"Losing our son Sam has left a big hole in our lives. Sam was our only child, he was our everything, our lives revolved around Sam. It was the worst times of our lives and I know now, through speaking to many people that have lost a child, that the grieving process is different for everyone.

When we lost Sam we knew our lives would never be the same. It never gets easier but it does get better. Our family and friends were a huge help through these times. We found talking to someone that had been through an experience like ours was comforting, they knew what we were going through. Death and grief make people uncomfortable, so be prepared for awkward encounters. Many people said to us “we know what you were going through”. How could they?

We never got angry with these people because we knew they were just trying to help. But we were angry. Why did this happen to our child? What have we done wrong? We learnt to lean on each other we learnt to lean on our family and friends. Without our family and friends this would’ve been so much harder. We spoke to counsellors, we went to homicide support victim services, and we spoke to many different people and got all different types of responses. We had to pick out what was best for us. I wish I could say that there was one way for all people to deal with grief, but there’s not. You do you have to choose what’s right for you. That was one of the reasons we started the Foundation to try and give Sam’s friends an outlet for their grief and anger, but much more than that, it gave us a purpose it let us know that what happened to Sam didn’t happen for nothing. If we can stop this happening to other people it makes us feel that little bit better.

We will always love and miss Sam. We never know what we will see, a sound we hear, or a smell that will trigger a memory of Sam. It is really hard to have those memories come flooding back when you least expect it but now we embrace those memories of Sam. Nat told me early in the past to not live with the what-ifs. What if we didn’t let Sam go out that night? What if that boy was never at that party? What if Sam wasn’t sticking up for his mates? But you can’t live your life like that, you have to embrace the memories that you have of your child and live your life for them.

Death and grief make people uncomfortable, so be prepared for awkward encounters."

Neil Davis | Founder | Sammy D Foundation