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"Millions of tears." Kate Everett's life now, 2 years on from her daughter Dolly's death.

This article discusses suicide and may be distressing for some readers. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636.

Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett was a 14-year-old girl when she ended her life in the first few days of 2018. Prior to her death, the teenager, from Australia’s Northern Territory, had been relentlessly cyberbullied.

Before she passed, Dolly left a drawing with the simple words: “Speak, even if your voice shakes.”

Those six words sent shivers down the spines of Australians as her devastating death stunned the nation – making headlines for weeks and months after.

Two years on from the tragedy, Kate tells Mamamia of the grief her family continues to endure and how they remain determined to shine a light on the severe impacts of bullying.

“People often ask us, ‘how do you cope? We say, ‘how can you not cope?'”

Kate says she and her husband Tick Everett “have learnt that grief is not linear nor is it predictable”.

“In the early days we made a promise to each other to take each day as it comes, with no expectation other than to make it through,” she says.

Kate Everett
Tick and Kate Everett. Image: Supplied/Shane Eecen.

"We also made a promise to show [our daughter] Meg how to cope," Kate tells Mamamia, referencing Dolly's now 18-year-old sister.

"What Meg has witnessed and lived with, most would not cope with," the mother shares. "Meg lost her best friend that night and to her credit, she has found a way to tuck it in the back of her mind; no doubt as we both do, she thinks about it every day.

"This is not ignoring the pain or grief or the millions of tears."

She adds that in the two years since their youngest daughter's passing, they have "learnt that the support of friends and family is the most important thing."

"We feel fortunate that we have people who would literally drop everything to help – and they did, they do, and we know they will."

On the night of Dolly's death, as the family waited for emergency services to arrive at their small outback community, Kate Everett lay with her daughter’s body and vowed her death would not be in vain. The parents have kept that promise, every day, through their foundation Dolly’s Dream.

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"What Dolly has highlighted to us as parents is that we need to do whatever we can to help all the other Dollys that can’t 'speak even if their voice shakes'."

They remain as determined as ever that no other family should go through their same devastation.

dolly-everett Kate Everett
Dolly Everett was 14-years-old when she took her own life. Image supplied.

In light of their little girl's legacy, Dolly's parents have today, on Safer Internet Day, launched a new tool called the DigiPledge.

The DigiPledge uses real-life scenarios to teach adolescents how to make the right choices online. Families explore topics around online safety, including bullying, privacy and gaming.

After completion, they download a DigiPledge certificate, where all family members pledge to act together and help stop bullying and cyberbullying.

"It’s so important to show your kids that you want to hear about their online lives and want to do it in a way that is supportive," Kate Everett says. "I want the DigiPledge to be a way for families to learn about each other and talk about it openly."

To any child that is being bullied, Kate says to "tell a trusted adult".

"Don’t try and deal with this on your own," she adds. "Don’t bottle it up. Tell someone and they can get help for you."

Ultimately, the DigiPledge is about choosing kindness.

"When you’re practising kindness, you’re practising empathy. And when you’re being empathetic - putting yourself in another’s shoes - bullying and other hurtful behaviour are far less likely to happen," Kate tells Mamamia.

"This world needs more kindness and empathy."

The DigiPledge is available here. It’s priced at $10 per family, with all money going straight back to Dolly’s Dream.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

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