By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two mothers who met during a difficult time turned their heartache into help for someone else. Toni Plante and Dr. Nora Flom started a podcast called “Totally Got Out of Bed.” The phrase was their response when people asked how they were doing after losing their children to suicide.

“Erik was 25. Just compassionate, and caring, and loving, and happy,” Flom said.

Anna was 15.

“In middle school she had quite a few problems, she tried to take her life a couple times,” Plante said.

These are two mothers with separate journeys who came together over shared loss, and grief. Anna Plante died by suicide in 2016. Erik Flom in 2018.

“You can imagine how we go through the why. Why I didn’t I know, why didn’t he share, why didn’t he tell us, why didn’t we understand. And in retrospect, I think he wanted to protect us,” Flom said.

Plante says she knew her daughter was in pain, and did everything she could to help. Anna had done in-patient and out-patient treatment.

Anna and Toni Plante, Nora and Erik Flom (credit: CBS)

“For Anna, I think she just couldn’t do it anymore. The first year is so awful, but the second year is almost worse because you’re sort of waking up a little bit,” Plante said.

What helped them was a support group for suicide loss. It’s where they met and it’s in that shared experience they thought they could help others and offer tools for those who want to support families living in that space. That’s when they started the podcast “Totally Got Out of Bed.”

“I’m hoping that our experience, my experience and my pain helps to care for others going through this,” Flom said.

The 15 episodes take listeners through their first year, stages of grief, to let people know they’re not alone. And offering what worked for them to get out of bed.

“Kind of put it in your back pocket. Know that it’s out there, because you might come to the point sometime where you need it,” Plante said.

The moms are preparing for a second season. You can listen here on Audible.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number is 1-800-273-TALK, or 1-800-273-8255.

Jennifer Mayerle