“The Shameless Pain?”: A Maori Mother’s Grief Processing the Effects of Suicide

  • Sheryl Mahinarangi Waru


This piece is about my experience of suicide and the systemic epistemology between culture and laws that are structured like a one size fit all ugly pair of shoes that a mother like me will wear for the rest of my life. I will speak about my experience in this heartbreaking real-life situation through the holistic views of Te Ao Maori and the law. My daughter's name is Chanelle Te Kura Waru, she was born on the 18th of July 1995. Chanelle died from an intentional overdose she was just 21 years old. Chanelle was an articulate independent young woman and she is our only child, her father and I loved her unconditionally, to the world she was just one person, to her father and I she was our world.

In 2016/2017, 606 people committed suicide, 457 were males and 149 were females, the highest statistic age group is 20-24yrs. The highest suicide death by methods is hanging or overdose. Maori are the highest ethnic group recording 130 deaths in 2016/2017. May 10, 2017, is the day that I was labeled a victim and my daughter a statistic.


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How to Cite
Waru, S. M. (2018). “The Shameless Pain?”: A Maori Mother’s Grief Processing the Effects of Suicide. Te Kaharoa, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.24135/tekaharoa.v11i1.235