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Words are hard to write, and hard to say. They’re hard because 14 years ago (that’s half of my life) my best friend, my beautiful Mum, ended her life. I among many others am one of those who are left behind trying to navigate the devastating grief that comes with being bereaved in this way.

I believe my Mum could have lived. With the right support and care perhaps she would still be here. The smile from ear to ear still glistening strong and joyful face lighting up the room.

Being suicidal doesn’t conveniently give those around it a heads up. There are often signs to look out for but sometimes there aren’t and this can be exceptionally hard for those left behind without answers.

I believe my mum could still have been here. Her life could have been saved. We, her family, miss her so much. I’m not alone. There are many families left with this pain and grief that is so complex and difficult to try to process, seemingly impossible to understand. The endless questions, the ‘what if’s’ the ‘but why’s’.

This may just be one time out of a year where we raise awareness of suicide, but it’s every day that those left behind are missing a part of their hearts and wishing that their loved one could still be with them. Special occasions can be particularly hard.

Going through day by day without my Mum by my side has been heartbreaking. It was also heartbreaking to plan her funeral but I know she was there with us in spirit, through her favourite flower decorations and special mentions in every eulogy.

My Mum lives on through me and I will never stop campaigning for suicide awareness, prevention and bereavement support in her legacy.

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