Debbie Daharsh | Gone Too Soon
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh Debbie Daharsh
Debbie Daharsh

A few short years ago life couldn’t have been better for Debbie.  She was celebrating being married to an amazing man for 26 years, had two sons who had graduated from college and were starting their careers and the family businesses were growing.

It was just a short time later that things would change in the blink of an eye.  Early on a Saturday morning in June Debbie’s husband left the house to do remodeling on a commercial building they had just purchased … no different than any other morning.  Her husband gave her a kiss goodbye and promised it would be a short day so they could spend the afternoon together.  Hours went by and then there was a knock at the door.

Debbie learned there had been a terrible accident and that her husband was on his way to the hospital.  Debbie arrived at the hospital to heart-breaking news.  In the wee hours of the next morning, with the family by his side, she said goodbye to her husband.  His life support was turned off.  The family was devastated and in a state of shock.  Debbie knew she had to keep the businesses afloat but what next?

Her eldest son, Christopher, had been part of the family business.  He was thrilled with the opportunity to work with his dad and learn the tricks of the trade with hopes of following in his footsteps.  He was a dreamer, musician and poet.  He wasn’t one to sit around and loved being outdoors and would often be found windsurfing or mountain biking.  Christopher had a kind heart, he was loving and compassionate but struggled to communicate and often kept his feelings to himself.  He was a recent college graduate, son, brother, husband and dad to his two dogs–he was full of life.

The death of his father broke his heart.  He lost his mentor, friend and dad.  They were going to conquer the world together.  Chris wasn’t a stranger to struggles and experienced the painful side effects of depression as a teenager.  The depression would bring on “moods” that took him to a sad and dark place.  On the evening of July 30, 2009, just five weeks after losing his father the depression won, and at the early age of just 25 Christopher choose to end his life.  Debbie found his lifeless body in the warehouse.  It wasn’t until after his death that Debbie learned that Christopher referred to his depression as his curse.

Debbie’s heart was shattered.  It was as if someone ripped it out of her body and stomped on it with a heavy boot.  Why?  Why had my beautiful son taken his life?  What could I have done?  Why did this happen to me?  I was a good mother and a good wife.  These were the questions and thoughts that ran through her mind.  She was filled with anger, confusion, sadness and pain.  She asked herself, “How can I survive this tragedy of losing my husband and son?”

But survive she did.  Survive she has.  Today the anger is gone.  The confusion has balanced to reason.  The sadness is still present on occasion and the pain returns now and then.  The sweet memories of her dear son are what she carries with her everyday.  She chooses to remember the good times, his beautiful smile, wit, kindness and love.  She often closes her eyes and remembers his strong arms hugging her when she needed to be comforted.

Debbie is inspiring young people to see that life is worth living.  It is difficult at times, but getting through the challenges in life makes us strong.  Her powerful story is a testament to a mother’s love.

2012/13

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

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