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Published November 15, 2011, 06:51 PM

Families focus on healing on International Survivors of Suicide Day

Enderlin, ND (WDAY TV) - They ask the same questions: Why did this happen? How do I cope? This weekend, families who have lost a loved one to suicide, will gather at Concordia for the 13th Annual International Survivors of Suicide Day, an event that focuses on healing.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

They ask the same questions: Why did this happen? How do I cope? This weekend, families who have lost a loved one to suicide will gather at Concordia for the 13th Annual International Survivors of Suicide Day, an event that focuses on healing.

Dozens of families from our area will take part, including those who loved an Enderlin 16 year-old, who just months ago, took his own life.

When the family of Forest Madaus sits back and remembers the energetic sophomore, it is no wonder why his mother and aunt are still so baffled.

Shannon Lynn Madaus – Forrest’s Mother: “The funny kid, the jokester.”

Shannon Lynn Madua: “His last words were, ‘I love you mom.’

Angie Madaus Young – Forrest’s Aunt: “Nothing…I mean, even for his best friends not to see it coming.”

This wrestler, skateboarder and popular young man gave no indication, left no note or had no history of mental health issues - suddenly gone Taking his life minutes after playing video games with his brother, in fact seconds after making lunch for him.

Shannon Lynn Madaus: “He was looking for Forrest and noticed that the chicken was burned, and then he found his brother.”

Forrest never gave any indication to family or friends he was struggling, angry, depressed. He simply texted a good friend seconds before he died and said he did not want to live.

Shannon Lynn Madaus: “It is troubling because I think kids make impulsive decisions, and I lost my son to suicide because of impulsive decision.”

Those friends he left behind are struggling. Forrest's mother tries to comfort them.

Shannon Lynn Madaus: “I wish I could take away their pain, and Forrest left me with his voice.:

This weekend, Forrest's mother and aunt will join so many others in marking International Survivors of Suicide Day.Families will come together, share stories of grief and hope, and healing.

Angie Madaus Young: “It can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter how popular you are.”

Then again, how does a family move forward when someone like Forrest is gone?

The International Survivors of Suicide Day is at Concordia's Jones Conference Center on Saturday beginning at 11:30.

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