The last thing we said to each other was, “lupshoo, mauri ora”, and then we did our cheeky pukana to each other. The next thing I knew he was dead.

The death of my baby was the most devastating thing I have ever gone through. It has taken me nearly three years to come out of the darkness that is Kahupo and start seeing the light of toiora.

To me the reason that Flaun decided to end his life is a mystery and only he knows why. Speculation from others (well-meaning or not) does not help me, in fact it causes masses of anxiety and makes me sick. Medication only prolonged my suffering and my whanau had to then, in turn, try and look out for me because I wasn't coping. I didn't want to wake up again to my reality.

I have the most amazing whanau who are supportive. My main ones are my immediate, my parents, my sister, my kids and most of all, my darling husband. As frustrating as it was for them to see me in a bad way, they were still mourning the loss of their brother, nephew, moko. They never gave up on me. Even when I wanted them to leave me alone. They never did, and it was exactly what I needed.

Now I look on the brighter side of life, going to work every day, hanging out with my beautiful mokopuna, getting up every morning and having a purpose - these are the things that I focus on.

MotherClea Pettit