Louis and his father smiling for camera
Why I Mo: Honouring my late mate, DadImage by: Louis Murphy
Louis and his father smiling for camera
28 October 2023

Why I Mo: Honouring my late mate, Dad

5 minutes read time

Louis Murphy, RE and Politics teacher from Potters Bar, shares how losing his father to suicide impacted his life.

A few years ago, I unexpectedly lost my dad, best-mate and all-round good guy, Seamus Murphy to suicide.

Suicide is a painful loss. You don’t have any closure. You feel guilty for laughing and having fun. You blame yourself. You just want to know why. Why would he leave us all like that? Why me? Why my dad?

" They say people hide how they’re feeling inside. Now I understand the full extent of this. "

I’ll never forget the day he died. Before he left that day I was in the bathroom with my headphones in and he knocked on the door and called something out. Because I had my headphones in, I didn’t hear what he said and just called out “see you in a bit!” Those were his last words to me and mine to him.

What did he say? Had I responded better would he still be here? What if I’d opened the door and just given him a massive hug and told him I loved him? This eats away at me every day and is a lesson to all of us that we need to be more present and appreciate our loved ones while they’re here. Seamus never told us how he was really feeling. My father needed help and support, but I couldn’t recognise how desperate his situation was. They say people hide how they’re feeling inside. Now I understand the full extent of this.

I’ve found experiencing grief extremely tough and at first, I didn’t deal with it very well. I just got on with my life– switched off and pretended it wasn’t real. Like it hadn’t happened.

Teaching is relentless. It’s not a job where you can work from home and hide behind a computer screen. Every day you have to put the needs of the students before your own and it’s been extremely difficult to try and teach lessons when, inside, I’m all over the place. It was my amazing and understanding work mates that got me through it.

I’ve used the loss of my dad to become a better role-model for the kids. I always talk openly and honestly to them about mental health and how they should be taking care of their mental wellbeing. My classroom wall reads “I run to reduce my anxiety” in massive writing and I will never shy away from highlighting the importance of mental health to them in lessons. I feel it’s my duty.

Since losing my dad to suicide I have learnt a lot of lessons and have become a version of myself I am proud of. I’ve learnt to prioritise exercise and am super aware of how anxiety-free I am after a week of solid training. I’m like a different person after a cycle, like a weight has been lifted.

I would also say I became a man overnight. Before my father’s death, I was incapable of being in a committed relationship. Not mature enough and far too concerned with drinking and music. I’ve now been blessed with a beautiful girlfriend, Alice, who is my rock.

I would like to give a special mention to my friends who were, and still are, absolutely incredible. They created a group chat and made a rota– taking it in turns to spend time with me. Whether it was a walk in the park, a kick about, or a trip down the pub. I am so grateful for their support through that time. Without them I don’t know how I would’ve coped.

In order for men to open up and seek the help they deserve, we as humans need to remove the stigma around suicide. This starts from adapting the language we use when we talk about suicide. When we use words such as “commit” suicide we make suicide sound like a crime. Suicide was decriminalised in 1961 and continuing to refer to suicide in this way means people are less likely to open up and seek help if they’re feeling suicidal due to feeling ashamed and alienated. Instead, we should remove the stigma by using phrases such as “died by suicide”, “lost their life to suicide” or “took their life”.

In the wake of Seamus’ death, I scoured the internet in search of answers, not only for why he chose to do what he did that day, but also on how to deal with the grief that followed.

That’s when I came across Movember. I was familiar with their grow a moustache campaign, but I never appreciated the extent to which Movember raises awareness around suicide prevention and men’s mental health. When I saw Movember were looking for runners to complete the Dublin Marathon in their name, it was like Seamus was calling me to grab the opportunity with both hands.

How I perceive myself as a young man has massively changed for the better since that tragic day and I’ve learnt to be a lot more forgiving of myself.

I hope this open and honest letter has helped someone out there. Please know that you’re not alone and that you are loved. Seek help if you’re struggling and stick around!

And for everyone else, just be kind to others, you never know what someone could be going through.

We’ll never forget you Dad,


Support Louis’ Mospace.


Starting conversations with men who are struggling may seem daunting. But getting them to open up can be easier with practice. Use our tool Movember Conversations for support.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling low, don’t hesitate to reach out for support using these local support resources.

To speak with someone immediately, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or message the Shout text line on 85258.

If you’re ever worried that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.