A County Tipperary man says the death of his son by suicide is as â€œtough as it getsâ€.
Larryâ€™s son Richard took his life back in 2004, aged 17.
Larry later got in contact with Anam Cara Parental and Sibling Bereavement Support, an inclusive organisation set up by bereaved parents to support bereaved parents and siblings throughout Ireland. This support is available regardless of age or cause of death, whether it is a recent loss or one that happened many years ago.
â€œWhen Richard took his own life, there was total devastation amongst our family and his friends because it was so unexpected. He had an older brother and two younger twin sisters, and was involved in everything, in particular golf. His friends continue to call to the house a couple of times a year since he died, which really shows how much he meant to them,â€ Larry tells South Tipp Today.
Anam Cara recently launched #Daddyandme, a new campaign in the run-up to Fatherâ€™s Day on June 21st. It follows on from #Mammyandme, which was very positive in raising awareness and funds. People are asked to share a picture of themselves with their Dad on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and include the hashtag #Daddyandme. The photo can be a recently taken selfie or one from the archives. They then must tag and nominate three friends or companies to do the same, and donate and include the following text information in their post or tweet - â€˜Text SUPPORT to 50300 to donate â‚¬4 to Anam Cara.
Larry says Fathersâ€™ Day is a particularly difficult time for those Dads who have been bereaved of a child or children. â€œDads often bottle it all up and can become isolated in the grieving process. Society views them as the strong ones who are able to deal with the loss on their own. However, this isnâ€™t always the case. Everyone will deal with it in their own way, but its important that people know that thereâ€™s help out there. I got involved in a number of charities and fundraisers initially, iand then contacted Anam Cara around three years ago.â€
Larry says that being involved in Anam Cara has helped him deal with the loss of his son Richard, because everyone involved at the support service shares a â€œcommon themeâ€. He adds: â€œThe people you meet at Anam Cara have been through the nightmare and pain of losing a child, and understand what your going through. Its important people support the #daddyandme campaign and raise awareness of the difficulties bereaved Dads face.â€