Suicide of Young People: Denise talks about the death of her son Shane
DVD2002 33 Minutes
Denise talks about the death of her son, who hanged himself in prison.
Denise talks about the death of her 18-year old son, Shane. Shane’s parents were divorced several years ago and the father had remarried and had two sons by his second wife. Shane lived with his mother and three sisters, saw much less of his father and was jealous of his half-brothers. For some years, he has been very uneasy about spending time alone. He had been previously involved with drugs, had taken to taking and driving away; and finally to encouraging police cars to chase him. At the time of his death by hanging, he was in prison and had been placed in solitary confinement for some disciplinary offence. Having only five week to go before release, a few days previously he had asked his mother for a set of new clothes to be bought for him for his coming out of prison. He had never given any indication of being depressed. Denise got the message about Shane’s death from her ex-husband and went to the prison with her partner thinking there was some mistake. She had the news confirmed and just wanted to get home, in shock and disbelief. She had to go to the city mortuary: would have liked to have gone alone but the family went with her. Denise was distressed to see Shane with a purple cover with gold cross on his body, through glass. Denise was given a letter Shane had written to her. She couldn’t read this for a week. Again, she wanted to be alone to do this.
Life has little meaning for her now, she just wants to die and be with Shane. She treasures all items relating to him and spends a lot of time in his bedroom, which always seems cold. She just copes with life for her daughters and grandchildren. Sex with her partner has no significance for her now and she does not want to enjoy herself anymore. Shane said in his letter to her that he was going to a better world and she is just existing until that time when she can join him there.
Part of the series The Suicide of Young People and its Impact on the Family.