A GRIEVING dad has bravely written an open letter to other parents in the hope of preventing other families from experiencing a similar heartache in the wake of his son’s death.

Phil Parr has shared his emotional journey as he continues to navigate his feelings of grief six months on from the death of his 27-year-old son Danny, who was silently fighting a battle with his own mental health.

Writing openly about the most difficult period of his life, Phil, from Longbarn, said: “I have been left with many questions after Danny’s death.

“Am I good enough? Do I want this? Can I do this? 

“Is this beyond me? 

“What if I mess up? 

“One of the most important things is that I didn’t realise that my wife Carol and I could become even closer.

“We have learned to talk with complete depth and share all these emotions we now feel.

“This helps and, if I have any doubts, if I feel insecure, nervous, not worthy we have a new level and that is the most important factor of coping with everything the world throws at us.

“We wish that we could have attained that depth with Danny and that he could have opened up more than he obviously did.

“So it’s my turn to offer up – without wanting to patronise any parents out there – but your children will frustrate you, annoy you, misunderstand you and amaze you.

“Take a deep breath, try and laugh at it and hug them whenever you can, even if they don’t want too.

Warrington Guardian:

Danny and his family

“We can live on different planets to our kids.

“Asking ‘are you ok’ and receiving an ‘yeah I’m ok’ message can sometimes be as far from the truth as can be.

“It’s a natural trait of a parent to worry and I honestly think a prerogative to ask ‘are you ok’.

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“But some younger people may not necessarily see it as concern or as love.

“There is a fine line between showing an interest and concern and prying and turning them off completely. 

“The skill comes from being interested, supportive and loving and knowing the differences between you and understanding that you are at different stages.

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“The absolute key, in my humble opinion, is putting a loud and clear message that – and it’s a cliché for good reason – a problem shared is a problem halved.

“I honestly think we all wrestle with internal demons such as doubt and insecurity.

“Sometimes all the love, support and understanding in the world can’t break that cycle in our own minds but, categorically, it can.

Warrington Guardian:

Danny Parr

“You just have to share it, talk it through because there isn’t anything that isn’t fixable.”

Phil has shared this open letter following the inquest at Warrington Coroner’s Court last Thursday into his son’s death in July last year.

Speaking to Phil and his wife Carole, Claire Welch, area coroner for Cheshire, praised Danny’s parents for their ‘courage and dignity’.

She added: “It is clear to me from the evidence how much he was loved be so many – his family, his friends – so the grief you must all be feeling must be unimaginable.”

If you have been affected by this story, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123.