Heartbroken mum shares grief in Facebook letter
The heartbroken mother of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life after bullying at her Melbourne school has shared a letter to her lost child on the three-year anniversary of her death.
Linda Trevan posted the gut-wrenching message to her daughter Cassidy on Facebook, describing
"The day you died I feel like I died too, and that I've barely existed since then," wrote the grieving mother, whose daughter said she was gang-raped by fellow students.
"In some ways it feels like only yesterday … in other ways it seems like forever ago. But it always just feels like the emptiest, deepest, most unimaginable pain … to know that I'll never see you again, never hug you again, never laugh with you again, never rub your little back to help soothe you to sleep again."
Ms Trevan, who has campaigned against bullying since her daughter's suicide, said she missed her daughter every minute of the day.
NATIONAL 24/7 CRISIS SERVICES
"I still didn't know if I'll ever really be able to create a meaningful life for myself without you," she wrote in her letter.
Her words are particularly poignant coming just after the tragic news of the death of a mother whose teenage children were shot dead by her estranged husband. Olga Edwards, 36, had reportedly been "struggling" and rarely left her home after her kids were killed at the house in Sydney's West Pennant Hills.
Ms Trevan recalled the moment she discovered the tragic news in December 2015, two years after Cassidy had stopped going to school or going out because of her anxiety.
"My darling Cassidy … It's three years tonight … three years since that knock on the door that was to end my world," she wrote. "I ran to the front door assuming it was you arriving home "from the beach where your dad had taken you for two days to try to cheer you up.
"But when I opened the door it was two police officers. I was confused. They asked to come in, and then they asked me to sit down. I refused. My first thought was that you'd been in a car accident and that your dad was hurt."
Ms Trevan demanded to know what had happen, and when the answer came, it was every parent's worst nightmare, "We are sorry to inform you that your daughter took her own life this afternoon," police told the horrified mother.
"I just remember backing away from them with my hands over my face wailing no no no no nooooo.
"They helped me to a chair as my whole body started to give way at the same time as my world fell apart.
"How could you have been dead for 4 hours without me feeling it? How could I not have been with you in your final moments?"
Ms Trevan said she wanted her daughter's story out there "so it gets stopped, people get help before suicide".
She said she and Cassidy had moved to a new suburb and the teenager had attended different schools, but struggled to recover from the gang-rape and harassment campaign.
"She hardly got out of bed any more," said Ms Trevan. "She couldn't sleep at night. She had a panic attack at the shops and we had to carry her out.
"She couldn't socialise, she couldn't be around other kids. She said, 'I don't think I can get over it, but if I did, how would I catch up?'"
In her heartwrenching Facebook post on Tuesday, Ms Trevan said she had not reached the "acceptance" stage of grief, and believed her child had been let down by society and every professional who failed to help her.
A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Education and Training told news.com.au last year: "The death of any young person is an absolute tragedy and our sympathies are with Cassidy's family.
"School staff work hard to identify and support students who need support and we would encourage any students who need help to talk to staff at their school."
Victoria Police said in a statement: "Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team detectives explained options, put protections in place and ensured the victim was receiving assistance from support services. They encouraged the victim in each interaction to make a statement. Throughout this time period the SOCIT followed up some other investigative leads.
"The victim declined at each stage to proceed with the matter. No charges were laid."
A police spokeswoman told news.com.au: "SOCIT detectives work hard to build rapport and trust with victims of sexual offences and to ensure their welfare is looked after as a priority. Doing these things are some of the absolute cornerstones of a successful sexual offence response and investigation.
"Breaching a victim's trust and proceeding with some investigative leads can, in some cases, be a severe detriment to the investigation and the victim's wellbeing. A decision to do this is taken very seriously by SOCIT detectives and it would only be done if it was in the best interest of the victim and public safety.
"In this case, SOCIT detectives are confident that they followed all appropriate investigative leads. They worked closely with the victim and the victim's family over a long period to get the best possible outcome."
None of that is any consolation to Ms Trevan. "How can I ever accept that you were so broken, so so very sad that you had to take your own life to stop your pain?" she wrote. "The knowledge of how badly you had to suffer just kills me and always will.
"I'm so so sorry that I couldn't fix you and make it all better, like a mum should be able to, so that we could still be together today and forever.
"My grief is still so incredibly overwhelming. But I have to try to stay strong so that I can keep your name and your memories alive, and continue spreading bullying awareness to try to save other lives.
"Love and proudness my precious darling, my forever 15, my teen-angel, you were my dream come true my beautiful baby. I love you and miss you so very much, with every little fragment of my broken heart. you were the love of my life, an absolute joy, and it was an honour & a privilege to be your mum.
I just keep having to tell my self that you are no longer in pain, and are now at peace. Fly, fly, my infinite child."