| 20.3°C Dublin

Be honest to children about, suicide, pleads brave Alex (10)

BRAVE Alex Featherson has an important message for parents - be honest with children about suicide.

Alex is just ten years old and last week she spent her Saturday filming an emotional tribute to her dad Andy who took his own life in 2010, when she was just seven.

She says it's important that children who lose a loved one to suicide don't "grow up with a lie" because it will upset them when the truth comes out.

Originally her mum Joanne told her middle child that it was a heart attack that had killed her dad but she said immediately Alex had a list of questions for her.

"She was so curious. There was something inside her that just wasn't swallowing the heart attack story," her mum told the Herald.

death

In her video, which has almost 10,000 views on YouTube, Alex said the grief that followed her dad's death "was like a burning feeling".

Her mum Joanne remembers a similar feeling of overwhelming loss when tragedy hit the family in 2010. Andy Morgan (inset) was just 39 when died after he left Joanne behind at a New Year's Eve party. Nobody knew he was suffering with depression.

Joanne said of his death: "It's like a piece of your soul has been ripped out and you are searching for it back. It's hard to explain."

But three years on the family are able to deal with what happened openly.

Having to reveal the truth to her child was one of the hardest things she ever had to do she admits, but she knows that she made the right decision and Alex agrees.

"I didn't want the kids to grow up with this dark secret that they felt that they couldn't talk about," Joanne said.

Alex's inspirational message has travelled around the world after she appeared on Ireland AM yesterday, but she doesn't think she was particularly brave.

messages

"I just feel normal," she admitted.

But her video has inspired people of all ages in Ireland and abroad.

"We have been inundated with messages from people saying that they will use the video to help explain a death by suicide to their kids," her mum said.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy