Moving on from the residual impact of losing someone to suicide can take time and can often only be aided by sharing memories, using words to express pain and remembering the life that is gone.
Zac Franich has experienced the devastating pain felt after a close family friend took their own life and the onslaught of mixed emotions that followed their loss.
Shared by Voices of Hope, a heart-breaking interview with The Bachelor star reveals the ensuing stress, regret, suffering and even guilt carried while suffering through anguish and throughout the aftermath of carrying on without someone so deeply cared for.
Zac Franich (pictured) has experienced the devastating pain of losing a friend to suicide
Franich frantically called his siblings (pictured) who were equally distraught, before rushing to be by their side to grieve together upon hearing the news
The raw emotion is still apparent even eight years after losing his friend Wiri as Franich relives the last moment he saw his friend alive and describes the frustration and heartache in finding out he was gone.
He says Wiri was ‘one of the family’ who had his brother’s back which Franich says was natural as loyalty was one of his quality traits.
‘I feel real bad because I was at home one afternoon… and he kind of wondered around, because he just had no where else to go,’ Franich candidly explains.
‘For one reason or another, I was just quite short with him, I might have had a bad day.. and I was quite dismissive of him.
‘My brother and my sister weren’t home, so it was just me he kind of hung around for a little while and watched TV.
‘I don’t know if I made him feel uncomfortable or what but he left and went somewhere else and that was the last time I saw him.’
The Bachelor star revealed the ensuing stress, regret, suffering and even guilt felt while suffering through pain following the loss of a friend (pictured: Zac and his siblings Brianna and Jed)
Zac urges anyone, while placing an emphasis on men, who may be struggling to find reassurance in the fact that circumstances
Franich remembers it was a Thursday night when his mum called and delivered him harrowing news that his friend was gone.
She asked if he had spoken to his brother to which he answered ”no” and she just said ”Wiri’s passed away” before explaining how – that it was suicide.
Franich frantically called his siblings, who were equally distraught, before rushing to be by their side to grieve together.
‘We just cried.’
In the lead up to speaking about his experience Franich thought he would be ready to speak about Wiri, but told Daily Mail Australia the intensity of the trauma left behind outweighed the acceptance of the events.
In the Voices of Hope video Franich shares emotions he felt while suffering through anguish
‘It quickly became apparent how raw and tender the subject was to me after the first question asked.
‘I guess it’s something you never really get over. There’s always the same emotions associated with losing someone you care about; be it the pang of guilt, like ”could I have done something more?” to the frustration and anger around trying to place blame, to the sadness that they can no longer bring the joy they once used to.’
Through his own journey, Franich has encountered trying times, which pushed him to a state of depression.
In 2015, after realising his sporting dreams were over, he was overwhelmed with a senseless feeling which lacked direction.
The high amount of pressure he had placed on himself came down on him hard as he attempted to find his place again.
Wiri was ‘one of the family’ who had his brother’s back which Franich says was natural as loyalty was one of his quality traits
‘I found for me, the depression and anxiety I faced was from a really tough situation, with many sides and it was a bunch of big events happening all at once.’
Bravely, Franich worked to fix his problems by finding the strength to speak up, and eventually turning to help, to talk out the issues that were weighing him down and preventing him to be his best self.
Franich currently works with teenagers at a surf lifesaving club in Red Beach and is passionate about advocating positivity and hope.
His willingness to help others expands past his job, now using the platform given to him by starring on New Zealand’s The Bachelor to share his own struggles to give others hope.
Zac Franich (pictured) appeared in the teaser clip promoting men speaking out around mental health issues
When approached to lend his voice for the ‘it’s not weak to speak’ campaign Franich didn’t think twice.
‘For me, it was about helping people. I’m confident with my emotions and feel I am able to articulate them well. So from that standpoint, I really felt compelled to be vocal on a subject that a lot of people struggle on.’
He urges anyone, while placing an emphasis on men, who may be struggling to find reassurance in the fact that circumstances, pain and hard times can get better.
‘You may be in a dark place at the moment, but it won’t stay like that for much longer. No one gets through this life by themselves, on their own.
‘We all lean on various people along the way and there are so many people out there who would love to help you, if given half the chance.
‘You can become stronger by talking about your vulnerabilities and weaknesses.’