Life After Loss ‘Suicide leaves so many questions, and part of me will always feel guilt, always feel I could have done more, could have been a better friend, could have saved him…’

As heard on RTÉ Radio 1

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Life after Loss, RTÉ Radio 1 – December 29th at 4pm.

Christmas may be a festive time of fun, family and feasting, but it can also be a catalyst, exposing the cracks in relationships, homes and hearts.  It may be a time when the loss of a loved one around the table feels more raw or perhaps it’s a season that exposes feelings of loneliness, sadness or depression in one’s own self.

This year, RTÉ reporter Brian O’Connell lost a very dear friend to suicide.  He has since run the gamut of emotions, from devastation to guilt and back again, and has made a programme about the grieving process entitled Life after Loss. 

In the programme, Brian speaks of his friend, musician Brian Carey, father of a 17-year-old daughter, who took his own life last April.  The two Brians shared years of memories, holidays and in-jokes.  With one phone call, Brian says all of that was suddenly gone.  Brian knew his friend struggled with his mental health and had gone through dark times but felt reassured that he was seeing a therapist and receiving all the recommended professional help.  Unfortunately, none of this was enough to prevent his tragic and untimely death.

Life After Loss explores the rollercoaster of emotions that make up the grieving process.  In it, Brian shares personal stories of his friend and his own experience of dealing with such loss.   He is joined by others who have also experienced deep grief, including Mick Heaney, son of Seamus Heaney, Irish Times writer Laura Kennedy who lost her mother to cancer and singer-songwriter Jack O’Rourke.  Brian says he has learned that grief is experienced differently by everyone but that together they can find a way through the maze and learn to live with the loss that was preceded by such love.

You can listen to Life After Loss on RTE Radio 1 on December 29th at 4pm.

© The Listener 2017

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