The grieving mother spreads awareness after the son ends his life

Amy Grinder is looking forward to celebrating her birthday with Noel, who had suggested they go see a movie. But now she’s grieving and hoping to make a difference.

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mom is on vacation without her son after he ended his life a week ago. But t

“I don’t know how long it will take me to heal but I know I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care how many hours I put in, I don’t want anyone else to go through this again,” said Amy Grunder.

Grander was heading to work on November 15 when she received multiple calls from her family asking about her whereabouts. She learns that her 18-year-old son, Noel Grunder, has completed suicide in his apartment.

“I was like, No. No, no, no, all I can say is no,” Amy said. “He didn’t call, nothing, and as a parent it’s hard because we’re supposed to be protective of our kids,” said Amy.

Amy describes Noel as a 6-foot-tall bright light of energy who loves helping others, especially the homeless community that started when he was a child.

“I don’t think anyone has a single photo where he’s not smiling. That grin, his goofy grin was the one that captured everyone,” said Amy.

Noel lived with a form of bipolar disorder and struggled academically, although he had great ambitions to one day fulfill his dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer.

Amy felt Noel had a promising future, considering he had moved into a new apartment over the past year, been back in school and worked in the restaurant industry.

“From the outside he looked the happiest he’s been in a long time,” said Amy.

While a giant piece of Amy’s soul is missing, she maintains strength through her grieving journey and plans to become an advocate in some form to help other teens struggling with their mental health. She has considered becoming involved with a non-profit organization or even starting one of her own.

“I feel like a lot of people have let my son down. I remember when I was looking for a doctor, we couldn’t find any anywhere, they were all booked,” Amy said. “It was upsetting to me that there were so many teens with these issues right now and so many of them, especially young adults, weren’t reaching out to them because they’d learned how to deal with it.”

The path to healing begins with conversation.

“Know that no matter how you feel, no matter how dark, no matter how lonely you are, you are not alone.”

Noel’s memorial service is set for December 10 at 9:30 at Grace First Baptist Church in San Antonio (2514 Observation Dr.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Call or text 988 at any time of the day and week to speak with a mental health professional. The three-digit number was launched in the summer and was previously known as The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

To learn more about mental health resources, go here.

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