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Welcome to Kathy Welch's Page

Kathy Welch

Kathy Welch

My son, David Sliff, was 23 when he died by suicide December 31, 2017 after he lost his battle with depression. David was an extraordinary young man who was gifted in writing and playing music, anything mathematical and understood people with a depth and sensitivity that most of us never achieve in a lifetime. He tried to fit into a world which didn't always welcome the sensitive souls with the same acceptance and kindness he showed others. David was studying to become a physicist. He wanted to help make the world a better place.

David wanted to live and tried desperately to get help as he worked with a psychiatrist, researched antidepressant medications, applied to numerous clinical trials, studied the neurobiophysics of the brain, underwent brain studies, adhered to a strict diet and purchased expensive supplements that promised to increase his brain wellness. David knew he had a brain abnormality and was determined to find a medication to stabilize himself and alleviate the emotional and physical pain that his depression caused. David couldn't find help and eventually turned to researching the least traumatic ways of taking his life.

Even as his mother who was acutely aware of his depression and an ICU nurse who has cared many times for patient survivors of suicide and their families, I wasn't able to save him. People say, "You did everything you could have", but I will always wish I had done more. People have also told me it wasn’t my job to save him, but try telling that to any parent.
This is my son’s story and although he is no longer here to continue his journey of life and the development of his own story, his family and friends now have the opportunity to continue living their lives in a way that honors David’s kindness towards others.

In the midst of tragic loss and devastation, we ask ourselves “how do we go on” “will we ever survive, get out of bed, laugh or love again” “how do I even function” “How do I interact with others?”

We’ve all heard it a million times, “everyone grieves differently” but one thing I have learned in my short time of experiencing such a profound personal loss is that I’m not alone. Not only am I not alone, but we all really do need each other and that’s not a cliché’. All our stories have differing circumstances but we all, each and every one of us, share a common thread. Our loved ones died from a severe clinical depression and suffered both physically and emotionally. We all have that lived experience and we understand each other and get it where others do not.

We are all here to share the memories and bring meaning to each of our loved ones amidst our collective, tragic losses. How do we do that and still feel like we are not so alone on this grief journey? We do it together. I believe strongly that for our own self-care and survival after suicide, we need to meet, get to know each other’s story, talk and share your loved one. You don’t want to ever feel your loved one is being forgotten and you will never have that happen when you are with a group of new best friends who have also suffered similar losses.

Kathy Welch, David’s Mom

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