In 2005 Amanda’s son, Lori, took his own life. He was 21. Amanda thinks that sexual abuse may have been a reason for his suicide. She has found support via family, friends, church, internet [POS], Compassionate Friends, Papyrus and psychotherapy.
Amanda’s son, Lori, was aged 21 when he died. In November 2005 he jumped from a bridge and died soon afterwards.
She suspects that a reason why Lori took his own life was that he had been sexually abused as a teenager. Lori was taking cannabis about the time he died but there were no drugs in his body at the time of his death.
Lori’s death was a devastating shock to all the family and to Lori’s many friends. Amanda decided to go to see Lori’s body, which she says was an important thing to do. She said she owed that to him and needed to see him to convince herself that he was dead.
Amanda and her husband Martyn arranged the church funeral, which celebrated Lori’s life. It was a long funeral, with music, readings, a talk from the vicar and funny stories about Lori. The songs had a message of hope. Lori was buried on a beautiful hill side, in a grave yard, overlooking the town, where there are rabbits and flowers.
The inquest was the following May. Amanda went to the inquest with friends and family to support her. She was not aware at the time that the inquest was recorded. She has obtained a recording so that if her other sons ever want to know what happened at the inquest they can have it. The coroner decided on an open verdict, partly because Lori had not left a suicide note.
Amanda has found psychotherapy helpful, which she has had to pay for herself. She has also had enormous support from family and friends, and via the internet and an American web site called Parents of Suicide [POS]. She has also found help from Compassionate Friends, an organisation for people who have lost children in various ways, and by joining Papyrus, an organization that works to prevent suicide among young people.
Amanda has also found comfort by keeping a memory book. Lori’s friends have written about Lori on many different sheets of coloured paper. They have also added photographs to their written memories.
She says that it is important that she can talk about Lori and mention his name, and recall the happy times and funny things that happened when Lori was alive. She says that it is important to show people pictures of Lori with his grinning face.
Amanda wants to make her other sons feel special. Lori was important but she knows that her other children need to feel important too.
Amanda was interviewed in July 2007.