The Diary of Dr. Sharon McDonnell

Aged 53 and 3/4

Dear Diary

22nd April 2020

For those that are not aware, I created my blog in 2014, in preparation for my Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand.
Ultimately, the aim of my travel fellowship was to identify how both countries care for those bereaved by suicide and hopefully, identify good practice that I can share with those working in this field in the UK.

For the duration of my travel fellowship (four weeks), I documented my experiences, predominantly who I met and what I had learnt along the way. On my return, I stopped uploading posts on my blog as it had served its purpose and I suppose life/work got in the way and I forgot about it, especially as I had written my report.

Fast forward six years, and I decided to write in it again. To my surprise I found that people were still reading my posts, despite them being written several years ago. I was intrigued. What posts were they reading? Which was the most popular? Was it something profound I had written? Was it when I disclosed that I had been personally bereaved by suicide? I would have put money on it that it was! Admin rights to my blog was the key to providing this information.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The most popular post was my experience of visiting a restaurant. Wait for it, drum role…… 100,122 views and my flight to Australia . I was gob smacked. On reflection, the common denominator in both these posts was that I was laughing whilst writing them.

So diary, I have learnt that people are interested in my work, but equally enjoy reading my adventures, or dare I say misadventures! So be prepared, be very prepared, I am going to write about my work, have the odd rant, throw in the odd profound statement, and when you least expect it, I will write something that will be laugh out loud funny, that you will wish you had read in private, rather than in public!

Dr. Sharon McDonnell is the Managing Director of Suicide Bereavement UK.