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Excerpt from "Blissfully Dead"

Introducing Janelle

by Melita Harvey

Janelle and I first ‘met’ in 2010 when a member of her family came to me for a reading. At the time I was living in Western Australia, offering psychic and medium readings from home. After this particular reading I overflowed with compassion, feeling the pain of those who believe they have lost their loved ones forever. I said to myself: “I wish I could do more,” and Janelle’s voice answered loud and clear: “Writing my story would help.”

Hi, my name is Janelle and I would like to tell you my story. I ended my life by jumping off a cliff at the age of 29, yet an outsider would not have found one reason for my desperate deed: I was a young, beautiful-looking woman with a blooming career, and I was about to marry my high school sweetheart. I was famous as well, something I had aspired to since I was a little girl. I loved being in the spotlight; I loved my fiancé; I loved my family, my friends, my colleagues and my dogs. I loved the country I lived in. I loved my parents who had doted on me from the day I was born. Still I jumped.

Even now I can feel the despair and the terror I experienced at the time of my death. I was overcome with feelings of unworthiness and self-hatred. I thought I was ugly and a failure and that I put everybody who loved and believed in me to shame. These feelings did not come out of the blue. I had been taking antidepressants for years, ever since my late teens, when the bully in my mind told me that I was fat, even though I was skinny. But those episodes were nothing compared to what I experienced towards the end of my life. The pressure that had been building up from an early age became unbearable. I suffered from chronic ‘perfectionitis’ and this manifested itself in everything, including my relationships towards others.

I don’t have the feeling that it was me who jumped: I hardly remember anything of that day, besides the need to stop the torture in my head. It’s hard to recognize myself in the girl who jumped: me – the people pleaser, the perfectionist, leaving such a mess behind – that was unheard of, but still, I did.

From a human perspective I was a person suffering from depression, who had the misfortune to go to a doctor who prescribed medication that didn’t work and as a consequence I killed myself. The End.

Reactions to an untimely death vary. Some believe that those who die young are too beautiful for this world and God wants them with Him. Or life is nothing more than a game of Russian roulette and death is a consequence of unfortunate events. Others believe that our breaths are counted and all is predestined. My fiancé tried to make sense of my death by nailing down the ‘guilty’ doctor, while my mother became passionate about suicide prevention, so that my death would not be in vain.

But where was I when the world stopped for my loved ones and my picture appeared in the news media across Australia with shocking headlines like: “Janelle Du Gard dies at the age of 29”? Was I going through the Bardo, as the Buddhists say? Was I pleading my case at The Gate with Saint Peter? Did I gain wings on losing my body and was God content to have his angel back? Here is the story the media did not get hold of. This is my story from the moment I stopped being Janelle as the world had known me…

Blissfully Dead by Melita Harvey is published by 6th Books November 2015. ISBN: 978-1-78535-078-8 (Paperback) £12.99 $20.95, EISBN: 978-1-78535-079-5 (e-book) £6.99 $9.99 

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