Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley is addressing his wife Ari’s 2013 suicide attempt.
During an emotional interview with ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante, Whibley speaks candidly about re-releasing his 2019 song “Catching Fire” for Mental Health Awareness Month, revealing for the first time the touching ballad was actually inspired by his wife’s suicide attempt.
“When I originally wrote the song, I figured I would never really speak about it,” he admits. “It was kind of too hard for me to talk about.”
Back in 2013, the singer’s wife attempted suicide after a night of heavy drinking. Whibley, who was asleep at the time, reveals he was unaware his wife suffered from mental health issues.
“I didn’t really ever know how to bring it back up and ask her how she’s feeling, ‘If you’re okay.’ It was just… for some reason, I just couldn’t come out,” he explains. “We dealt with it at the time. But then we sort of just, kind of like, pushed it in the back of our minds and we moved forward. But I never could really shake it. It was always in the back of my mind and I thought about it every single day.”
The singer turned to music to help express his mountain of emotions and eventually composed the track “Catching Fire”, which he says allowed them to begin their healing process.
“But now I’m here alone / Without you by my side / If only I had known / That you kept it all inside,” he sings in the vulnerable song. “Now I’m trying to understand / Just trying to find a way / But forgive you I just can’t / It’s all just too much for me to take.”
Once they started conversing about her mental illness, Whibley says his wife was “much more brave” and wanted to use her story as a way to help others struggling.
“By bringing it out and bringing it to the world, that hopefully it can help or inspire other people,” he says.
Celebrating seven years of sobriety, the couple are healthy and happy. They also recently welcomed a baby boy — Lydon Igby — in 2020.
“Kids obviously change your life in such huge ways,” he gushes. “We had so much love in our relationship already that we’ve added this new little guy to our family, that it’s just like an extension of the same love.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
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