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Grief without Walls

When someone dies there are comforting rituals to support the bereaved family, death is a natural ending for most human beings. When death happens traumatically as with suicide, those supportive rituals fall apart. I lost my beautiful son to suicide 16 months ago and even though I am a transformative coach and mental health/ wellbeing educator, I was SO lost.

The people around me were lost too. Those who turned up to visit came with loving courage. They sat with me in my darkest moments holding me in love, not fixing, judging, telling me time would heal my grief. I was totally overwhelmed, in shock and mentally and physically closed down.

There were other visitors who innocently talked about their own grief filling all the spaces about themselves. Maybe because they had fear about the term suicide.

Some friends fell away, in avoidance or in judgment of Ant's suicide.

Here I was, a Mum in the darkest of grief, mourning my beautiful son and being shamed or judged. I actually had people cross the road or scuttle off in a car if they saw me outdoors. We humans carry so much fear inside each of us for our own reason, and I decided that I would not judge others, but be the voice for suicide to prevent stigma as much as I could. If you have someone who died recently, or died by suicide - please accept my heartfelt sadness for your loss.

Suicidal Stigma is the antipathy to healing. Its like a tiny garden snail trying to reach next doors leafy shrub by travelling over via their rooftop.

Death scares most of us.

The mention of suicide seems to scatter people, its like an unspoken hidden fear added to the really scary pieces of death.

I am a person who faces suicide and wraps it in loving compassion, I did before Ant died, I do even more now I have experienced losing Ant. When you lose a child by suicide the traumatic shock is seismic, your physical body shuts down (I did not eat or sleep for weeks). Your mental resources shut down, I could not form sentences or remember words. I just need empathy and stillness. I could not even answer a question. In this space I just need you to see me and be with me, as I would for you.

I am still Anni, still me. A mum who is grieving, sometimes deeply and sometimes I can breathe easier. I am the same fun loving, compassionate soul who loves to help only now I have huge grief too. This blog is my coming back into the social media world, for the first time since Ant died. I am doing this slowly and if you are someone who is grieving you may need to find your own pace of recovery.

I am here to help eradicate stigma and talk openly about suicide and mental illness. I have a podcast on Spotify, called Grief Without Walls, the two mums, where we talk to parents and families about coping with child loss by suicide, gathering ideas to bring hope.

There is an organisation called CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and on the main page of their website Homepage | Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) ( it says 'Suicide doesn't always look like suicide.'

That is utterly true. I knew Ant was struggling a month before he died, yet the month before that he was lively and beginning to eat out with our family, socialising more. I can still see him dancing in the garden in the early summer weather, cheesy grin and great rhythm. He is such a gorgeous man. Yes, I write is because I believe his consciousness lives on. If you had known him you would love him. He was a great listener, fun loving, he really liked to play pranks. He had charm and so much love to give. If you knew him, really knew him you would not even think about judging him.

703 000 people die by suicide every year. That is nearly 15 hundred thousand parents grieving just like I am because their child died by suicide, we are all a son/ he or daughter/she or a they by birth.

Precious souls who could not stay here for their own reason. Every person who dies is sacred. Every grieving parent deserves compassion and love in their loss, even when and especially when you don't think they do, because of the suicide.

I have never needed so much love and compassion as I did last August 2022.

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