Raising Suicide Awareness with “Hope”

In the years that followed the death of my son, I have constantly been looking for ways to help other families. This website came from the need to reach out … and, at the same time, it provided me with a method to unscramble the thoughts and feelings whirling around my brain. It gave me purpose and — this might sound strange — but it kept my son alive, in a sense, by marking his existence in this world. For a long time, I fretted over that last point. What if Barry was forgotten? Would that mean he never existed? Or that he only existed to his immediate family? This website proves that Barry was born, he lived … and he, unfortunately, died.

As a writer, I attempted to write his story, but it was too difficult. Memories were chased away by grief. Darkness wrapped itself around me during the day and nightmares came back to haunt me at night. For my own sanity, I gave that notion away.

Yet, I still wanted to do something. It was important to me. And as stupid as it sounds, I needed something good to come out of the worst thing ever. If I could do something that might save another mother going through what I’ve been through, then I would feel happier. But what could one person do?

The idea for Hope was born out of that passionate need. I live in Australia so I decided to contact Australian authors and ask for their help in raising suicide awareness. The response was heart warming. The idea became more than that when an editor stepped forward and offered her services and authors from around the country gladly donated short stories. Then organisations such as Beyondblue and Lifeline wanted to get involved. And finally employees of the University of New England offered to contribute too.

What started out as an idea is now a full blown publication. Hope will be released on 7 October 2011 by Kayelle Press. It will include thirteen short stories, four short essays and half a dozen ‘snippets’ of information on suicide. Everyone who contributed donated their time and their work. No one will receive any payment from the sale of the book, except Beyondblue and the Anika Foundation as all profits will be donated to these two organisations.

The book is dedicated to Barry.

One person can make a difference. This publication is tribute to that. I am extremely proud of the book and thank everyone involved with its creation from the bottom of my heart.

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2 thoughts on “Raising Suicide Awareness with “Hope”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am someone that thinks about suicide every day. The thought of my family grieving over me and hurting them is most likely why I have gone through with it yet. However, living is torturous, the demons in my head never clear, hurt in my heart never stops, my soul dies slowly, painfully, one day it would be all too much to bare. I understand why someone would choose suicide. I’ve been feeling like this for 7 years. I am 29. It doesn’t get better. Noone would even guess that I would want to end my life. I’m always joking and happy when around others. I’m so sorry about Barry. I don’t know why I felt the need to post this, maybe it just helps me get through another day. 😦

  2. I’m not qualified to help you. Except in the way of knowing what you feel. I’ve been suicidal too. I never did anything about it because I didn’t want to put more pain and grief in my family’s lives. It wasn’t people who ultimately saved me though. It was nature. Go out and let the sun warm your skin, the breeze wash over your body, wild flowers bring a smile to your face. Let mountains and animals stir emotions in you. Let your worries go free as you drink in the pleasures of the world around you. A dear friend did this for me and one day I woke up and I remember thinking that I wanted to live for the first time in a long time.

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