Re: Mel Rothenburger column, ‘We’ve got to talk about suicide, but how do we do it?’
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your article on suicide. I am so sorry for the loss of your Daughter & Grandson. You are so correct in saying that losing someone to suicide is in a class all its own. I lost my son almost 11 months ago to suicide. He jumped off Peterson Creek Bridge on April 17. He just couldn’t live with the mental torment anymore. He needed help and the medical system failed.
Since his death, I have been connected with many families in Kamloops that have lost someone to suicide on that bridge, over the past couple decades. I started a petition for some sort of suicide barrier on that bridge, and Peter Milobar presented it to Legislature in November. Still awaiting the outcome of that.
I put signs up on all sides of the bridge, hoping to prevent someone else from doing the same. That maybe one of those signs will shed a fragment of light into a darkened mind, before it’s too late. I do need to redo the signs in a way that they won’t disintegrate so quickly in the weather. We are going to be putting weather resistant stickers on the railings of the bridge, once Spring comes, with the crisis number on them. Hopefully that will help someone in that dark, hopeless moment.
I do somewhat understand how your daughter would have been feeling after losing her son. Austin was 17 and is now Forever 17. His birthday was just yesterday. He should have been 18 and graduating with the rest of his friends this year. I should be planning Grad, seeing his Grad pictures. I have two older children and one younger child that is 16.
There have definitely been times that I wanted to join my son and wondered how life is suppose to go on, without that part of me. I feel incomplete daily and know that I have to continue and be strong for my other children, and now Grandchild on the way. It is hard though.
Some days, I just get through it, half an hour at a time. I have learned a lot about the after life since Austin’s death. He does let me know that he is still with me, in various ways. I am thankful for that and it helps me get through this life without him, a bit easier.
When reading your article, I felt that I should reach out. Let you know that I empathize with you and your family’s situation. Again, thank you so much for your article. If there is anything I can do to help in changing the stigma around mental health and suicide, please feel free to reach out.