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The Importance of Speaking Out Loud After My Son's Suicide

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741

It is an incredibly surreal feeling, knowing this is actually happening: 1,193 days after Harry’s death, the words are finally being spoken out loud. The words that rip my heart out, each time I think on them. The words that I know, without a shadow of doubt, need to be said, need to be heard… and yet I really (quite desperately) don’t want to be the person who speaks them out loud.


It is the other Harrys that become more important than my fear, that keep driving me forward. Every single parent I have spoken to, who has lost a child to death by suicide, has expressed this same sentiment: I would do anything to be able to stop another child doing this, and shield another family from this unbelievably painful loss. We don’t want to continue to meet new members, in this club that no one wants to be a part of.

So this is my anything, then: this is the moment I get to sit in front of a camera and say the words, in the best way that I can today.

In this surreal moment, in my lounge room, I want to whoosh back in time, and instead of placing a hand on either side of Harry’s head, as he sat on the edge of his bed, and kissing his head goodbye, I want to stay, and ignore the fact that I need to go home and eat dinner, and ignore the fact that I need to get up for work the next day. I want to stay, and sit up with him all night, to ensure he makes it into tomorrow.

I want the whoosh so bad, I want my old life back, the life that includes the boyo and has absolutely nothing to do with TV cameras in my living room.


Even in the night terror zone though, even there, I can find comfort. Last night I was blessed with an incredibly sweet memory of me, 22 years ago, lying in bed with my newborn son. I held my wee miracle baby in my arms in the quiet darkness, and I was completely overwhelmed by the love I felt for that tiny wee dot, sleeping contentedly in my arms.

Being a mother has given me a strength I would never have believed possible. I am able to sit in my lounge room, and in the most surreal way possible, speak the words that need to be heard. The words that stand staunch, and remind me that depression is an illness, not a weakness. The soft and gentle words, that drift into the darkness inside, and speak quietly to me of lightness and love. The words that whoosh away any lingering stigma, and let me know that it is OK to ask for help.

The words that cry out: because they absolutely must be spoken out loud.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Kuzma

Originally published: March 10, 2017
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