Yesterday morning I happened to spot a post on Facebook about a chap I met back when I founded the Worcestershire Literary Festival and who I knew from the Worcester Writers’ Circle, Kieran Davis. He had apparently gone missing on Monday, and no-one had heard from him. I shared the post to my Facebook in case anyone had seen him or had any news as to his whereabouts, but I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It turned out that feeling was correct – Kieran had passed away – https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18209149.brother-missing-worcester-man-says-died/

I was so shocked and stunned when I heard the news, and I still can’t believe he has gone.

When I lost my much loved and much wanted son Frankie in 2013 to stillbirth Kieran messaged me often on Facebook to check how I was doing, and he helped me as I went through the worst time of my life. He sent me funny poems “to make me smile and laugh” and told me that I would smile and laugh again one day…and he was right. I will never, ever forget that.

Kieran was an extremely talented writer and poet, and always made everyone laugh. I wish I had just a tiny bit of his writing talent. His “Baldy Poems” were hilarious, and his humour was infectious. He always made me smile and laugh, and a light has gone out of the world with his passing. I can’t even imagine what his family are going through right now, and my thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Today, as I try to process what has happened to Kieran, I’ve got this to say to you all and to anyone who is struggling.

Whether you are male, female, or however you identify yourself, but I say this especially to men….it is okay to NOT be okay. It is okay to admit that you are struggling, that you need help, that you need someone to talk to.

I’ve been there where I have felt like the only way out is to not be here anymore. I have honestly thought about what the best way would be to leave this earth. I couldn’t see past the pain I was feeling inside and felt that everyone around me would be much better off without me, and that everyone’s life would be better if I simply didn’t exist.

Somehow, thanks to talking and to my amazing husband, family and friends, and thanks to having counselling, I saw past the pain. I saw a future. I saw that I was wrong about everyone being better off without me. I realised that they would be better off WITH me. I realised that I matter, and that life is worth living.

Men especially are particularly vulnerable given that they are brought up to not show their feelings, to never cry, to have a “stiff upper lip” and just get on with things, no matter how much they are struggling and hurting inside. Sadly it is too late for Kieran, but I don’t want it to be too late for anyone else I know.

Please please…..if you are struggling and you need to talk to someone…contact me. My messenger is always open and I’m always happy to listen. None of you need to feel that you are suffering in silence or suffering alone, even if you feel like you are alone.

I promise you this. You are NOT alone. People care….I care. Talk to me, talk to anyone. Don’t keep things to yourself. Don’t suffer in silence….ever.

#ItsGoodToTalk ❤️❤️ 

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Lisa Ventura is an award-winning Cyber Security consultant and is the CEO and Founder of the UK Cyber Security Association (UKCSA), a membership association that is dedicated raising awareness and educating small businesses, SME’s, large corporate companies and the general public as to the importance of cyber security. Lisa is also a thought leader, author and keynote speaker and has been published in various publications globally. She is fascinated by all things related to nuclear war and loves dogs, the gym/keep fit, the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury, sci-fi, films and TV series from the 1980s, especially American soap operas such as Dallas, Falcon Crest, Dynasty and Knots Landing.