TEN years ago today Robyn Reeve awoke to every parent’s worst nightmare – her son had taken his own life.
At the age of 16, Jacob McGarry committed suicide in the shed of the family home.
Although it was 10 years ago and Ms Reeve has been on a pain-staking journey ever since, she says it still feels like it was yesterday.
“It’s still as raw as the day it happened,” she said.
“It wasn’t my boy that did that, it was the monsters in his head.”
And as if losing her 16-year-old son was not bad enough, her daughter was killed in a deliberately lit house fire exactly two months later.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, suicide accounts for almost one in four deaths for males aged 15 to 19.
Although middle-aged men account for the highest number of suicides, 23.3 per cent of all male teenagers who die, do so by taking their own lives.
Often there is an explanation given or the family left behind later find out why.
But not in the case of Ms Reeve and her partner Mick McGarry.
She had noticed her son was in mental pain for weeks, but to this day does not know what caused him to end his life.
Jacob had been in counselling, but even after his death, counsellors were unable to disclose to his own mother what had been mentioned in therapy sessions due to confidentiality laws.
“All they could tell us was that he hadn’t slept for two years,” Ms Reeve said.
“We knew something was wrong. But he was still a boy with dreams.
“Just that night we had sat down and went through what subjects he was going to do in year 11 and talked about how he wanted to go to Germany for a gap year.”
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Jacob’s death and a special memorial will be held at the Forget Me Not Flower Cafe at the Ballaarat Old Cemetery.
Ms Reeve is under no illusions how tough the day will be, but says it is something she feels she has to do.
“I feel I need to send out a remembrance in his name as his mother.
“It’s my way of honouring him,” she said.
“It’s a day I allow myself to be sad without people wondering why.
“People say it’s good to see how far you’ve come but to me it’s not about that. It’s a day about Jake and that’s all I wanted.”
The memorial will be held from 4.30pm onwards.
Anybody experiencing difficulties can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or Kids Helpline for people aged 5 to 25 on 1800 55 1800.