My 18 year old son on several occasions spoke to me of suicidal thoughts. Because my son smoked marijuana and in the past had used intravenous drugs I thought that it might have been adolescent behaviour combined with drugs that may have distorted his thinking. Something I hoped he would over come.

One Saturday morning I had to take my younger son to the doctor’s and pick up a few groceries. My younger son, after the doctor’s appointment went on to see a friend. I was gone no longer than 1 hour.

When I returned I went down stairs to the laundry. I found my son hanging. I was alone in the house and by myself I had to cut him down. Crying and in complete disbelief I gave my son CPR, desperately trying to revive him. I did not want to stop the CPR but I had to ring 000. I was in total shock but managed to rush back up the stairs and ring the emergency number for help. They advised me not to hang up and continue the CPR until the ambulance arrived. I was out of breath and tired but continued CPR until they arrived.

I was traumatised. To find my child hanging and dead in my home was beyond comprehension. Something that you would never expect to see in your life.

I repeatedly ask myself questions of why was I so naive not to believe my son when he spoke of suicide.

I ask how would I have known if we as a society are not educated on suicide. Family and carers, in most cases think this is the behaviour of adolescents. We do not know how to differentiate between behavioural problems and serious problems. Psychiatrists, doctor’s etc specialise for many years on this specific issue of suicide.

We, the community care givers, are totally ignorant on this subject. We are left to find our own way.