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FIRST PERSON: Being Left Behind


first person

Johanna Kerber shares a very personal and moving account of losing someone to suicide.

My boyfriend killed himself. Before I even knew what had happened, I felt that something was wrong. It wasn’t like him not to reply to my texts or answer his phone. What followed was an endless wait, and then the words: “They found him. He’s dead. The police are saying it was suicide.”

Ever since the day I found out about my boyfriend’s death, I’ve not been living, but merely surviving. I’m one of the many helpless, perplexed people he left behind. He was the kind of person who would always be there for you and took care of everybody around him. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have told me he was their best friend.

Before his death, we had spoken about his depression, about him being bipolar, and about his thoughts of suicide. None of these things changed my feelings towards him. We were in love and we believed that, regardless to how strong the depression might be, we were stronger and that together we could overcome anything. I haven’t stopped believing this. He broke my heart but he’s still my one love and I will never understand why he didn’t ask me for help. He leaves behind so many unanswered questions.

I won’t lie to you. During some of the many sleepless nights I’ve endured over the last few months, I’ve considered the possibility of ending my life too, because the pain is so overwhelming. Sometimes I just wish everything around me would stop and the pain to end. All I want is to be with him. The one crucial thing that has stopped me, however, is knowing how much trauma and grief suicide causes to those left behind. I don’t want my family and friends to go through what I’m going through now.

Why am I telling you all this? I know depression sometimes makes you feel like nobody cares, like you’re on your own, like your loved ones would be better off without you. I’m here to tell you that this is simply not true! If you go, you will leave so many people behind who feel exactly like I do now. They love you and they will still love you even if you ask for help. That’s why suicide is not an option.


If you have lost someone to suicide and need support, you can find info and resources on our bereavement by suicide page.

You can also call the CALM Helpline on 0800 585858, open 5pm – midnight, 365 days a year.

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