'Please reach out to family and friends' - a grieving South Shields family's message on World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable. An estimated 703,000 people a year take their life around the world according to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation – but how does suicide impact those left behind?

Speaking from experience, I can tell you it is hard losing someone to suicide.

October 1, 2020 is the day my brother-in-law Scott Lovely tragically took his own life aged 25, leaving his family and friends hearts in ruins.

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His beloved mam Tracey had died a year earlier aged 52 after suffering cancer, and as a family we were still healing from her passing when we were left with another heartbreaking good bye.

Scott Lovely

Scott, from Biddick Hall in South Shields, was a physically strong person.

After his time serving in the British Army in Royal Horse Artillery regiment, he went on to work offshore in asbestos removal and painting.

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Scott, who was a much-loved son of Joe and the late Tracey, brother to Joe and Kieran, uncle to his niece and nephews, dad to his beautiful Romarni, who is now five, and step-dad to lovely Rhkiya, who is now eight, and a friend to many had sadly gone and was not coming back.

The terrible news devastated so many and still to this day it is hard to wrap our heads around that his physical presence is no longer with us.

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Scott with his girls Rhkiya and Romarni

While all seemed normal in the run up to his death, I will always question was there a sign Scott was planning to take his own life and if so why did we not spot it?

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We can all spend the rest of our lives questioning it but sadly it does not change the fact he is no longer here.

Instead we visit his grave at Christmas and birthdays and his girls not understanding why their dad/step-dad is in heaven.

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In the days following his death it was clear to see just how loved he was by those who knew him.

Family holiday in 2019
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Balloon releases, flowers outside his home and so many wonderful messages sent about him proved he has made his mark in this world. He was the life and soul of any party and was always up for a laugh.

His family meant everything to him and would do anything to protect them. Blood was thicker than water and he had an unbreakable bond with his mam, dad and two brothers.

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He described Romarni and Rhkiya as his world and they doted on him too. I will always say if the love of others could have saved him he would have lived forever.

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Scott as a Gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery

Grief, it’s a strange thing isn’t it? But there is nothing in this world that can prepare you losing someone to suicide.

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I think I speak for all of Scott’s family and close friends that the emotions you feel when losing someone to suicide run from one extreme to the other.

Some days are filled with anger about what he did and those he left behind, other days filled with sadness about a life so young gone and other days filled with happiness about the memories made and the laughs shared.

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His passing still fills us all with many questions. What was the defining moment? Did he know when he was going to do it?

Could he be talked out of it? We will never get the answers we are looking for and unfortunately it will never stop our minds questioning every little detail leading up to his death.

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If you ever feel so low that you cannot see a way out just know your family and friends would much rather be your shoulder to cry on than carry your coffin to the graveside.

Scott after the army and in the army
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While you take the pain away from yourself you leave those around you with a lifetime of pain and unanswered questions. Please get help.

If Scott knew how hard it would be for everyone else I am sure he would not have done it and he would still be here today.

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Hindsight can be very painful, if you knew then what you know now it would change so much.

While more days pass since we last saw Scott, that infectious laugh will remain firmly in our minds and remind us just how big Scott’s personality was.

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While time is a healer, it does not mean we forget those we lost.

Scott’s suicide had a detrimental effect on us all, but as a family we have supported each other and got through it together.

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We have had some joyous occasions and new people come into our lives to help shine a light on things and we hope he is watching over us with the biggest smile on his face.

Joe Snr has now found happiness again with partner Gillian and has been able to open up to someone new about his struggles of losing his son and is now in a better place mentally thanks to support from her and family.

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Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, Scott, know there is not a day you are not loved and missed.

If you are having thoughts of suicide please reach out to someone or visit https://www.mind.org.uk/ for support.

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:: When life is difficult, the Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.