Well I never thought I would be writing this but here I am. When I say that I never thought this would happen to me – I really do mean it. Never in a million years did I think that I would be sitting here, writing about my 17 year old son who took his own life at the end of January 2022. The words still cut through me each time I say them or write them and this is all still very surreal.
Maxi was THE most incredible human. I loved him with every bone in my body (I still do – even more if that is remotely possible). Our bond was like no other and I am sure any mother or father will understand that unconditional love between parent and child. But with Maxi it was beautiful – we were best friends, two hearts joined and we always will be.
He was the funniest, happiest most rational person I have ever known but more than anything I was in awe of his brilliance, strength and power. He was my reason for living and I burst with pride when I spoke about him – I still do – he lit up a room when he walked in and his presence was incomparable.
The reason that I wanted to highlight my story is that I wanted to raise awareness with suicide. The shock is still something that I live with daily. He was not somebody that I thought would ever fall into that category. He had no mental health issues whatsoever, he was communicative, happy and had so much to live for. He had just passed his driving test, I had bought him a car, he had an unconditional place at university to study his beloved politics. He was surrounded by love, care and joy. He had goodness knows how many friends and was in the sixth form at school where he was popular and was doing brilliantly. He was beautifully presented…..during his last week in this world, he was in the hairdressers, getting his hair cut…..he’d been to the dentist getting his tooth whitened from an accident he’d had years ago (on roller-skates!) and was in the bathroom showering more than I was! He was quite simply joyous.
In fact Maxi loved me wearing a red lippy by MAC called ‘Lady Danger’ and I wear it every single day for him without fail – even to put the bins out – and think of him as he would say that I didn’t look like me if I wore anything else!
However, I since found out that Maxi had fallen madly in love…on the Saturday night he’d gone out for dinner with friends and I spoke to him only an hour before he did what he did. He was laughing, happy and speaking of going to the same restaurant with me the following week – he even booked the table. But – he got home and received a message from his girlfriend to say that she was returning to Mexico and wouldn’t be able to see him again. I can only imagine (although this was SO out of character for Maxi) that the heartbreak just hit him hard (again this is difficult to believe from someone so rational) and he then, in that moment made a choice that I never ever thought someone like Maxi would make. One professor of psychology that I spoke to said that this is known as sudden onset despair – something I have not heard of before and this is what experts believe happened in that moment.
Believe me when I say…there was not a moment….not a single moment in all Max’s 17 years that I ever sat there and thought….”He seems sad….” in fact I considered myself so lucky to have such a clever, rational and brilliant boy.
He was sociable and everyone loved him from his many school friends to older people. He could “hold court” anywhere. We were invited to friends one evening (London doctors who live in a very grand house in Sandwich at weekends!) and their psychologist friends, lawyers and other very grand people where Maxi walked in and just wowed them with his brilliance. He was fearless, focused and fabulous. I couldn’t have been prouder. He was the master of communication!
So – my message to one and all is, quite simply, if Maxi did what he did then this can happen to anyone – and I mean anyone. It is frightening but it is a fact.
As I said previously – my love for Maxi knows no bounds. I am able to continue even with my broken heart with his power and brilliance driving me daily and I endeavour to do great things for others through what has happened to Maxi.
Myself and the two other mothers are replicating what the 3 Dads Walking (they walked in 2021 and 2022 to raise awareness) did last year and continue to do. We will be walking for the brilliant charity PAPYRUS in September this year over 265 miles (this is because every year around 200 teenagers are lost to suicide in the UK) to raise awareness of suicide prevention and the invaluable work of PAPYRUS.
If you can donate even a £1 it would be greatly appreciated BUT most importantly PLEASE SHARE THE WEBSITE AND OUR JUSTGIVING PAGE…..because this message needs to be spread far and wide. I need young people to know that IN THAT MOMENT they can speak to someone. Maxi had so many people – loving friends and family and most importantly me whom he knew he could talk to at any time and did. I will never ever understand why in that moment he chose not to but I cannot change it. I CAN however change it for others going forwards – every £5 raised can help pay for a life-saving contact to HOPELINE 247 – donations really are life changing.
So please, please donate and let’s aim to work together to diminish the number of suicides of young people by getting this important message out there.
Thanks for reading one and all – and if you can’t donate – just share – it’s that simple!
Michelle – Max’s mum….always. x