Rotorua man John Richards holds a family photo in his hands.
Grief and trauma lie just below the surface as he explains that just two years after the family photo was taken in Adelaide, two loved ones pictured in the frame - his son and his grandson - would be dead.
Richards' 6-month-old grandson Henare stopped breathing at his home in Adelaide two years ago.
By the time the ambulance got him to the hospital, only a machine was keeping him alive.
Richards said the decision was made to turn off the machine and let Henare go.
Not quite a year later, Richards' son Mike, who was Henare's father, took his own life. His suicide came just days before New Zealand went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"For me and my family it changed everything, and even now it's all surreal."
Richards said they had to cremate his son in Adelaide because they weren't able to fly him home due to Covid.
"We had both their ashes [his son's and his grandson's] sent here and we buried them up at Kauae Cemetery by my grandfather.
"The fact they are at Kauae now is very comforting for us. We didn't have a choice about the cremation and would have preferred to bury, but we were forced pretty quickly to make the decision."
Only about 15 members of the immediate family attended his son's service because of the Covid-19 restrictions at the time.
"We've had to soldier on and that's really difficult.
"For our family, now being part of the statistics, it's a pretty profound thing to be involved with and it's such an awful situation ... there's so much hurt and regret."
Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Mike's death, who would have turned 35 two weeks ago.
Richards said his son was a fun, talented and sociable man.
"My son was a very talented sportsman - he was a great rugby and rugby league player.
"He's a fun person and a social butterfly. He had a lot of friends that he'd made over the years."
He said he and his son had also worked in the same industry - fire protection.
Richards said after talking with a doctor, he did an eight-week course with Suzy Taylor at Family Focus in Pukaki St.
"Six months after we lost Mike, I couldn't stop bloody crying.
"Being with other families in Rotorua who were going through the same course was fantastic.
"You realise we are all vulnerable to suicide and it can happen to any family. Suicide doesn't care, it takes whoever is willing to go there.
"You come out of the course with a lot of valuable tools.
"Each person's story is different and unique, but the outcome is the same - devastation and a sense of loss.
"I think with suicide there's an element of shame in it, and I think people will avoid talking about it and suffer in silence."
He said suicide needed to be spoken about, and events such as the Ride4Life and Healing Wānanga were great for that.
"You realise that's exactly what you need - to be able to share your story in a non-judgmental environment.
"It's something that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives."
Richards shared his story with the Rotorua Daily Post before two suicide awareness events in Rotorua.
The Ride 4 Life happened on Saturday, while the Healing Wananga will take place on March 27 and 28 at Tūnohopu Marae.
He acknowledged the Patua Te Taniwha Charitable Trust and other organisers of the events for their work in the community.
The events aim to reduce silence and stigma and provide healing and connection around suicide.
Saturday's day-long Ride 4 Life, with Tangata Whenua Riders leading the ride, started in Rotorua and had stops in Murupara, Kawerau and Maketū.
Trust chairwoman Mataku-Ariki de Roo said it was a beautiful day full of unity, with riders coming from all over the North island to support the cause.
She said 63 riders filled out the registration, but the turnout was more than 80.
"I and my fellow trustees Cassey Thompson, Camilia Ransfield and Anahera Waaka- Stockman were emotionally overwhelmed in a joyful sense to see how many people care about the cause.
"It was beautiful to see the Murupara, Kawerau and Maketū communities come out."
Later this month, de Roo and Taylor, along with Jane Stevens and Tasi Ruwhiu, are hosting a Healing Wānanga for whānau bereaved by suicide.
Tūnohopū marae will be set up as an open healing space so whānau can visit throughout the day.
It will include traditional Māori medicine, spiritual healing, weaving, carving, art and a maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) talk.
People can also bring photos of their loved ones to place on a memorial.
Taylor, one of the organisers, said, "It is a space where whānau bereaved by suicide can come together, be together and be in a kaupapa Māori environment, but it is for everyone."
She said it was also a chance for families to discuss and have their say on changes needed within the health system around suicide.
Taylor lost her 19-year-old daughter to suicide in 2016.
"I floundered for a year then got an email saying to come to the 606 Shoe kaupapa in Rotorua in August 2017 and I met so many people like myself. It was so healing to know I wasn't alone.
"Over 600 people die a year by suicide, that's a lot of people. Our bereaved can also become at risk ourselves."
- What: Healing Wananga - for whānau bereaved by suicide
- When: March 27, 9am and March 28, 10am
- Where: Tūnohopū Marae
- Contact: Mataku-Ariki de Roo (022) 620 9034, Suzy Taylor (021) 048 3776
- Register: Link at the Facebook event page: Healing Wānanga - for whānau bereaved by suicide
WHERE TO GET HELP
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Helpline: 1737
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.