Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Remembering a Loved One

Part II

Thank you guys for bearing with me if you are continuing from Part I or if you may have already seen a short bit about this on my other pages over the weekend. I have felt so moved by this recent and tragic event in our family, that I have to share it with you. Not only to remember and to celebrate a beautiful person, but also for so much more that we can share from a life that was taken from us far too soon. 

I want to thank you personally and in advance from our entire family and friends for your time in reading this post. <3

A beautiful soul.

We lost a very dear family member this weekend, our Aunti Di. Diana Langford leaves behind husband Doug Langford (second from left), two daughters Natalie (left) and Madison (third from left), a sweet sweet mother Helen Adams (Maw Maw as known to us), sister Debbie Gilmore, as well as many other loved family members. 

She was very near and dear to us, and we want nothing more than to celebrate her life and the impact she had on our lives. 

My husband and I were very blessed to have the chance to see the family more and spend time with them, laughing and growing together, since we moved to Kansas only two years ago.

I would not trade that time with family for anything, especially those who are now looking down on us. Heaven did indeed get another Angel on Saturday. 

Our Aunt Diana was a beautiful person inside and out. She will be missed very much by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. I am absolutely heartbroken for everyone experiencing this tragic loss, especially those closest to her. It is a devastating, and inexpressible situation when you lose a loved one. This tragic loss resulted from the life-consuming mental illnesses, Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression that our Diana suffered from for too long. 

But we will not remember her by the actions brought on by these illnesses, because the disorders, not her true self, led her down that path. We will instead remember her as the beautiful soul that she was deep inside; the loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and individual with the biggest heart and smile, and the kindest words. The irreplaceable continuous flow of smiles and positive energy brought forth in such a wonderful person that she was. There was never a dull moment in conversations with her, from facial expressions or quirky phrases, she would always fill the room with laughter and animation. Her vibrance will be cherished and memories clung to by her family, friends, and loved ones.

May you rest in peace, in the comfort of Heaven Aunti Di and until we meet again some day. We will always love and remember you. 

As a family, we want to make sure that our voice is heard and our dear Diana'a story is shared. As husband Doug Langford expressed, "maybe we can keep a family or loved one from ever allowing these insidious and evil diseases from convincing a person we love and cherish that life just isn't good enough anymore." 

It starts with Educating

Although Depression is only one of many mental illnesses, the severity of this illness can be incapacitating and sometimes life-threatening. Depression is much more than only feeling sad or down, it is an often life-long "serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health." 

Depression is a serious problem in mental health today, affecting roughly 25 million Americans in one year alone. Sadly, only half of those individuals receive treatment for the illness. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness describes depression:

"Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and represents a global public health challenge."
Here is the source for more information.

With more and available treatment options and a better understanding to aid in early detection of this illness, we can continue to help those suffering. It all begins with education regarding mental illnesses such as depression, and can reach further as we continue to spread awareness.

Increasing Awareness

Mental illnesses are becoming more and more common throughout society today, and have been for years. Not many are able to fully understand and grasp the severity of these illnesses, let alone the experience of someone close to them suffering from a mental illness. These illnesses can become very complex and even more so to treat and manage long term. Medication alone, or therapy, or even a combination of both are not enough to treat these illnesses. It is my personal belief that psychiatry is not enough to treat the illnesses, as medication alone cannot simply 'fix' the problem; there is no amount of medication can match that of years of experience, research, education, and knowledge (among other things) required to even begin to understand these complex psychological disorders. 

The outside world may have no idea what experiences the people with mental illnesses could be thinking or feeling at any given point in time. Sadly in many cases, family and friends may not be aware of the illness let alone the severity of the illness that envelops the person who might choose to suffer in silence. Or worse, those people and society misunderstand and stigmatize the mentally ill and their experiences, worsening the situation. It is with lack of education and understanding regarding mental illnesses that breeds these reactions. 

There has long since been a need for increased education about mental illnesses for the general population. One could only hope this will continue to increase awareness and understanding as a society, so we are better able to help victims of mental illnesses to prevent future tragic events. 

As a blogger I have a voice to not only my audience, but hopefully many more with this post. I personally feel the need to share things related to education of health and fitness, all aspects included such as mental health. As a family member I cannot let this pass by without contributing a collective voice for this tragedy that has struck our family. Through this loss of our beloved Diana we hope to bring light to present and future victims of mental illnesses and hopefully contribute to the prevention of such tragedies. 

I want to preface this next short segment by telling you that I would never ask you as readers for any type of monetary donations. As a family we are supporting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in honor of our loved family member Diana Langford, so we can contribute to the prevention of these types of tragedies. If you would like to contribute, I wanted to open that door for you. This organization is dedicated to improving lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness through educating, advocating, and helping people better understand mental illness.


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