A CORK woman, marking her daughter’s anniversary years after she took her own life due to bullying, said that Leanne’s story has stopped so many people from taking their own lives.
Collette Wolfe came to media prominence back in 2007 when her daughter Leanne died. The 18-year-old had left behind only a diary documenting her spiral into hopelessness.
It later became her legacy and the inspiration for a book penned by heartbroken Collette and author Brian Finnegan. Collette released the book, If I Could Hold You Again, to raise awareness of bullying and its devastating consequences.
Now, 14 years later Collette said she is glad to have had Leanne for the short time that she did.
“Today I am so proud,” she said. “I had Leanne for 18 years. Some parents don’t get to keep their children for a day.
"I am so proud that I was chosen to be Leanne’s mum.
"I would rather have had a daughter like that for the short time than be a mum to someone who made a person’s life such a hell that they no longer wanted to be here. I pray that they find peace.
"It was Leanne’s choice to take her own life. However, she had been worn down so much she didn’t feel like it was worth anything anymore.”
She spoke about how Leanne continues to help people even in death.
“Leanne’s story has stopped so many people from taking their own lives. She has saved so many people. Her brother and sister are carrying so much pain but Leanne has also shown so many people that God is real.”
Colette spoke about how she turned to God for comfort when the pain became too much.
“I want to honour Leanne’s memory, not by crawling on my hands and knees but by taking a stand and being strong.
"I wake up every day by God’s grace.”
Leanne’s anniversary remains an excruciatingly difficult day for the whole family.
“It’s a day that’s mixed in with so many other difficult days. We only celebrated Leanne’s birthday on the 10th so everything comes very close together. The eve of these days is the most difficult. It’s always Christmas eve, the eve of Leanne’s birthday that I find challenging.”