Editor's note: If you're feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Arizona Teen Lifeline at 800-248-8336 (TEEN). See more resources at the bottom of this story.
A Valley mom who lost her son to suicide is now on a mission to help others.
"Jason was a bright, beautiful child that could play almost any sport," said Kimberly Tocco.
Tocco thinks about her son every day.
"What I really think about when I think of my Jason is him smiling because he's proud of me," she said.
It has now been seven-and-a-half years since she's seen his smiling face.
"Jason went upstairs and took my gun and shot himself right there," Tocco said.
A morning that started with an odd outburst at the breakfast table turned into unimaginable grief and guilt. Those feelings, only magnified by other people's reactions.
"Step back and give you a look like, 'What did you do? What did you do to your child to make him do that?'" Tocco said. "There's no reason that stigma should be there."
That is why Tocco is now going public, sharing personal writings and vlogs that chronicle the dark and raw emotions since her son's death.
The now successful realtor not only hopes to help other families coping with loss but to also send a message to those on the outside looking in.
"They need someone that understands what they're feeling and not judging them," Tocco said.
As a mom to three other boys, Tocco says she is finding ways to move forward and hopes her story will help people connect and search for solutions before they point fingers.
"We need to come together and understand what is going on," Tocco said. "To listen to our children and figure out what is going on."
FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL CRISIS HOTLINES
National Institute of Mental Health: (800) 273-8255 (TALK)
Mercy Maricopa Crisis Hotline: (602) 222-9444
Check the below documents for suicide prevention resources from national sources. You should always call 9-1-1 in life-threatening situations.