This week a Tipperary family is facing the heart-wrenching sight of an an empty chair at the Christmas dinner table following the suicide of their son.
Heart-broken mother Teckie Brett has spoken publicly on the death through suicide of her son Neville in the hope that it might help prevent someone else taking their own life.
Neville died on October 6 at the age of 33 - his mother said this week that he is now “in the arms of his Heavenly Father and loving mother Mary who also lost her son at the age of 33”.
Mrs Brett, in a letter printed in full on Page 7, says she has spoken about her family’s huge loss in the hope that it would prevent even one person from “taking this awful, tragic, irreversible, painful step into an early grave”.
Mrs Brett, from Mullinahone, says the pain is like nothing she has ever experienced, hitting her first thing in the morning and last thing at night. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Please don’t inflict it on yours”, she pleads.
Mrs Brett explains how the education system failed Neville, and how it continues to fail other non-academic children like Neville, who hated school. But he grew up to become a loving and caring man, a friend to all, especially those in need.
And Mrs Brett adds - “As you sit around your joyous family table this Holy Christmas season, spare a thought for the ever increasing number of families staring at that lonely empty chair and pondering yet again, that unanswerable question - why?