By Heidi Pratt
On Monday 27th February at 12:43pm we turned my daughter’s life support off. I was lucky though. My daughter managed to hold on for 10 days giving her sister, father and I a chance to say goodbye. A little bit of me died with her that day. Words will never explain the loss I feel right now. I should not have outlived my own child and she deserved so much better than what life threw at her whilst she was still with us.
Her room remains untouched. Just how she left it. Time has frozen in there. There is a half eaten sandwich at her desk, an unmade bed and dirty washing on the floor, but also the more sinister empty pill packets that once contained the very thing that killed her. When you put that next to the empty alcohol bottle lying next to it her room looks more like a crime scene than where someone lived for sixteen years.
The realisation that my daughter took her own life is still sinking in. How could I have not realised how much pain she was in? Why did her doctors not realise? I have many questions, all of which will remain unanswered forever and I also feel guilt for not staying at home that day – simply my presence might have helped her through but one thing I refuse to feel is anger at her. Anger at me – maybe. But certainly not at her. Suicide is a complicated thing but my little girl thought that she was a burden and that we were all better off without her. The pain she must have been in to think that, let alone act on them, must have been terrible. Her last living moments were spent trying to protect those she loved even if it meant sacrificing herself.