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Area mom shares story after son dies by suicide

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Cody Chilar

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)-- Cody Cihlar is described as a happy kids who loved hanging out with friends and making people laugh.

The 17-year-old, who went to D.C. Everest High School, died by suicide in November of 2021.

Now, his mom Bethany is sharing their story in hopes of helping other families.

"It's very raw and it doesn't ever get better," Bethany said.  "You're expecting him to come home. Then after months go by, you just start missing them more. You start wondering if they're going to come home and then they don't. They're just gone," Bethany said. 

Now, she's trying to keep this from happening to any other family.

"Because I would never want anyone else out there to go through what we have gone through," she said. 

Her advice, don't shy away from the conversation of suicide. 

"It needs to be a topic that you talk to your children about and that's what I want Cody's memory to be about too," Bethany said. "I want this to be an opportunity for parents to have those difficult discussions and use this as an example of why it's important to talk about suicide in your homes and talk about mental health and awareness. Talk to your kids, ask them these difficult questions."

Even if you don't want to talk to your parents, Bethany says if you're struggling, find someone. 

"Find a teacher, a coworker, someone you can talk to and don't be afraid to speak what's going on. And everyone that is a recipient of someone coming to you, really listen to them. Are they telling you that they're really struggling? Just be there for them," Bethany said.

Being there for someone could mean being a shoulder to lean on, and that could save a life. 

Have any story ideas? You can send them to npacholke@waow.com