Rockford Mother Shares the Loss of Her Son on a Podcast for Suicide Prevention Month

It’s a month to remind people who could be suffering.

“You can get through this dark time,” said Kevin Polky, Founder and President of KP Counseling.

Kevin Polky would normally be preparing for his ‘Shatter our Silence’ fundraiser. This year, he is instead spreading suicide awareness through his podcast, ‘The Journey.’

“We still wanted to make sure that we got the message out,” said Polky.

Every week this month, Polky will feature someone on ‘The Journey,’ who has lost a loved one to suicide.

“As they are going through the grieving process, what they do as a result to help their own healing and continue the message of raising awareness in their own way,” said Polky.

Polky’s first guest was Laura Gabriela. Gabriela’s 14-year-old son, Zachary, passed away in September of 2018.

“It doesn’t get any easier. I miss my kid every single day, every minute of the day. What helps me is through his story being told, through his story being heard, we are able to get through to other teens who may be suffering,” said Gabriela.

Gabriela says for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide, the unknown answer behind why is always going to be asked.

“It creates a lot of guilt. What could I have done differently?” said Gabriela.

She says it’s a never-ending cycle. However, Gabriela says she wants people to understand that what they are asking is in fact very normal.

“Grief is not linear. It is more like a roller-coaster that you want to get off of but you can’t,” said Gabriela.

Although this year’s awareness month is a bit different, Polky says talking about how we can better prevent suicide remains the same.

“How do we continue raising awareness? How do we continue educating individuals?” said Polky.

Coming together, sharing stories, and listening to what others have to say while raising awareness.