Not only to heal from this horrific loss, but to educate myself, so that I could better help my children to deal with the facts head on, not in whispers but in honor of their father, for his life, with no shame.
My name is Debra Clancy and I am with the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My high school sweet heart, my husband of 13 years, and father to our three children changed our lives forever when he took his life one wintery night on February 27, 1995 at the young age of 33.
His children were ages 7, 9 and 11. Not only did I lose a husband but I also lost an entire family, my in-laws and his two sisters and two brothers, now nieces and nephews, because they blamed me for his death.
My family on the other hand could not believe Dave would actually do that, and they certainly did not want me to talk about the fact that he took his life, especially to his three children. If we don’t talk about it then it won’t be there (that big white elephant in the room).
I made a choice 18 years ago to face what frightened me the most the word “suicide” and the fact that my husband did indeed take his life. I read numerous books and found the one support group “Survivors of Suicide” an hour from our home. Not only to heal from this horrific loss, but to educate myself, so that I could better help my children to deal with the facts head on, not in whispers but in honor of their father, for his life, with no shame.
Their father served in the military both actively in the Air Force at Loring Air Force Base, ME from 1982-1986 and then in the National Guard at West Over Air Force Base, Westover MA, from 1986 until his death in 1995. We lose too many of our military daily.
I realized shortly after his death the stigma of suicide first hand. We have so much change to bring about.
Mental Illness is a disease. In 1995 suicide and mental illness were NOT talked about. In 2013 there is a movement to bring about change. It has been brought to the attention of the government, but the stigma still exists!
We cannot bring about the necessary changes without your help!
Please contact me if you at anytime would like to discuss, suicide, suicide prevention, suicide prevention education, research, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or to share your story.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one in your life for that I am deeply sorry, I know your pain.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time in your busy day to read about my “face” to suicide.
Debra Clancy lives in Loveland. She is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She can be reached at 513-383-7679 or email@example.com
Find us on facebook at: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Cincinnati Chapter