, anything that you just want to leave the listeners with.
Shiggi: [01:02:48] I think it's important not to ever feel shy about how you're feeling. And however you want to express how you're feeling is fine as long as you're not going to hurt yourself or other people. Do it. Literally, it's better to just tell people how you feel than to lock it up inside, even if you're really tired.
That's why my mum went. And that's why I keep on trying to go, because you just get fed up. You're done. When the pain of existing is far greater than the pain of not existing, you get fed up.
You need to just tell people sometimes. I know it's really hard, but you need to just find the weirdo like you. Who you can make a weird joke about and just kind of like layer a bit of truth in there. Just keep on doing that and it'll feel better.