The mother of a teen who took his own life years after his brother was killed in a one punch attack fought back tears during an interview aired this week as she described the ongoing pain of losing two of her beloved children.
Kathy Kelly appeared on Andrew Denton’s Interview on Tuesday night alongside her husband Ralph to discuss the deaths of their two boys, Stuart, who committed suicide in 2016 and older brother Thomas, who died from an unprovoked punch attack during his first night out in Sydney party district Kings Cross in 2012.
“What happened to Thomas was a horrendous part of our lives, but he was happy when he died,” the mum explained according to the publication. “He was holding a girl’s hand, he was going out for a night of fun.
“But how did we fail our son [Stuart]? That’s what it feels like every day.”
Kathy went on to say how gut wrenching it was that their son didn’t confide in them about how he was feeling following the death of Thomas.
“This beautiful boy that was the joy of our lives didn’t want to live anymore, and didn’t want to talk about it to us,” she told Andrew. “I kick myself now… I said all the wrong things.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Ralph explained how Stuart had called them in panic one night, asking to be picked up immediately from a Sydney university college.
The dad said they still have no idea what happened that night to cause such distress but they believe he could have been bullied because of his views on the lockout laws that his family had been campaigning for.
“We’ve spoken to people who were there,” he told Andrew. “We’ve been advised that he was held down with alcohol that was being poured down his throat and he was being bullied over the lockout laws that we were being made fun of.
“He asked people holding him down to stop but they didn’t. So eventually he broke free and basically he wasn’t seen again until we picked him up from outside RPA Medical Centre at 4pm the following afternoon.”
Kathy added of that night: “It just seems to me that he was somewhere against his will. And whatever that entailed… I feel there was a level of, I don’t think embarrassment is the word, but something along those lines, that he couldn’t live with.
“Some kind of shame that he could never divulge to us.”
If you are concerned about suicide in your family, friends or workplace, contact Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.