The Giant Sad


Once upon a time there was a little boy called Malcolm who had a mummy and a daddy who loved him very much. And he had a baby brother called James that he wasn’t so sure about at first, but who he grew to love and love.

Little Malcolm really liked to laugh and make jokes. He loved camping and fishing and making a secret language with his cousin T.J.. Little Malcolm had a giggle like his mother. But some days Malcolm was sad, and some days he was very, very sad. And the Sad inside him grew like a big rock.

When Malcolm was all grown and finished college he came back home top live and study some more. His baby brother was all grown up too and just starting college.

Time passed at home and Malcolm had some lovely days and lots of good friends. He went to Austria and took beautiful pictures. The sad inside him was still growing but there was room for the Happy, the Silly, the Serious, and the Helpful as well. Malcolm was helpful to lots of people, and even to his own mummy when her Sad became too big.

One day Malcolm began to feel that his Sad had grown too big; there was no room for Happy and Silly. But Helpful continued to smile a big smile so no one noticed. Then Malcolm began finding it hard to breathe because Sad was so big it filled up his whole chest.

Malcolm was so good at helping others but he hadn’t learnt to help himself. His smile was so big it could shrink other people’s Sad, but it didn’t help his own. If only he had believed he deserved help; if only he had believed he deserved people’s time and love. But he didn’t believe it. he never had.

Then one day the sad was too big altogether. It was bigger than Malcolm. And Malcolm did a very bad, very sad thing.  He took a gun and shot himself in the heart. It was the only way he could think of to get rid of his giant Sad. But he didn’t get rid of it, he passed it on to his mummy and daddy and his brother and all his family and friends. And when he shot himself he killed his whole Self – the Happy, the Helpful, the Silly, and the Serious as well. Now there was nothing left of his beautiful smile.

And now Malcolm’s mummy and daddy and his brother James  have a giant enormous Sad that is Malcolm-shaped and is sitting on their hearts and making it hard for them to breathe.

The End.



6 responses to “The Giant Sad

  1. Claudine MacInnis

    Dear Mona, I just read the story of Malcolm.. I could barely read it all.. when you said that my son sounded like yours I had not realised how much they did if facts were so much alike. It is uncanny the way he was so much like Tommy and just didn`t think he deserved people`s time but had so much time for others. Tommy was always afraid of being a burden to others, he never to think that he was worth their time or love, My son has on his bed a huge red pillow shape like a heart.. once he passed we had access to his phone, facebook etc.. there was a comment there that absolutely ripped my heart out.. It said: night I go to sleep holding on to my big fluffy heart cause the one in my chest is broken.. Another comment he made stabbed me in the heart.. he wrote that he changed himself so much to please people but it was never enough and that at one point he didn`t like to look in the mirror anymore cause he found it hard to recognize himself and that for weeks he would brush his teeth looking at the sink.. until one day he saw a glimpse of his old self and then thought that he might be okay. When the `Big Sad` took over him.. he took his bike, put his helmet on, went down the road and shot himself in the back of the head. He left us a suicide note that said.. His forecast for tomorrow was always rain…
    I will never understand how could I not have seen how desperate he was.. I just cannot comprehend that my son needed us so much and we did not see it…

    • I myself suffer from depression, I know the signs, and we knew Malc suffered from depression, too. He had since high school. But I had no idea he was suicidal, he was having a great year just anxious about graduation – or so we thought. I left the house, called out,”Have a good day” and I left. Less than eight hours later he shot himself in the heart.
      If your son didn’t want you to know – you weren’t going to know.

  2. I am so sorry that your son ended his life, I too am on this horrible path as my son ended his life 14 months ago. I am trying so hard to not let my son’s “sad” be all that is left of him. He too was a wonderful loving boy/man, who touched so many lives. He always made everyone laugh, and was always there if anyone needed him. He was an incredible artist.He was a little brother, a big brother and an uncle..He was a friend to everyone… he was my best friend and my son.I am trying to survive, holding on to the 24 years that we shared, learning to live with this pain, learning to love, laugh and cherish his life in spite this pain, of this “sad”. Sending you and your family hugs and prayers

    • Losing a child to suicide is a loss unlike any other. I am so sad that we share this story, it truly is a shattering experience. Your son sounds like an amazing man. As you say, 24 is the age of a boy/man. Perhaps the age at which all the insecurities and doubts about who they are and what they have to offer become most intense. Regardless of how much love they were shown, how much support they received they couldn’t picture a future without feeling terror. That at least has come to an end for them. It is for us now to carry their pain and transform it somehow without passing it on. That is all that we can do for them now.

      I hope you have another whom you consider a best friend now, and enough support from others too. You are in my prayers.

  3. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. The first year is so wrenching, so breathless. My prayers are with you.

  4. My son died by suicide on 1/19/14, this story helped me understand how over time the sad took over. Your description of the sections of a person (the silly, the happy, the helpful, etc) really helps to be able to conceive how mental illness affects a life, a person. Thank you for helping me in my hopeful recovery.

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