I found him in the back garden, in our shed… It was so fast and unexpected. We were sure he was okay.

“Patrick was a month away from his 16th birthday. His depression and anxiety started about a year and a half before he died. He was on and off. Sometimes he was in a great mood, messing around and then other days he was in a dark place. He did communicate some of his feelings to us and with the help of Pieta House and our support we could see him getting better. On the day, I said to him ‘I’m going to play poker with the lads’, he was playing on his PlayStation with two friends in the house before I left. I told him not to stay up too long because he had school in the morning. He said he had already texted Fiona, a family friend, to take him to school in the morning and would finish up soon. I was about to leave the house and he said, ‘Dad?’ I backed up from the door and asked, ‘What’s up?’ He continued to play the game like nothing happened but I saw a little smirk on his face. I said, ‘you called me!’, ‘No, I didn’t!’ he said. So I proceeded to go on out the door and he called again. ‘Dad?’ His brother Robert told me ‘Dad, Patrick is calling you!’ So I backed in again, ‘What’s wrong with ya?’ ‘I didn’t call you!’ he said with a big grin on his face! I went, ‘Go on you messer!’ He’s in great spirits, I thought, and I left to play poker. It was only when I came home… as soon as I stepped into the house I felt something wasn’t right. Even before I opened his door I felt he wasn’t there… I found him in the back garden, in our shed… It was so fast and unexpected. We were sure he was okay. When we were walking away from his funeral I said to Patrick’s mam that I had a strong sense that he knew he was gone, and his happiness and being himself again was part of an appreciation for us, to show that he was happy and content with his decision. I will never be able to figure out the reasons, but we feel an incredible responsibility to help Pieta House with whatever we can to make sure no other family will have to experience what we had to go through losing him… “

Eugene Smyth is a committee member with Darkness into Light 2018 for Pieta House in Navan, Co.Meath. Darkness Into Light 2018 takes place across the country on Saturday, May 12th at 4.15am and is proudly supported by Electric Ireland.

To find your local venue and register visit www.darknessintolight.ie. Sign up before May 4th to receive a t-shirt. By registering for Darkness Into Light, you can make a huge difference to your local community. This series continues on the Electric Ireland website, make sure to check it out.

If you or a loved one ever need help, call Pieta House on the Freephone number 1800 247 247.