'Things have to change' - Mother's message after first Christmas without son
PUBLISHED: 09:51 26 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:22 26 December 2018
Sue Willgoss sent no Christmas cards this year.
She could not bear the thought of writing them out and not signing her son Daniel’s name at the end.
In June, the Lowestoft powerlifter and gym owner lost his battle with mental health.
He was just 25.
The festive period can be a particularly tough time for many people living in our communities.
And Mrs Willgoss has spoken of her first Christmas without her son and the need for men to reach out for help.
She said: “It’s a time when everybody gets together and family get together – even if they don’t the rest of the year.
“It’s hard but it is the same for everybody when someone isn’t there.”
Mrs Willgoss, who runs The Carlton, in London Road South, said she has been helped through the difficult period through the surrounding community.
She said: “Because I have friends and family, and the pub, being with everyone else helps me. I know there are lots of people who don’t have that.
“Our pub is like an extended family and we do consider our customers to be family – they always help you through.
“We know customers who don’t have family to visit on Christmas and invite them in if they want.
“It’s just about being together with people and not sitting on your own being unhappy.”
Since her son’s death Mrs Willgoss has launched the #LiftLoudForDannyFund – in a bid to raise awareness of men’s mental health.
Earlier this month the campaign joined forces with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing for an event at Daniel’s Mammoth Power Gym.
Former Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin was among the guest speakers sharing their struggles with depression.
Mrs Willgoss said: “When I lost Daniel I understood why some people can’t cope to do anything at all. But I am trying to make the most out of an awful situation and use Daniel’s death to change things.
“Things have to change.”
In a message to those who may be struggling she added: “However bad things are they will get better over time. It’s about riding through the storm and seeking help.”