My Wish: What people need to know about suicide–love, loss, and hope

by Chano Itwaru

My tall and handsome 33-year-old son Kevin was smart, friendly, and charming. He was a biomedical engineer with a charismatic, dazzling smile, gentle personality. As a talented musician and artist he played the sitar, guitar, trumpet, piano, flute, Japanese Shakuhachi (flute), accordion, harmonium, Djembe (African drums), he produced many paintings. But Kevin had a secret. When he was 21 years old, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

My son suffered in silence rather than face what he feared–the judgment and rejection of friends and family. He slowly isolated himself from lifelong friends. It was heartbreaking to watch … Read more...

I didn’t really know my son

demons up against me drugs

It wasn’t until after my son Charles died by suicide that I knew about my son’s agony. How could I have missed pain so monumental? I thought I knew my child reasonably well. His music lyrics revealed I knew little. And his struggles with suicidal thoughts went back years.

This was part of my struggle. All that I missed. The questions I never asked. The pain he kept to himself while he wore the mask of a clown to conceal it. I thought he loved life too much to leave it. But I also know he didn’t want to leave … Read more...

What I want you to know…

by Mary-ellen Viglis

Dear DJ,

It’s been nearly 10 months since you left, my sweet, loving beautiful boy- Demetrios James.

I want you to know how truly missed you are. Most days I am brought to my knees by the hole in my heart. It feels like lava overflowing. It burns. It stings. There is no end to it. It seeps out of every part of my body. All the pain and grief – it is filled with all the love I have for you.

I am not mad. I am not angry. I don’t think I ever will be. … Read more...

Who’d have thought my child’s worst enemy was in his own head?

charles-headphones

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

I protected my child from cars in the street. I worried when he got sick and ran a high fever. I feared he’d die in a car accident, get childhood cancer or be abducted.

I worried about a drug overdose, a drowning or even a shooting.

It never occurred to me that my child’s worst enemy was in his own head. That his brain would betray him like it did. Tell him he was worthless and convince him he’d be better off dead.

I just couldn’t imagine it, fathom it or wrap my head around it. Until I had to.

I never expected that … Read more...