Breaking ‘silence’ for suicide victims

SUICIDE is not often discussed in public.

It tends to be confined to whispered conversations behind hands or closed doors.

For many victims of suicide – those left behind – this silence is heavy with grief, guilt and blame from others.

But one former Burdekin resident has vowed to break the silence.

Susan Brabon-Whitton will mark the anniversary of her fiance, Phil Whitton’s suicide with the publication of poetry written by the couple.  “Most of it was written before Phil died but I have written some since he passed away,” she said.

“I’m sure people who have been in a similar situation can relate to it,” she said.

Ms Brabon-Whitton said she felt she could not face the small Burdekin community after her fiance’s death.

She said Phil had been a well-liked and popular man around town and it had been a struggle to work through her feelings in order to carry on with her life and be there for their two children.

“People just don’t want to talk about it so you get angry, make excuses… you blame yourself,” she said.

Ms Brabon-Whitton finally turned to an organisation called White Reef – which offered supoort and counselling to victims of suicide.

She said all proceeds from the sale of the book would be donated to the group which was trying to raise money to conduct a memorial service in North Queensland.

“The book is called ;Life Cycles: A Collection of Poems About Love and Life and Death,” she said.

“I’m publishing about 100 and they will only be sold in the Burdekin.  “It is my little way of celebrating his memory.”

The book ‘Life Cycles’ will be for sale in Woods Newsagency, Ayr.