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A Son's Suicide: A Grieving Mom Tells Her Story

As a single mom to her only child, Barbara Legere journeyed alongside her son through his mental health issues and addiction. She wrote a memoir about her son’s suicide, called “Keven’s Choice: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Mental Illness, Addiction and Suicide.” And, she’s just written a second book, "Talk to Me I'm Grieving - Supportive Ways to Help Someone Through Grief.”

We have Barbara with us on the Lean to the Left podcast in ""A Son's Suicide: A Grieving Mom Tells Her Story."

Keven Legere had spent half his life struggling with substance use disorder while Barbara, his single mom, battled courts, healthcare companies, rehab facilities and mental health professionals trying to protect him.

As their relationship strained Keven’s drug use progressed, and Legere was forced to accept and love Keven as he was … until he took his own life.

In Keven’s Choice, Legere tells the story of trying to navigate her son’s dark world while also addressing her own complicated guilt and regret over how she handled it. She shines a light on the hidden anguish of countless parents who are taking care of children that society tells them to abandon.

For parents who have borne witness to overdoses, arrests, treatment, incarceration and even death, Keven’s Choice is a raw and intimate memoir that shows it’s possible and necessary to go on, even amidst the unimaginable.

"We have a saying. It says, as long as they're breathing, there is hope," Barbara says during the interview. "So never give up on your child. Let them know that you're there for them, that you're willing to support them in getting treatment, in, getting mental health care, whatever it is that they need. And you make sure that they know how much you love them. Keven understood how much I loved him. He didn't love himself."

Today, Barbara is an advocate for harm reduction for addicts and an active member of groups for parents of addicts and parents surviving the loss of their child through suicide. She hopes to keep her son’s memory alive through her writing as a way of helping others who suffer from similar afflictions.

Here are some questions we discussed with Barbara:

Q. Can you begin by sharing with us what happened to Keven and why?

Q. I’ve read that you suffered from guilt. Why, and how did that manifest itself?

Q. What led you to write your first book, "Keven's Choice"?

Q. Let’s talk about your latest book, “Talk to Me, I’m Grieving.” Why did you do that one, and what’s its focus.

Q. Why is it important for parents to teach their kids about drugs and watch for warning signs.

Q. What advice would you offer to parents who face a similar situation with a child who’s in trouble?

Q. How about parents who are suffering, grieving a loss? Q. What can others do to support grieving parents?

Q. You wrote a blog called “Tapping Into Grief.” Tell us about that.

Listen to the podcast:

View the interview:

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