Have there been other familial or cultural aspects that have assisted you in your path?

Our own ways of understanding

Because Christianity’s ideas were bashed through us, like teachings on the missions about sin, we do not know what our Aboriginal culture says about suicide. Christianity’s ideas about suicide have been learned, instilled, bashed through me. I don’t know if suicide was part of the culture of our older people. I honestly do not know. What I do know is that, because of the teachings of Christianity, we were made to feel shame.

My justification, my way of understanding, is that my brothers did the best they could at the time: that the way they died did not mean that they were not worthy. I felt that what killed them was seeing what the human race was doing to itself. Rah used to say to me, ‘I want to live on a star, so I don’t have to see these things any more’.

Has music, art or creativity in general assisted for instance?

Writing this out will serve as a document I can re-visit and re-shape over time.

  • My sister got a tattoo that commemorates her love for her son.

  • The importance of music and singing helped me. I joined a choir.

  • Listening to music my son enjoyed and I enjoy has been helpful to me. I’ve listened to more of the music he liked since he died. As I listen to this music, I also write about my feelings and my thoughts at that time. In a way I write to myself and this somehow helps me to connect to the music and connect to my son. Often I will go back over my words – review them, edit them, add to them. I want to feel right about what I’ve written.

  • One of the songs I listen to reminds me of my son’s friends. At his funeral, one of them played it on his guitar and the other sang. When I think of that I sometimes have a proud cry – proud of their friendship.

  • I thank you for sharing this project with me and with others. I purposely waited to answer these questions until today – the 2 year mark from his passing – as I find that sometimes I just need to find ways to reconnect with him, my sadness, and my hopes. We made a CD with David’s favourite music that I usually listen to when I want to be closer to him. Finding ways to talk about David and how I experience this loss is helpful. I go to a suicide loss support group from time to time and it helps to know I can talk about him and be open and honest about my feelings and thoughts. In society, we can’t always do this. Writing this out will serve as a document I can re-visit and re-shape over time.


Art is where I put all of it

After his death, I started a whole series of drawings. I did one about both of my parents’ deaths and the aftermath. Art is where I put all of it.

If you are need of assistance:

If you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek assistance. If you are within Australia, please refer to the following support services. If you or someone near you is in immediate danger Call Emergency Services on 000; or Go to a hospital emergency department.

If you are outside Australia, you can find helplines in different countries here: findahelpline.com