I wondered when watching the news and a child was found murdered or kidnapped. I often thought to myself ‘ How do the parents survive that, having raising, feeding, clothing, teaching and loving a child so much for someone to take them away’ I could not connect that loss or comprehend that pain.
Then you have your own children and find that unconditional love and protection. To care for a child is no other bond or connection. It is so different to losing a grandparent, your parents or sibling.
This is your flesh and blood and this is your creation given as a gift from God to care for and nurture.
I have 2 daughters with whom I am struggling to connect with after my sons loss. I gave him all my moulding and secrets to a successful life. He was my going to be a bread winner one day and I needed Him to my success. He was my pride my joy. I have more paranoia now of loosing them than giving them my love, for that kind of pain a parent who never want repeated.
I love my girls with all my heart but lets be real girls are independent and boys have a special connection to there mothers like girls do to there father’s.
You are never the same person when your child dies. This is my story….
I gave birth to my son when I was 22, he weighed 3.6kg. I was not married and was living with his father. We soon separated and it was just me and my son and his father every second weekend.
His father and mother had our arguments regarding child support and what his needs were. That always came first for me.
I met my husband Troy and my son who was almost 2 years old bonded with him and he soon out of his own called him daddy. That’s when the guilt started being instilled in him when he left my home and when to his grandparents where his dad would be to spend time with him.
My son would come home with stories of what they thought of and negative they were. They made him feel bad and guilty calling my husband daddy, which mad him feel sad. I often explained to him that people are who they are and what they are and talk is cheap. What you make of your life is important as they have lived there’s.
Rayél loved spending time with his grandparents and father and came home happy and good. So to me he was growing up and understood how life.
Then his father got married he was about 7 years old. Everything seemed fine and she seemed like an OK girl. Once the ring was on she shunned him and made sure his father never spent time with him or made an effort to be with him. When they has there own children it got worse that she would make him feel un-welcomed in there home.
I could not understand or accept her behaviour which brought conflict between me and his father. I then only liaised with his ma where his father was concerned. My son told me everything and consulted in me when he had sad weekend away or happy one.
His grandfather had control of Rayél when he went down weekends and they spend all the fatherly duties together. When he passed away my son was shattered and starting fearing his connection and bond with his family is growing shorter as he spend his weekends with his grandparents and not his father. The ma tried her best to be the missing link but he missed having that male connection, that learning and doing things together.
My son soon felt sad and anxiety of loosing her as then who would be there for him on the Da Silva side, where would he go to still see his cousins?
He often spoke to me about that and I felt for him and asked her to reassure him about never loosing that family connection.
He then tried reaching out of his father to fill that empty gap but one Saturday a month was still to much for this father to spend with him.
Then my nightmare began… at home he share his fears and feel bonded as a family and when he went down to his ma felt loss but obligated to care for her as his grandfather was no longer there.
2011-2012 my son showed me something that shocked me he was cutting himself. I asked him what makes him feel this way that wants to harm himself.
He said he does not know how to process his emotions and feelings where his father and stepmother is concerned. He felt like split, that I spoke to his ma about it to address the issue with his father to spend more time with him since his grandpa passed away whom he was very close to. I immediately put him in counselling which helped him deal with the problems and issues he was feeling. In 2013 he bragged and showed me mom look my scars are going away, I dont feel the need to cut anymore. I am feeling so happy and I am feeling good. On the 13 July 2013 we went to the spur before the movies he watch bringing down the white house with my husband troy and i watched despicable me with the girls. We came home discussing the movies. Sunday he went with my husband troy to Bruce (troy’s brother) to swopped tyres and they spent the afternoon there. The evening he went to youth as usual and said youth was great it is so much fun. Monday my girls started school and he still had a weeks holiday. he asked me if he could spend the last week with his ma as he misses her and has not seen her in a long time. I said ok no problem. Plus his playstation fell and was in for repairs and the decoder was acting up. He moaned he was board. She fetched him Monday evening after 8pm i hugged and kissed him an told him to behave. He said always mom. Wednesday evening i get a BBM message: saying mom please tell my sisters trinity-Lee and trista i love them and i will see them in heaven. I love you mom. I replied asking what kind of messages is this he is sending me. He then pinged me and asked me to phone him. I called him immediately. He said mom i am feeling depressed. I asked him why? what happened? he said it is on my phone in a note(which i never read or got) i said no Rayél i am not reading any notes on your phone i am coming to fetch you wait for me. He said no mom dont come i am fine i am only joking. I said you not you dont sound right, dont do anything stupid it is against your religion i am on my way, wait for me. I message his ma to say rayel is sending suicide notes where is she. I message my brother and sister and mom who lives 4 doors away. I message his cousin who he is close to get him on the ph and speak to him. She replied his phone was off. I rushed through seeing an ambulance i put my hazzards on. When i got there they were busy in the room i could hear the heart machine. i collapse and just started screaming… i have never in my life felt such a pain in my body i thought i was going to die. Later they declared him dead and said they tried everything he just could not breath on his own. I went in and saw him lying there his head in a pool of blood and i tried waking him and asking him to wake up so mommy can take him home and he can be safe. I said mommy will fix it.
My son Rayél was a brilliant boy and was built with such love, compassion for others, such sensitivity and brilliance. He was awarded a scholarship for ISCT – International School of Cape Town. He told me he cannot wait to complete year 13 and qualify into Cambrige College in UK. He wanted to be an Engineer but he said not any Engineer he wants to make the changes in the world.
This was not planned at all. He made plans the weekend. His one friend was
coming the next day.
He booked soccer practise with his best friend in his class when school opens the Monday.
He planned to go to a birthday party. All i know is that his father called 5am that morning to tell him that he love him and then later that afternoon to ask him if he remembers the phone call and rayel said no and then his father repeated his message. He was very close to his biological dad before he got married 7-8 years ago and suffered from abandonment issues on that side.
We are BROKEN as a family. I am not over it. I have not accepted that he wont be coming back. I miss him terribly. I have continuous pain in my soul i cannot explain. I think about him 24/7 and look at his pictures everyday. He was my golden boy and we were so close he told me everything good or bad. I am angry at myself for not saving him. I am angry that i said he could go down to his ma. I am not angry at my son, i just wish he had waited for me. I was off from work for 8 weeks i could not function. This year I was in a psychiatric clinic for 2 weeks to help me deal with my thoughts of suicide and hate and anger for everyone and anyone I know hurt him. I cry alot and just wish this was a bad dream and i could just wake up and everything would be back to normal. Our home is not the same i am not the same person. I am on medication to help me function. I have fear of loosing my daughters as well.
I believe if his grandfathers guns were confiscated 5 years ago by the law he Would NOT have taken that anxiety, guilt, burdening feeling to the point of wanting to end his life and shoot himself in the head. How does do I live my life without our plans we had.
The dreams we shared.
The stories and music he made.
There was so much messages I received from teenagers and his friend of how guilty they feel because they had no clue when they spoke to him the morning. My Facebook of other teenagers who heard about him messaged me telling me about there anxiety and depression they are suffering but have no one to talk to or have the fear of been labelled.
I really feel such a powerful need to create an awakening.
To educate parents and students that suicide and depression is an ok feeling when you are going through a rough period it might be bullying or parental abuse or even peer pressure. Kids need to know that it is ok and there is help out there and they need not be afraid to speak out.
I started an NPO to create awareness around this TABOO illness. I offer free basic counselling to youth and adults. I run a open support group for adults suffering/living with depression and anxiety. I do talks at high schools and universities.
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