Mother Who Lost her Son to Suicide Speaks Out
Suicide is not an easy subject to talk about, but one local woman says the conversation is necessary in order to prevent individuals from making the permanent choice. Tammy McKenna started a suicide support group for the Coast after the death of her son.
News 25’s Kendra Turley shares her story.
“I mean, this is something that never goes away. I have good days and then I have really, really bad days.” Tammy McKenna lost her son, Blake, to suicide in 2013. Blake loved football, the Bible, and was only 16-years-old at the time that he passed.
Although it’s been years since he was laid to rest, his family says the pain is still fresh. “You feel like there is no hope whatsoever. You are in this huge dark tunnel. You feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s what do I do next? It’s how do I survive this,” said Tammy.
The next step for Tammy was to find a support group. Quickly realizing the limited resources on the Coast, she created her own support group called The Lightkeepers. “We started having people contact me and suggested friends and family and siblings and spouses started attending these meetings.”
The group meets once a month to share stories, release hidden emotions and provide the continual support each person in the group needs to heal. “Everybody grieves differently. You could have lost someone 12 years ago and still feel like it’s yesterday. I mean, this is something that never goes away,” said Tammy.
Tammy continues to raise awareness by speaking to students at schools all along the Coast, teaching them the signs of depression and what to do when faced with thoughts of suicide. “I’m hoping that all of this makes a difference and helps people to understand that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and there’s lots of help out there.”
If you or anyone you know is in need of support, contact the Lightkeepers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 228-365-9436 and ask for Tammy McKenna.
The meeting times and locations are kept private from the public so those who need a chance to heal can do so in peace.