Enniskillen mother tells of her heartache at son’s suicide

Mary Monaghan whose son Paul took his own life in March 2014

Mary Monaghan whose son Paul took his own life in March 2014

AN ENNISKILLEN mother bereaved by suicide a year ago this month is to have a letter written to her late son published in a book.

 Mary Monaghan, from Killynure, who lost her son, Paul, on March 22 – said that she hopes the publication of the letter, an account of her feelings since the death of her son, will help ‘even one person’ experiencing difficulties with mental health.
 The letter is to be published in a book entitled ‘Feathers’, released alongside a film of the same name in the coming weeks.
The book, an accompaniment to the film, contains the short story by Gary McElkerney, who also stars in the film, with poetry from other cast and crew, as well as Mary’s letter. Both will raise money for the suicide prevention charity Mind Your Mate and Yourself (MyMy).
 Paul took his own life on March 22 of 2014. He is survived by his mother Mary, father Ian and sister Melissa.
 She described writing the letter as a strange process.
 “I think I probably wrote it on a day that I was having a very bad day which I do have quite a lot of. I felt that I needed to put down the thoughts while they were fresh in my mind. I was probably feeling upset, it was like reliving the whole thing again But I felt it was something that I needed to get out there and if I could help just one person.”
 The letter itself deals with the emotions that Mary and her family have felt since Paul’s death: “I’m writing this letter, not only to let you know how I feel, but to try and get some of the pain out onto paper. Since 22nd March 2014, when you chose to end your young and sometimes troubled life, an overwhelming wave of loss and heartbreak has engulfed me.”
 She also writes: “On that day, when you – my beautiful son – did this, the sight of your lifeless body on the footpath will stay with me forever. Burnt into my memory. It was cold and wet, and I was so scared. I begged and pleaded for you to get up, but you were gone. The day we buried you, part of me went with you and it is never coming back. There is a gaping hole in my heart, and I will never understand why, or get the answers I need.”
 Her reason for writing the letter is that if, by reading the letter, even just one person suffering from mental health issues takes a positive message from it.
“There’s nothing that bad that can’t be fixed. I just don’t know how to get the message across enough.
 “It still goes back to that day – in fact its probably harder. You just have to get up and go on. I struggle with work, I’ve had to change my hours at work quite a few times – they’ve been brilliant – but it’s left us all as a family totally devastated. But on another side, it’s brought us closer together, we probably talk to each other more, we try to get answers that are not there.”
 She concluded: “And I think that until the day I die I’ll be banging this message across. I just don’t want anyone to have to suffer what we have gone through and I would do anything to help anyone who is on that road.”

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