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Families share loss of losing a loved one to suicide

David and Linda Levandowski. Linda does not want another family to experience the pain of losing a child to suicide.

David and Linda Levandowski. Linda does not want another family to experience the pain of losing a child to suicide. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

TREADWELL — Joshua DuFault returned home from the movies his normal, happy self.

That night, he locked himself in his bedroom and hanged himself from his closet door, a little more than two months ago.

“He told people, but no one told us,” said Linda Levandowski.

Families who have lost loved ones to suicide wonder why, question themselves and are often riddled with guilt.

They don’t want another family to go through what they went through and stress open communication within the family and society as a whole.

The stigma of suicide only keeps it and mental illness, which is often associated with suicide, in the dark. This does not help anyone, and may in fact result in more lives lost.

“I just lost my son two months ago,” said Levandowski.

DuFault had been in trouble before and was worried about getting into trouble again.

He texted friends, telling them he was scared and planned to take his own life.

“He told people,” Levandowski said, “but no one told us.”

At home that night after the movies, she sensed something was wrong, but when she went to check on him, the door was locked. No one answered when she knocked, and she searched the house but could not find him anywhere.

Levandowski called 911 and went outside and peered through the bedroom window. She saw his hat and phone.

Suicide

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She and her husband kicked the door in and found the young man dead, hanging by the closet door.

Levandowski believes her son cried for help, but no one listened.

“Take them serious if someone tells you they are planning suicide,” she said. “They might get mad at you, but they will be alive.”

She doesn’t want to see another family experience such a loss.

Suicide is a cry for help, she said, and there are always ways to get that individual help.

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