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'The pain of losing a son is unbearable': Heartbroken mum of Kailum O'Connor on loss of her boy (21)


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Kailum O'Connor

Kailum O'Connor

Kailum O'Connor and his family

Kailum O'Connor and his family

Kailum O'Connor and mum Sharon

Kailum O'Connor and mum Sharon

Kailum O'Connor

The devastated mother of tragic social media star Kailum O'Connor says she will never be the same after he took his own life.

Kailum (21), who was known to thousands of young people around the world for his comedy videos on social media, was found dead near his home in Ballynahinch, Co Down, earlier this month.

Following his funeral, Kailum's grief-stricken mother Sharon (42) told Sunday Life: "It's every mother's worst nightmare."

She said he gave no indication he was unhappy or intended to harm himself before his death.

"He was so larger-than-life and bubbly, it's absolute torture, it's like hell on earth. I had candles lit to Our Lady just praying they would just find him.

"It wasn't the outcome I was expecting, especially not for my beautiful son.

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Kailum O'Connor and mum Sharon

Kailum O'Connor and mum Sharon

Kailum O'Connor and mum Sharon

"It's devastating for us, it doesn't seem real, I'm shocked. It's unbearable, the pain. It's like I am waiting on him walking in the door and asking how I am.

"He wasn't just my son, he was my best friend and my whole world. I'm still waiting on him coming home and messing around with the children.

"You could never ever think it would end like this, it's like my heart has shattered into a million pieces, I'll never be right again after this.

"He was so funny and outgoing, I know every mother thinks their child is special but he really was something else. He was destined for the big time, I believe that, he was gonna be a superstar.

"He was crazy but in a nice way, a funny crazy, always making people laugh and making his videos - you wonder how he came up with those.

"I still have them and I'm able to watch them and that does give me a little bit of comfort, still being able to see him having fun and messing about. They're lovely to have."

Kailum's social media following exploded to over 325,000 people after a video of him dancing to a Nicki Minaj song gained more than 10 million views on Facebook.

The former St Colman's High School pupil was known for his comedy but also tried to use his platform to promote self-acceptance and raise awareness about bullying.

His mum Sharon said he showed no sign of being unhappy before he died. She revealed: "He had been at the beach all weekend and came home here on the Sunday after he'd been drinking but he never gave off or anything or behaved as if he was going to do anything like that.

"He left my house and said 'See you later, Mummy' and I said 'Okay, see you later' and that was the last time I saw him.

"When the police started their search, friends and family members joined in but I couldn't go because I have two young ones.

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Kailum O'Connor and his family

Kailum O'Connor and his family

Kailum O'Connor and his family

"The police came to me with a description and went away and came back saying they would need to get the sniffer dogs out.

"I thought he had gone to a friend's house and fallen asleep maybe because he had been drinking. At about 4.30 in the morning I found out unfortunately he was dead.

"The whole community is in shock, complete devastation, it's like there's a black cloud over us since he died, everyone is in shock."

Kailum is survived by his parents Sharon and Mark, stepdad Barry, sister Sophia and younger siblings Kodie and Krystal.

Ms O'Connor added she is still struggling to come to terms with her son's death, saying: "The funeral was a bit unreal, the church was packed and there was lots of people there, but it was just awful knowing my 21-year-old was gone.

"It was complete shock and heartbreak but it was a lovely ceremony and I gave him the best send-off I could."

She added: "I know he's dead but I still think he will come home and ask me about my day and talk to me about his videos.

"I'm lucky I had two other children after Kailum who he was mad about. He was so full of life, he would have made the stones laugh."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or Lifeline 0808 808 8000

Belfast Telegraph