The Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Council began with a group of survivors, service providers, and passionate community members. Our goal is to support suicide survivors, and reduce the tragedy of suicide through education and awareness.
Every parent’s nightmare came true for me, the loss of a child. For reasons I will likely never know and will never be understandable, my 13 year old daughter Kaley decided that her life was no longer worth living. Only a week after making her Christmas wish list, talks of shopping for her Grade 8 graduation dress and future plans, Kaley attempted suicide. I say attempted because she was found out before she completed. She had barely any vitals and was taken to hospital. One week after Kaley’s attempt, her body succumbed to her self- inflicted injuries. She had in fact carried out her suicide plan.
In the hospital I held Kaley’s unconscious body. I held her hand and talked to her, told her stories, sang her songs, kissed her, hugged her and prayed she would survive this horrible mistake she had made. I held her hand while she faded away from this world, a memory and feeling that haunts me every day. There are no words to describe the loss of a child. Kaley’s death has left me devastated to say the least.
My world had crashed in a way I never imagined possible. I wanted to die myself. If it had not been for my 15 year old daughter Makenzie and other loved ones, I wouldn’t have survived this. I had to keep it together for those who needed me. I must somehow take care of myself so I could take care of them.
Living in a small town we felt as though we had become the subject of everyone’s whispering, gossip and looks of pity. Everywhere we went someone wanted to talk to us about what happened, in every form. News outlets, social media and just people in general would not leave us alone to grieve. Everyone wanted the story but no one wanted to actually listen and help. No one could understand what we were going through. I have never felt more alone in my life. Our friends and family didn’t know what to say. How could they?
Knowing my daughter needed a professional to talk to, I found counseling for her immediately while I tried to manage my grief on my own. I finally broke down and met with a family health team counselor. It was during this meeting that I discovered that this person, who had no children and had never suffered a loss, could not help me. She could not identify with me in any way. She had nothing to offer me with the exception of a pamphlet on a group called “Survivors of Suicide”. I left her office that day and never returned.