Richard died two years previously at the age of 16 years. He had been due to go on a skiing with his school that day. He had partially packed his things but was subsequently found by his mother in the garage having taken his own life. Mike was told by the police at work. They drove him to his sister-in-law’s house where his wife and daughter were waiting. They hugged each other and both parents simultaneously told Michelle never to do anything like that. Mike made great efforts to make everything right for the funeral, kept busy with that and felt very low once there was little else to do. He carries some guilt that as a consequence of Richard’s death his employers put him in a different job in which he is much happier. He returned to work part-time in the first instance and worked in something of a daze initially. It seemed as if he could fairly quickly switch off, as he puts it, and think about other things. This is in contrast to his wife who would like to spend more time talking about Richard than would Mike, although the great love that each held for their son is not in question. Mike is a committed Christian and has no doubt that that Richard is in Heaven and that they will all be together again one day. In the meantime they grieve in their different ways. Both parents have some concern for their daughter Michelle but are relieved that she is much more outgoing than her brother and that her life and future gives reason and meaning to their owns lives.
Part of the series The Suicide of Young People and its Impact on the Family.