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Dad Speaks Out About Life After Sons Suicide

Father speaks out after losing son to suicideSupplied

Almost four years after losing his son to suicide a father has spoken out about how his life changed and how he learned to cope with the grief.

The 45-year-olds son, identified by Jack, took his own life just after Thanksgiving in 2015. He was just 18 years old, and in his first semester at university, when he took his own life.

Now, his dad, who has chosen to go by the pseudonym Steve, has shared his story with UNILAD.

Father speaks out about son's suicideSupplied

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was 2015s second leading cause of death in the US for 15 to 24-year-olds, behind unintentional injury, with 5,491 people in that age range alone taking their own lives. 4,359 were males, while 1,132 were females.

The most recent data, from 2017, shows that number having risen to 6,252; 5,027 young men and 1,225 young women – and thats not taking into account the issue of under-reporting of suicide.

Meanwhile, in the UK, suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged between five and 19, followed by transport accidents, according to a 2017 Public Health England report, which also states suicide is the leading cause of death for men and women aged 20-34.

Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. That's one too many

Suicides are largely preventable❗ #WSPD2019 #40seconds #HealthForAl pic.twitter.com/OZ5JcDOFLD

— PAHO/WHO (@pahowho) September 10, 2019

In fact, suicide takes more lives than all forms of violence – including homicide, terrorism, armed conflict and executions, UNILAD reported on World Suicide Day last year.

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, many of those who have lost loved ones in this manner – just like Steve – are still left asking why.

There are a myriad of factors which contribute to people taking their own lives but no one, except the person in question, will ever really know for sure what lead them to believe there was no other option.

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This is what haunts Steve. The 45-year-old told UNILAD of the many questions which have run through his mind since losing his son: “Why did he do it? Is there anything I could have done? Why didnt he try and talk to me about whatever was troubling him?”

Everyone who has ever lost someone to suicide likely asks themselves these same questions as they come to terms with the loss.

After Jack passed away, Steve described how he experienced shock, pain, and disbelief. He spoke of crying out loud and how he felt pure emotion that had no words.

Knowing someone felt theyd no choice but to end their life is a truly heartbreaking thing to acknowledge, and no one knows that better than the loved ones who are left behind.

However, it is vital to emphasise there is always another option.

Steve described suicide as selfish in that it allows the person suffering to give up on themselves, taking away the opportunity for both them and their loved ones to explore how to better the circumstances of the person experiencing suicidal ideation.

Son speaks out about son's suicideSupplied

The father explained:

That is the thing about suicide. It is an incredibly selfish act. The person that is hurting doesnt know how to deal with their pain and gives up. After they are gone people who loved them are left behind to deal with the hurt.

Both my wife and I are still impacted daily by the loss of our son. After investing nearly two decades in him it feels as if our future has been taken from us.

We will never get the chance to see him fall in love and be wed. We will never get to hold his babies. We will never get to see all the things he could have done as he grew into a man.

When a person chooses suicide they close the door on all other options. They take away the chance for anything to ever get better.

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The 45-year-old went on to say how it felt as if he and his wife died along with their son when Jack took his own life.

He described how he became so depressed [he] couldnt function and said the company he was working for eventually made up a reason to let him go because it was too difficult to have an employee crying at their desk daily.

If you're wondering why our #suicideprevention training is so important on #wspd2019 please read Christopher's story and how he used the skills he learned on the course to help a friend in trouble https://t.co/W2yFRLFd0A @cmalla_kennedys pic.twitter.com/awKPpGLbwe

— Zero Suicide Alliance (@Zer0Suicide) September 10, 2019

Steve spoke of how his grief overwhelmed him, saying:

I could not cope. The hurt was so deep that it overwhelmed me to the point where I could not do my job. So within six months of losing my son I also was unemployed.

Thankfully we had lived in a manner where we did not have much debt and had some savings to live off of while I was in that fog of grief.

The entire year of 2016 is just a blur to me. I was lost and I was very nearly lost for good.

The key to your happiness lies with you. only you have the power to activate your joy. Choose to be happy no matter what.
Don't cave in!.. choose strength!.. Goodnight Champ❤#mentalhealth #asads #feelings pic.twitter.com/SWtaZq6FHL

— Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad (@Asads_ei) July 14, 2019

As well as dealing with his pain and grief, Steve explained how he felt deep feelings of shame.

His day to day life changed not only by the loss of his son but in the way people treated him afterwards, with some simply pitying the family and others completely avoiding them.

He added:

From then on you are that family in the minds of others.

Dad speaks out after losing son to suicideSupplied

The IT consultant sought help through a counselor, an experience he said can be effective if you are open to the process and once you are ready for it. He was diagnosed with depression and has been on medication for over three years now.

Although you can never get over the loss of a loved one, Steve explained how counselling helped him find a way to live with this new normal.

As well as seeing a counselor, the bereaved father said things got better with time. He spent months running through other scenarios surrounding his son but eventually came to accept there was nothing he could do to change what happened.

Suicide is strange. It isn't just like mourning death as usual. There are all questions and no answers. There's no finality. Their death is the beginning of an unwelcome story line in the rest of your life.#SuicideAwareness #suicideloss

— KAMM (@KAnne_McKenzie) July 13, 2019

Steve told UNILAD:

This year it will have been four years since we lost our son. I cannot explain it to you but the passing of time somehow helps. I think it is because I have already thought through all the scenarios and cried myself until I was out of tears.

It isnt that I am numb now, its more that I have accepted he is gone and nothing I say or do can change that.

Although he has reached a place of acceptance, the father still struggles to this day with family get-togethers, where he sees other children growing and prospering while [his] is gone.

Do you feel like life is not worth living?

If you are struggling, take #40seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling. It's okay to talk about suicide.

Remember: You are not alone. Help is available. 💚#LetsTalk pic.twitter.com/iiPFdjbMQL

— World Health Organization Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) September 10, 2019

Steve continued to say he then feels guilty for having those kinds of thoughts and described the experience as a nightmare which impacts every part of your life.

When someone is in such a dark place they are considering suicide, it can become totally consuming without intervention from others to demonstrate such an end is an avoidable tragedy.

Some believe the world would be a better place without them, or that they wouldnt be missed but, as a father who lost his own son, Steve argues that isnt the case.

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He urged anyone who might be considering taking their own life to realise others will be affected by their absence, saying:Read More – Source

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