A Stratford, Connecticut mom is mourning the loss of her son, and leaving a message for parents around the world.
According to Fox’s Connecticut affiliate Fox61, Edith Bell is still in shock after her son, Demarius, took his own life.
The 20-year-old was struggling with his sexuality, and he couldn’t bring himself to discuss the pain.
Then on January 8th, the two were at home when Demarius told Edith, “Mom, I’ll be right back.”
Afterwards, Edith fell asleep, but woke up an hour later. Noticing her son's absence, she started to look for him. She then went to the kitchen and opened the sliding door to the backyard. That was the moment that her life changed forever.
"Something told me to look in the back and I saw my son, hanging from the tree," she recalled.
The night only got worse as Edith tried to call 911 to get her son medical help. Unfortunately, she and three other people couldn’t get through to a 911 operative. Sadly, Demarius died that night.
Stratford officials say that there was a 911 outage at the time of Edith’s emergency, but neither side wants to consider if Demarius could have been saved with a faster 911 response.
Instead, Edith wants to insure that other parents of LGBTQ youth learn from her nightmare. Her message during this time of grief is that parents should always check in with their children.
"Talk to your kids and get them the help they need," she said before stating, "I can’t even close my eyes without seeing my son.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in the name of Demarius Bell to help Edith and her family pay for a costly funeral.
As Edith Bell wrote on the GoFundMe page:
“Demarius Bell was my only son and he would have been 21 on February 6th. Demarius was an amazing, wonderful and courageous person who always tried to make others smiles to hide his pain. Demarius struggled with opening up with his sexual preference that caused him to distance himself from his friends and family. Tuesday January 8th Demarius let the discomfort of the worlds judgement cause him to end his pain by ending his life. I come to you all hurting and in disbelief asking for your help.”
For those struggling with emotional distress, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.