I was born and brought up in London but moved to Northampton in 2017. Hayden and his 2 older brothers and his older sister were born and brought up in London.
Hayden was well known in our area as the “cute cheeky little boy with the Harry Potter glasses.” We were happy living in London. My children all had a great childhood, with a happy, loving stable home living with me and their dad Dave. In 2002 Dave, at the age of 33 died by suicide. Hayden was only 5 years old. My children and myself were beyond devastated. How do you explain to your children that their dad took his own life ? I was determined that I wouldn’t let suicide affect their lives, so I did all that I could to support and love my children and enable them lead balanced lives. My children all got good jobs and started families of their own. However, Hayden had hidden struggles he’d been having from a young age into adulthood.
Hayden lived his life a million miles per hour from the minute he could walk. He was always out playing with his friends on their bikes. He was funny and showed a caring side and was especially very close to me. He had a lot of love to give and would always kiss and hug my friends and tell them he loved them. He was loud and always on the go. When he was nine we had a pub and Hayden loved to help me set the bar up. He loved restocking the bottles and whatever else needed doing. He would then stay with us and interact with the customers – especially the ladies! This experience and love of being with people certainly helped him later when working in a pub.
Hayden loved school and was very intelligent. He never missed a day. But when he was 11 years old he started to struggle in school and at home. He changed from a loving young boy into a troubled and angry soul, lashing out. He would cry sometimes but not know why. Unfortunately, this behaviour meant that Hayden was asked to not attend school and he was home schooled for over a year. This lack of interaction with friends, which he thrived on had a huge impact on Hayden; he missed school life and his friends.
And then a shock for us all. At the age of 12 Hayden first attempted suicide. After sessions with a psychiatrist he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, the same as his dad. After this diagnosis and treatment we started to get our loving Hayden back. He was allowed back into school and was so happy. He did well in school and despite what he had been through he left with many GCSEs.
At 16 he trained to be a carer. He loved this and went above and beyond when caring for his patients. At 17 Hayden passed his driving test the first time and bought his first car. He was proud of the fact that he was the first one in the family to do so and we were all equally so proud of him. Hayden was very family orientated and always found the time to be with his 2 young nieces whom he adored; nothing was too much and he’d often take them shopping, buying them anything from clothes and trainers to pet hamsters.
When Hayden hit 18, he truly found his calling and started working in a pub, as we knew he always knew he would! This would be his job up until his untimely death. Hayden was loud and loved to be busy and his job truly suited him. He was settled and proudly got himself a little flat, loving his independence. However, whilst he loved living in his flat, he always brought his washing home to me which I didn’t mind one little bit!
Hayden excelled in the pub and quickly became team leader with management responsibility for his team and the pub. The staff and customers all loved and respected him. He’d make work fun for staff and customers alike. He was a joker with his team and he was the master or practical jokes, spraying his team in the cellar with water and anything else he could think of to make it fun! But he cared deeply for the team and he always brought sweets, cakes and coffees in for his team, day or evening. He would laugh and joke with customers alike and was fair to everyone.
When Hayden had the rare Friday or Saturday night off, he’d be out with friends or his brothers and sister. Hayden would party hard on these rare nights off and if he had to be at work the following morning he’d be there; nobody would stop that! He never missed a day, such was his work ethic. Hayden was his happiest working in the pub . He shone and could be his true loud happy self.
That all changed in February 2019 when our lives were completely shattered beyond recognition and repair. Hayden took his own life. My other adult children were faced again with suicide loss and so was I. My baby was gone and a part of me went with him. His death left a ripple effect in the community. Everyone was in deep shock. His best friend took it very badly. He was the last person to see and speak to him. They had been out the night before. Hayden had been his normal happy loud self. Singing laughing and dancing. At Hayden’s funeral it was standing room only. We just did not realise how many people knew and loved him and the sad thing is neither did Hayden. I thought the day we lost Hayden was the worst day of my life but it’s the days you live for the rest of your life that are the worst. I can’t find the words to describe the loss of Hayden. He is so well loved and badly missed by everyone. He left his mark on everyone he met, and it will never be erased. If Hayden realised the impact he had on people and how much love and joy he brought into our lives I know he’d still be here.
This is where PAPYRUS comes in for me. I found PAPYRUS after losing Hayden and I wanted to do whatever I could to help people. So now along with Liz and Michelle I’m doing what I can to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
Kim – Hayden’s Mum always x