Never has a need for our ‘village’ as mums been more important than right now. The news of the alleged suffocation murder of little eight year old Brodie Moran at the hands of his mother has sent shockwaves through the country. When I first read this story, I felt that awful, dropping feeling in my stomach, especially because my little boy is so close to Brodie’s age.
There is nothing more horrifying than the death of a child at the hands of a parent. It’s something that most of us just can’t wrap our heads around. But yet, it happens. When I read things like this, the first thought that comes to my mind is – How did no one see this coming? Were there signs? How did Brodie’s mum get to the point where she felt that this was her only option?
So many of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family to call on when things get too tough or better yet, people who can sense when something just isn’t right with us. People who know our behaviour and feel close enough to check in to make sure everything is ok. The thing that keeps swirling around in my mind is – did Brodie’s mum have that? What we know is that she and Brodie has been living in the town of Tootgarook for around a year and most of their family lived overseas, as did Brodie’s dad. Did she have someone – anyone – looking out for her? Maybe she did. And maybe, she didn’t.
I truly think that as a society, we’ve become so disconnected from each other. We’re busy and we keep to ourselves more – and I’m guilty of this is so many ways. We mind our own business and often feel that it’s not our place to ask people we don’t have super close relationships with if they’re ok. But I can’t help but think that if someone had asked her, “Hey, are you doing ok?” that this simple question may have opened up a conversation that could have helped her and ultimately, saved Brodie’s life.
It has been reported in the media that Brodie’s mum was on antidepressant medication at the time of his death, but I cannot accept this is why she reportedly did what she did. I have been on antidepressants in my life and so have many others I know, and never did the thought of harming anyone cross my mind. There was something way deeper at play here and discussions around her use of the medication does nothing more than perpetuate the stigma around mental health.
None of us know what happened that day, but what we do know is that the world has lost one beautiful little boy who had a full life ahead of him to live. If there’s one thing we can take from this it’s the need to look out for each other. We owe it to our fellow mums and more importantly, we owe it to their kids.