The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Anchor shares suicide tragedy with NE

Heather Hays
Heather Hays

By Ben Heath/reporter

Heather Hays
Heather Hays

FOX 4 news anchor Heather Hays is used to talking about tragedies in the DFW area, but she informed NE Campus about her own tragedy during Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day Nov. 12.

“I don’t know everything. All I can do is share my story,” Hays said.

The story is of her former fiancé, Brett, who took his own life after they were together for 10 years. What makes the story more painful are the last words she said to him: “I never want to talk to you again.”

But from the pain of her final words with her fiancé came a valuable lesson in love and appreciation.

“I found out the hard way that you want to tell people you love them as much as you can, and never, ever say something you might regret because you might not have the chance to take it back,” she said.

Hays spent the first few months after his death telling people that he simply died in a “car accident.” Her fear was that others would see her fiancé as weak or cowardly.

“He was not a weak man,” she said. “He was a very strong man.”

Speculating at what might have led to her fiancé’s death, Hays said that when people are struggling with something, they usually look toward the light at the end of the tunnel to keep them moving forward. Unfortunately for some, that light just seems to get dimmer until there is nothing but darkness. 

It’s this darkness that Hays said causes many changes in behavior and should be brought to discussion as soon as possible.

“Communication is absolutely the key to saving lives,” she said.

Hays urged students to speak up if anyone they know is making any changes to their lives, whether eating habits or social circle.

“It doesn’t hurt to ask, and it might save a life,” she said.

After his death, Hays was riddled with an array of emotions. She turned to writing to cope with Brett’s death. From these writings, Hays published Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal Your Heart, a book in which she discusses how she battled the pain of losing someone so close to her.

Hays admitted that she “got through the pain, never over it. I don’t think you ever get over it.”

At the end of her speech, a student thanked her and sealed her appreciation with a hug.

Hays said there is no way to know exactly what someone goes through when a loved one commits suicide, but one thing that helped her was talking with others who had or were going through the same experience.

“Since I’ve started talking, 15 people have attempted suicide,” she said. “Although I don’t like this word, one was ‘successful.’”

An eerie silence quickly fell over the room.

“All we can do is be the best friend and family we can be,” she said.

Hays now has a career she loves and is happily married with two daughters, who she said are the loves of her life.

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