The Blog

The Lessons From My Father's Suicide

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


Suicide is such a confusing thing to process when you are the one who is left behind.

On Dec. 13, 2014, my dad killed himself. He took his own life. I will never know if it was planned or a spur of the moment action, but he did it, and he was gone. He had left his body forever.

I had no idea. I thought that I would have felt the earth shift with the death of my father or anyone else I loved, but I didn't. I woke up on Saturday morning and my sister and I went to read our books to a group of lovely children, we played with them, giggled and were filled with life, joy and the promise of the amazing people these children would grow into.

We are all miracles, born as sweet little babies full of hope and life. We love ourselves and our passion for life is infectious. Children's eyes sparkle with excitement at this great adventure of life, they strive to grow, to get bigger, stronger more independent and at some point for too many of us that sparkle fades, little by little so you hardly notice it going.


We forget that we are miracles and that life is made to be full of joy and discovery. We forget that we must make mistakes to learn and grow and that sometime we will get knocked down but just like that plucky little 1-year-old learning to walk we must get back up with a giggle and a smile and keep going.

Yes we can wail and cry, yes sometimes life will seem so painful and terrible that we have to stop and just let the pain pour out. As adults we have learnt to do this in privacy, for some reason showing vulnerability has become shameful and so many of us try to keep up a cheerful façade to stop anyone knowing the sadness that is lying just under the surface.

Since my fathers death I have caught myself going back into my protective happy shield smiling and chatting so that no one worries about me, while inside I am frantic, broken and weeping. Why do I do this? When I was a child I would just weep and scream. My daughter who is 4 is such a brilliant teacher, she lets her rage and upsets out, she runs into my arms for support when she needs it and then she is happy again. She has expressed her pain and she is safe and happy again. While I am feeling sick inside trying to be ok and when I finally let it out and weep in my husbands arms just like our daughter I feel a sense of peace and safety come over me.

Why as we strive to grow up do we forget so much of the wisdom we where born with?

My dad was once that tiny baby gazing up into his mothers eyes so full of hope and love. How did he go from being that magical being who knew about love and life to a man by himself in a hotel room deciding to bring his life to an end?


How do so many of us walk through life with our eyes closed the beauty that lies inside of us, how have so many of us forgotten how to look at the world the way a child does?

Since my dad's death I have been reminded of how precious life is and how amazing each and every one of us is. He has made me look at life through fresh eyes, I have started to take care of my body better, to fill it with healthy foods and embrace who I am with love and acceptance.

I now take a moment to breath, to enjoy a view and to give thanks for the annoying, mundane and amazing moments in my life because each moment of my life is a gift and a miracle and I am so grateful to be here to enjoy it.

Just like that baby you are worthy, you are loveable, and you are loved. Celebrate who you are because we are all unique amazing.

You can connect with Sarah on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

And can view Sarah's children's books here.

If you feel affected by anything you've read in my blog and you'd like to reach out, please do. If you need help, there is Life Line Australia whose helpline is 13 11 14 and Life Line NZ whose helpline is 0800 543 354.


If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.