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A mothers story

This month is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and as part of GibSams awareness campaign articles from the charity will be published weekly on Saturday’s throughout the month of September. This article was sent in anonymously by a GibSams caller.

My son ended his life by suicide. I had spoken to him only that morning. We chitchatted about the weather, work, and family. Nothing could have prepared me for that visit from a couple of police officers that evening to break the news to me.

As he lay in the mortuary lifeless, I felt broken and numb. How could this have happened to my beloved son? How could this vibrant, healthy young man be lying there?

Suicide was something that you read about, heard about on the news but never did I imagine it would touch my family. Until this, I had never taken much notice of the figures, but I have spent time researching, finding out more about suicide and it is alarming that so many young men like my son end their life by suicide. This is a global problem with people all over the world taking this final act and leaving families like ours devastated beyond words.

The not knowing why this happened and why he felt so low, when it appeared that he had everything to live for, continues to haunt me. He was my son, how could I have not seen how low he must have been feeling, to have ended his life in this way! I have read many stories from other bereft families who have lost children, brothers to suicide and, when there appears to be no apparent reason, it is even harder for the loved ones left behind to cope with.

If there are signs, reasons as to why taking your life is the only option, you can accept that easier, but for us as a family it has been so hard and we continue to grieve every day for his loss.

As a family we are trying to channel our grief in different ways, reading and learning more about emotions, grief, and trauma. Going for counselling, attending online meetings, meeting other bereft families. We decided that we would survive this, that we would use our grief and feelings of loss to try and make sense of what had happened. It is not easy, some days I spend them in bed, crying and unable to function. I go and visit his grave everyday and talk to him. Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries are all hard days to get through, but we try our best.

On one of my low points I called GibSams, not really knowing what I wanted to say or how they could possibly help me. But having someone who was not family or one of my friends, someone who did not know us personally listen and I mean really listen to me and not try to fix me, really helped. A lot of people do not know what to say to us; we have lost some friends and also gained many new people from our online communities of families affected by suicide.

Calling GibSams and having a safe space where I could cry, rant and sometimes just talk about my son and my feelings of the loss that I feel has been especially important to my ongoing recovery. I hope to one day be in a recovered space where I too can help others the way that they have supported and helped me through one of the worst times in my life.

I urge any person out there who is feeling lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, or just simply not having a good day, to call GibSams and talk to them about how they are feeling. Talking to family and friends sometimes is not an option, but please do call these trained professionals and get the support you need rather than look to take drastic actions that can be life changing for everyone.