Devastation of an unexpected suicide

Photo Neil Cross
Tony and Julie Wiles are still coming to terms with the suicide of their son just over a year ago. A special memorial fountain has been built in the garden for their son Stevie
Photo Neil Cross Tony and Julie Wiles are still coming to terms with the suicide of their son just over a year ago. A special memorial fountain has been built in the garden for their son Stevie
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In the second part of our series looking at the county’s high suicide rates and the work being done to prevent suicide Michelle Blade reports on one family’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of their much loved son and brother.

Joiner Stevie Wiles, 33, was found dead at his home in Morecambe last August.

Photo Neil Cross
Tony and Julie Wiles are still coming to terms with the suicide of their son just over a year ago. A special memorial fountain has been built in the garden for their son Stevie

Photo Neil Cross Tony and Julie Wiles are still coming to terms with the suicide of their son just over a year ago. A special memorial fountain has been built in the garden for their son Stevie

Stevie’s family, including mum Julie, dad Tony and sisters Louisa and Kayleigh are still struggling to come teams with his sudden death.

Mum Julie, 56, pictured with Tony, said: “What we have found hard is Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day which we now have to spend without him.

“He was troubled and we didn’t know how much when he went out that night.”

Dad Tony, 55, a tug driver at Heysham Port said: “It was the suddenness of it all, he wasn’t ill in bed. You could have prepared yourself for it.

“It’s the not saying goodbye as well, there was no note, nothing.

“That is why the suicide rate amongst young men is high because they won’t get help or talk about it.

“If another young man is reading this, get help and don’t be ashamed.”

Sister Louisa said: “I was the last person to see him that night and he was fine.

“I was his older sibling and he told me everything. The message should be talk and tell.

“Tell somebody, anybody, and don’t suffer on your own. On the night he died, we had a heart-to-heart and he left in good spirits.

“He could have talked to me and I could have got him some help but he was that far gone in his own emotions.”

Julie and her family have been supported by CRUSE, the bereavement charity, and have drawn comfort from the fact that the person on the other end of the line knows exactly what they are going through. Julie said: “I got a lot of comfort from what the lady on the helpline said. It’s the why – why is the biggest question. I was told I’d joined a club which no-one ever wants to join.

“It’s what makes a person tick like that. We are just learning to live life without him, we will take tiny steps. The helpline has helped. You can go on and on thinking ‘I could have done more’ or ‘should we have said that’ but nothing would have changed what happened.

“If anyone is thinking about committing suicide, my advice would be don’t leave anyone feeling like this, the devastation it leaves behind is unbearable for families.

“If they have a good think before that dramatic act and think what they are going to leave behind.

“Seek help, get help, it doesn’t matter from who. Please, please, from the Wiles family, talk to someone.”

•HELPLINES

If you or someone you know feels suicidal help is available.

1.Preston Samaritans: 01772 822022 or freephone 116 123 The Preston branch is at 11 St Wilfrid Street.

2. PAPYRUS HOPELineUK offers advice on young suicide prevention - 0800 068 41 41 text 077 86 20 9697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

3. Lancashire’s Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline - 0800 915 4640

www.lancs-mentalhealthhelpline.nhs.uk

4.CRUSE Bereavement Care - 0808 808 1677 or www.cruse.org.uk.