Wednesday 18 January 2017

Even in the darkness of suicide, there are steps into light

Barbara Scully

Published 13/05/2016 | 02:30

The darkest hour is before the dawn but life is about keeping going, just one foot in front of the other and slowly, sometimes very slowly, the light returns (Stock image)
The darkest hour is before the dawn but life is about keeping going, just one foot in front of the other and slowly, sometimes very slowly, the light returns (Stock image)

Some 20 years ago last March, my brother Tony took his own life. In the traumatic and surreal immediate aftermath our family gathered in shock and I remember my father being very adamant about one thing. He insisted that we were all going to call this what it was - suicide. He was firm that we would not be ambiguous about the cause of Tony's death. We would name it. He knew that this was important.

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Back in 1996, suicide still carried a degree of stigma. It is also never easy for any bereaved family to publicly say that their son or brother chose to end his own life. And so many families, understandably, didn't.

I wouldn't be known as someone who enjoys exercise. In school I dreaded PE and suffered five years of being on the basketball team by virtue only of my height and certainly not my talent.

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