Bereaved Parents, suicide

Not A Matter of Choice (adult child suicide)

by Carol Loehr

Keith and Carol_1Our son Keith was 29 years old when he decided to end his life. Keith’s death was a suicide. Suicide is a frightening word and it is not only ignorance but fear and stigma that keep people from understanding why someone would take their life. In a way it is easier to think that a person made a “choice”, freeing us from knowing the truth.

The word, “choice”, continues to perpetuate the stigma of suicide. The definition of “choice” is “the freedom in choosing, both in the way one chooses and in the number of possibilities from which to choose.” In a presuicidal state an individual is overwhelmed in a given situation. They suffer extreme mental anguish and a painful sense of hopelessness. Their sense of judgment is distorted, and they do not have the ability to make “choices” or options. They literally want to kill the pain and not themselves. Continue reading “Not A Matter of Choice (adult child suicide)”

Bereaved Parents, suicide


Nina BinghamOnce the Storm is Over: From Grieving to Healing after the Suicide of my Daughter
by Nina Bingham

Raw and honest, the author shares her painful past: an abusive alcoholic father, a failed marriage, the rejection she suffered after she came out as a lesbian, and her own brush with suicide. What could have been a story mired in self-pity and misery, ultimately is a story of hope. Nina’s compelling life journey shows how pain and loss can be transformed into strength and purpose. This book is not only for survivors but for anyone facing depression with suicidal tendencies.

Bereaved Parents, suicide

Does It Get Better? (a child’s suicide)

by Sue Endsley

Ryan Mitchell Endsley

It has been almost 14 years since my youngest of three sons, Ryan, took his life at Niagara Falls. I definitely remember those first days, weeks, months, the first year. Three years after Ryan’s death I started a support group for suicide survivors. When people new to the grief of losing a child attend the support group their first questions are does it get better? Will I survive this? Helping others survive and get beyond those first years is what also helped me in my healing and moving forward. So the answer is yes, it does get better.

But it does take a while and you do have to want to move forward. Most important of all is that moving forward does not mean leaving the memory of your child behind. I have moved ahead and keep Ryan’s memory with me always. And I do still get knocked over by a wave of emotion now and then, but it is much less often than at first. Continue reading “Does It Get Better? (a child’s suicide)”

Bereaved Parents, suicide

Grieving One of Our Own

by Nancy Miller

July 5, 2014
I spend my time with guilt, horrible grief, regret, missing her.  I know you know these feelings, too.  I know I’m not the only one that has lost a child and feels this way….but I still feel like I’m all alone on an island somewhere.

elkinsRhonda Sellers Elkins was my friend. I had not known her long, but she had written to me after her daughter, Kaitlyn, died last year. Rhonda took her own life on August 29, 2014, sixteen months after her daughter committed suicide. The excerpt above came from an e-mail she sent me just a few weeks ago. She wrote to me often in the past few months, desperately grasping at life, sometimes hanging on by her fingernails. Like all of us have.

July 12, 2014
Nancy, when I think of the people that have gone 10, 20 or 30 years and more, still feeling this loss, it brings me to my knees.  I know it may soften, but even a fraction of this pain is too much to bear, and it’s hard to know I have to live like that until I die one day…who knows when.

Even though she went to support group meetings, tried seeing various therapists, wrote a memoir describing her personal journey, Rhonda was despondent beyond anything she could have imagined. Her grief was a dark room without any door handles, any way of escape. It was suffocating, it slowly squeezed the very breath out of her. She tried for a time, I think, to resist this onslaught of anguish…it overwhelmed her, moment by moment. Continue reading “Grieving One of Our Own”

Bereaved Parents, no surviving children, suicide

My Children Chose To Die (no surviving children)

by Kaylene Donohue

Kaylene Donohue154X193I was born in a small country town in New South Wales (NSW) called Wagga Wagga. My family lived on the outskirts of the town in a village called Lake Albert. I was one of eight children and the eldest girl with two older brothers. Our family was poor, and in those days if we went anywhere it was mostly on foot. We grew up playing with our ten cousins living next door and the rest of the village children. In those days, we were allowed to run free as long as we were in by dark or dinner. We never heard of kidnappers or people being murdered just for walking around the streets, life was so different from the way we live today.

My personal journey started when I had to make my own choices. Because it was unfortunate in those early years teachers knew nothing about slow learners or kids that really needed extra help, and because I changed schools several times, my education suffered terribly and I could not wait until I was fifteen years of age when I could say goodbye to the class room forever. At the age of nineteen, I chose to go to Sydney to study to become a nurse’s aid. I was not ready for the world out there, but I loved the nursing side of my job; however, my lack of education came back to haunt me. I worked hard learning the physical side of my job and I did enjoy it, but the written exams were another story. If I had never met a cheeky (charming or amusing) young kid who was recovering from burns to his body after his tent caught on fire whilst out camping with other army cadets, I would never have met my first husband and the father of my three children. Continue reading “My Children Chose To Die (no surviving children)”

Bereaved Parents, suicide

Still Grieving Fifteen Years Later

by Madeline Sharples

In the last month, I was asked to meet with two women who had recently lost their adult sons to suicide. In the first case, the woman contacted me. She had read my book, Leaving the Hall Light On, and after several lengthy emails asked if she could take me for lunch. Since she was willing to drive quite a long distance to meet in my hometown, I readily agreed. However, I realized almost as soon as we sat down that this meeting was a mistake. She talked and talked about her son and his suicide and her problems with the hospitals that cared for him, until I finally had to stop her. Her words brought up so much about my own experience and the death of my son that they were painful. I then asked her why she asked for the meeting and what she expected from me.

So she stopped relating her story briefly and said she wanted to know where I was now after almost fifteen years since my son’s suicide death. And although I made it very clear to her that I still grieve for my son, I have made my life very full with my work as a writer and consultant, travels with my husband, and socializing with our family and friends. I also shared some of the gifts that have come my way as a result of his death – my busy writing life, a stronger and fitter body, an ever-strengthening bond with our surviving son and his wife, and my goal to help erase the stigma of mental illness and prevent suicide. Continue reading “Still Grieving Fifteen Years Later”

Bereaved Parents, no surviving children, suicide

My True Journey (no surviving children)

by Annie Mitchell, Author
Holding Back the Tears
Holding Back the Tears (UK)

My journey began on 6th February 2000, which tore my insides apart.

My son, Finlay Sinclair, age 26 years decided he had had enough of life and died through suicide.

for Mitchell lrg

For almost two years after his death I was in denial, I refused to accept I would never see my child again. I went out of my way to avoid any outside contact with friends and family or anyone who wanted to offer me their help. I believed I could cope on my own, so I pushed away any help offered to me. I finally realized I needed to seek professional help when the nightmares every night and the forgetfulness began to affect my daily life. I was not aware of leaving the pot boiling away on the cooker or forgetting to switch off the taps once I had started running the water or go out without locking the door behind me. The list was endless. I was oblivious to these facts, which were so obvious to everyone around me in my daily life except to me. Continue reading “My True Journey (no surviving children)”