In memory of Beth: The 500km tribute to an inspirational sister
When Lucy takes on the epic challenge of cycling across Costa Rica for SANE in November there will only be one thing on her mind – her sister, Beth.
Beth was a well-loved blogger who took her own life in March aged 26, after a long struggle with poor mental health. She wrote candidly online about her life and the struggles she faced and, through her brutally honest words, she gained a following of more than 25,000 people.
Inspirational and brilliant
In the time since Beth died, Lucy said she has uncovered the true impact of her sister’s blog and how amazing it’s been to see just how much the “brilliant” writer meant to the people who read it.
“Beth was very well known in the mental health world and known for inspiring and helping other people a lot. She was absolutely amazing, she was funny, had an amazing sense of humour,” said Lucy.
“I’m still so incredibly proud of her. I met up with my family yesterday, and with one of her Twitter followers in person. He said Beth saved his life by reading her blog.
“That was incredibly emotional and powerful, but so difficult with Beth not being there. To meet up with someone who said she’s touched their life so much their life was saved was just incredible.
“It just goes to show what kind of a person she was. She suffered, but she was so intelligent, and you wouldn’t know it if you spoke to her in the street. She was so articulate; it must be why she connected with so many.”
Pictured: Beth and Lucy
Continuing Beth’s legacy
In 2019, Beth and Lucy had planned to cycle across Cost Rica to raise awareness of suicide prevention and fundraise for SANE. However, the trip was postponed because of Covid and Beth died before they were able to take on the challenge.
Now, Lucy is determined to carry on Beth’s legacy of helping people with their own mental health and is taking on a monumental journey of almost 500km in memory of her beloved sister.
“Beth was excited about this challenge, helping to raise money, and was going to come out and join me. She’d even bought me a comfy bike seat! We lost her in March, and obviously the challenge was the last thing on my mind. But then recently I decided I wanted to do it in Beth’s memory.
“We wanted to do it for SANE as it’s a smaller charity. I’d used them myself when Beth was struggling. The service provided by SANE gave me a safe and trusted space to talk about how I was feeling – and I was made to feel like my feelings were valid and listened to.
“The work that SANE does – not only for those who feel suicidal but for the families dealing with the emotions and struggling with having a suicidal family member – is so valuable and provides a safe space to talk and feel understood.
“If I can continue what Beth did by just a little bit, it’d be amazing. And if I can help just one more person to continue, that would be amazing too.”
You can support Lucy’s incredible challenge at bit.ly/inmemoryofbeth
If you or someone you know is struggling call SANEline on 0300 304 7000, open from 4-10pm every day. We offer specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.
You can find other ways to contact us on our Emotional Support page.
Image: Lucy Matthews