LISTEN: There has been an outpouring of tributes and emotion following the tragic death of Maori All Black Sean Wainui, who died in a car crash on Monday.
Magic Talk Afternoons host Danny Watson has been inundated with calls from people across the country who have shared their experiences with death and grieving.
One caller in particular stood out.
20 years ago, Mary's son died in a head-on car crash.
"It took me 10 years to even take a cross up to where he lost his life and took his last breath," she told Magic Talk.
Mary says a close friend made her the cross shortly after her son died but she refused to accept he had passed away.
"It was agonising. You get your friends, your family, they try to help you through your grieving process.
"But there comes a time when you feel they just want to walk away. You've got to deal with it in your own time and space," Mary said.
She says it took her 10 years to accept her son's death.
Mary's story takes a saddening turn, however. On the 26th February, 2020, her second son took his own life.
"It was four weeks before the lockdown," she told Danny Watson.
Mary says up to 1000 people turned out to his funeral.
"He was well known, he was well loved," Mary said.
She says her son had issues with methamphetamine, debt and a relationship break up.
"It's very hard. People go if somebody's suicidal you must see the signs.
"We never saw the signs," Mary told Magic Talk.
Mary is an essential worker and four weeks after her son's passing, New Zealand went into our first strict Alert Level 4 lockdown. But Mary had to keep working.
"It was crazy for me. I'm grieving for a son and yet I've got to function as an essential worker," she said.
"They were hard times. Very hard times."
Listen to the full conversation with caller Mary above.
Magic Talk | Afternoons with Danny Watson, weekdays from 12pm.
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