The loss of a child is the worst pain any parent can face. Children are supposed to grow up to be something. What happens when they don’t? Why do children face stress so bad that the only solution is not to live anymore? Does suicide prevention training actually work?
How would I have known?
It all seemed so normal. John was your typical 15 year old kid. He went to school with a smile. He was the life of the dinner table.
Then at some point he would come home, go to his room, blast his radio, and talk to his friends. This started happening more and more.
He would still join the family for dinner with a smile and tell us of all the good things he had going on.
I thought everything was fine! He was just a teenage boy — passionate about music and friends.
Then one day I came home to John — dead.
I’ll spare you the gory details — the things I can’t get from my mind.
I will say this though — I wished I had known. I wish I had paid attention to everything!
Why would my kid do this?
After John’s death, I found myself spending time in his room — just to feel close to him. One night while I was sitting in front of his computer, a message came. Apparently, the sender had no clue that John was dead.
The words on the screen shocked me.
This person from another state had obviously been bullying John for some time. He would say things to make John think he had no worth.
Seeking my own help
The death of John left me frozen. I was unable to function and thought about suicide myself. My husband started noticing — he was on high alert after losing John.
It was at that moment that I knew I had to seek help.
We got online to look up some suicide prevention resources. I found a local group for grieving parents and a counselor.
While at group, I started seeing fliers about suicide prevention training. I remember thinking, why couldn’t I have seen this earlier?
It was then that I met another parent whose child was showing the same signs as my John.
The benefits of suicide prevention training
By this time, I had already begun to learn more about how to help other parents recognize the signs I had missed. I began talking to her about the acronym, F.A.C.T.S, and how it helps identify any problems there may be.
I started putting myself on the front line for suicide prevention training. I found helping other parents helped me heal from my loss and brought me comfort that we might save another child.
What are some suicide prevention resources?
If you notice any alarming changes in your child, you should reach out for help. Look at all your counseling options. If you need someone to talk to, call the 24/7 suicide prevention hotline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255).