Our names are Paula, Turi and Mel. We each lost a beautiful child to suicide. Paula’s son Kingston and Mel’s son Brook, ended their lives in 2013. Turi’s son Flaun ended his life in 2014.
After the shock of losing our sons, we were left with not only guilt, pain, grief but we also had to try manage our families grieving. We shut down, over compensated with our surviving children, self medicated, cried, anger consumed us. We lived in fear of it happening again, thought about doing it ourselves…a gamut of emotions all revolving around having had to bury our sons. We couldn’t talk to anyone. People, not knowing how to respond to us, changed the subject, or ignored us. We didn’t want to talk to those closest to us as our grief was like a virus, it infected everyone.
As mothers, our instinct is to protect our loved ones from pain and talking about losing our boys, caused pain. The three of us were a club no one wants to be in but we could talk to each other freely about our boys, and were there, anytime to lend an ear or to vent, day or night. This sparked the Other Side of Silence. If we felt comfortable talking to each other about our losses, maybe creating a group might work for our parents, our partners, our children. We spoke to them and they agreed, they could talk freely to their peer group so this is what we created.