Letter: The price we pay for love

This letter sent to the Star was written by Cathy Langan, Sheffield, S8

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 6:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 6:38 am
Joey Essex

Anyone who has ventured in to the world of reality television and celebrity magazines (guilty as charged!), will have come across Joey Essex who came on to the radar on The Only way is Essex and has appeared on several other reality TV shows since.

He’s known as being pretty happy go lucky, and not being great in brain circumference. He’s been presented as the type who’d laugh on Boxing Day if you told him a joke on Christmas Eve.

What he’s less well known for is the grief he’s carried around with him since the death of his mother 20 years ago when he was just ten years old, which is all the worse because she took her life, having suffered from depression.

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Being too young and too unwilling to express his grief, he put it away in a box and just got on with his life until, finally, at the age of 30, he took part in a BBC documentary about his mother’s death and how he’d dealt with it, or not dealt with it, by his own admission.

He had previously attempted counselling, but didn’t take it seriously and was dismissive about it until he finally reached the age of 30 and decided that things had to change.

Few of us go through life without going through the devastating experience of grief, me included, and the loss of my own mother just ten months ago still hits hard.

For a ten year old, though, it must be particularly traumatic especially when the cause of death happens to be suicide. Joey actually said that he felt like she can’t have loved him enough if she’d chosen to end her life, leaving him behind. He must’ve felt so abandoned and guilty too, wondering if it was due to something he did or didn’t do.

It just shows you really how you can never really judge a book by its cover. No matter how people appear to be, everyone has a story and the reality may be quite different to the person who is right there in front of your eyes.

In addition, no one should ever feel like there is no option but to end their lives, not only for their sake but also for those they leave behind. The ramifications can be lifelong. How couldn’t they be?

At least Joey is now getting help and the public have had some insight in to what is behind his image and his exterior.

Let’s hope he, in time will be able to come to terms with his loss and move on and indeed anyone who had experiencing grief in any shape or form.Like they say, grief is love in disguise, the price we pay for love.