'She was a happy, bubbly girl': Mother opens up about the day her daughter died by suicide

'She was a happy, bubbly girl': Mother opens up about the day her daughter died by suicide

Marie Sullivan described Arwen as a "happy and bubbly" girl who was always thinking of other people.

The mother of a young woman who died by suicide has bravely opened up about the day her daughter passed away.

Marie Sullivan described Arwen as a "happy and bubbly" girl who was always thinking of other people.

"She was very popular in school," Marie told Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ radio.

"A frequent comment on her report card would be that if someone fell in the yard that Arwen would be the first person over to see if they were ok.

"She was just a very kind, caring person."

During secondary school, Arwen struggled with her mental health and attended a counselling service, her mother said, but "she seemed to get the better of that in the later years of secondary school."

"She seemed to have come back to herself."

However, when Arwen began her first year of college, she told her mother that she had begun to have suicidal thoughts.

"She was not herself, she wasn't always as happy and bubbly as I'd gotten used to, and she went back to counselling.

"We talked about it a lot...and she seemed to be feeling better about that."

As time went on Arwen appeared to be doing better and Marie was conscious of not checking in too much, "trying to walk the line’"

"I would have checked in on her all the time and, if I was worried about her, to particular friends," she added.

The day before she passed away, the 23-year-old spent the day enjoying the sunshine with her boyfriend and family, eating Mexican food after tidying up the back garden so that she could film yoga videos on the patio.

"Herself and her boyfriend had cooked the dinner and they brought the table out to the back garden because it was now...ready to party in," Marie said.

"She was wearing this beautiful purple outfit. We had a wonderful evening sitting in the back garden on a lovely, balmy, sunny April evening after all our hard work.

"It was just like a perfect day and I would have said everything is rosy in my garden."

Arwen "was just a very kind, caring person", said he mother Marie
Arwen "was just a very kind, caring person", said he mother Marie

Marie emotionally spoke about the day that Arwen passed away telling Ryan that Arwen was up in her room chatting to her friends on the phone.

She said that her daughter had been "a bit off" on that day, and at one point she thought she was crying but soon realised she was laughing out loud and thought she was alright.

When Arwen returned to her room, her mother said she was a little upset, but thought that she was just tired after a busy day.

Marie didn’t think back to conversations about suicide, saying: "I wasn’t thinking that way, I just thought she was upset over the college thing being cancelled, there was a change of plans."

"I just checked, she was okay. Whenever I was worried about her, I would do a little double-check with her. So I checked that she was okay and as far as I was concerned she was okay.

"I went downstairs, we were watching Schitt's Creek, which was our favourite comedy show so about 20 minutes long, and then went back upstairs, and I would always go in to say goodnight to her, and then I found her."

On coping and processing the grief, Marie said: "I didn't think that I would be able to get through, it's the sort of thing you think well if that happened to me, I would die as well.

"You just have to put one foot in front of the other, I can't go back and change anything, so my only choice is to go forward. That's the only thing I can do.

"Covid helped in a way because you didn’t see anybody it didn’t go anywhere and you didn’t do anything and we were kind of locked away in a bubble," Marie said.

"The whole world ended and that felt right."

In memory of Arwen, Marie set up Share Joy, an organisation founded to support youth mental heal during the pandemic.

Share Joy sells pre-loved fashions, many of which have been donated by Irish stars such and Una Healy and Angela Scanlon, the proceeds of which go to Pieta House.

Ryan Tubridy has become the latest star to offer his support to the organisation by donating his jacket live on air.

- If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please click here for a list of support services.

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