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DanielPK

Loss of 20 year old son to suicide

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My son Jamie always referred to me as his best friend to his many friends and family members. We were so close. He was a talented ice hockey player through high school and an all around athlete, but his greatest gift was his artistic abilities....something he developed in high school and his early college years. He very gifted at the audio/visual arts....and, specifically, the AV program at his high school where he set the standard for subsequent students interested in this art form. He was also a very promising guitar player and singer. He was very popular with the girls, had tons of friends, worked multiple jobs, and made new friends daily. He was also an avid fisherman and either a very good or lucky one. That said.....he had his demons. We knew he was wired differently right out of the gate. He seemed uncomfortable in his own skin much of the time. He was a very difficult baby/toddler. He was a bad sleeper, never napped, up early, to bed late, and often up in the middle of the night to explore. When he was sleeping, he often had night terrors. He got into trouble at school on a regular basis....usually for disrupting class by talking, laughing or being the class clown. He was as sweet as could be but was always so easily distracted and hyperactive that teachers and administrators struggled with him....as did his family members. He usually got out of trouble because he was so cute. He was unusually cute as a baby/toddler and also so as a teenager and young man. He never would hurt a fly except for those that would pick on him. He quickly earned a reputation for fisticuffs. He was a stutterer right up until high school, you see....and so, was teased and picked on early on in school. This didn't last long as he beat up the bullies who teased him. He quickly became revered for his ant-like strength, ferocity, fighting capabilities and his willingness to stand up to anybody....for himself and/or for any of his friends. I believe now that all of these terrific qualities were coping mechanisms....and that all of these his blessings were simply qualities that allowed him to better deal with his angst. This last summer he worked hard and played hard. We traveled together, we made plans, and we spent our time together as would best friends. We played music around the campfire, golfed, fished, biked, did water sports, went exploring and visited family and friends together. It was an awesome summer. He left his two jobs a few days early the last week of August in order to prep for his move back to Western Michigan University to begin his junior year at school. He signed up for classes, bought some furniture for his house, had us get his suit cleaned for an upcoming wedding, and mentioned plans for me to visit him at school. On Sept 1st, we went with his friends to a concert, then spent the night partying at Michigan State University. Saturday afternoon, he left MSU and told his friends he was going 'home'. He told his mother and I that he was staying another night at MSU. Instead, he got a room at a motel in Lansing. At this point he was not returning anybody's text msgs or calls. He did, however, order a pizza and chilled in his room that night. No drugs. No alcohol. Sometime early Sunday morning 9-3-2017, he took his life. This was 6 wks or so ago. I'm still in shock. I never could have imagined the pain and grief I was capable of suffering.....the depths of it. Hopelessness. Indescribable horror. The suddenness, the violence, the absolute lack of any indication (all of us friends/family are completely in shock), and the fact that this is my beloved baby boy of 20 years. I can't function....don't want to function. The questions....the suffering....I'm a shadow of my former self. I see no light. I feel no hope. And I fear the future. God please help me.  

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Daniel pk thank you for sharing Jamie's story I am so sorry you lost him to suicide. You are right he was having problems and developing coping skills to help himself. Bullying is an awful thing that impacts a child even when they become an adult. It damages self esteem and self worth. My son Tommy was also bullied in school it had a major impact on his life mostly negative and he ended up hanging with the wrong crowd etc etc.  He was killed saving his friend from jumping off a 14 storey building in a suicide attempt. ironically it was my Tommy who died and his friend who survived, however i know his life has been forever changed from the tragedy. What a shock for you when Jamie had plans for the future and seemed ok. We often hide sadness and depression from others because of shame, feeling that we are weak for not coping well and not wanting to worry family members so it comes as a terrible shock. Do not blame yourselves you could not have prevented it from happening, it was not because you were not close or understanding enough, there is nothing you could have said or done that would have changed his mind. I don't know if he left you a letter or not trying to explain his thoughts. In most cases there is no note because the mind is too cluttered to verbalise feelings and rationale. I understand suicide very personally because I tried to kill myself 2 years ago after having a major breakdown and so i know how despairing and bleak life can be and how depression clouds judgement and reason. i know I longed for peace and relief from the pain of being where i was and how depression took over and controlled my thoughts. There is nothing I can say to alleviate your pain and help you to find peace of mind i wish that I could. This forum has many members who have all lost a child/children who understand what agony you are going through. We all post on Loss of an adult child thread it keeps us mostly in one place and responses are quick. please join us there. You have made a brave step in coming forward and telling your story, talking about what happened is very painful but ultimately helps you to recover over time instead of festering inside. you are welcome to join us there. once again I am so sorry you lost your precious son it is something you spend the rest of your life coping with but you don't have to be alone ok?

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DanielPK.....please go to 'Loss of Adult Child'....there are many active parents on that site...and some have suffered child loss from suicide. I don't 'think' there could ever be anything more haunting than the grief a parent suffers when their child decides to commit suicide. We are beyond sad for you and your family. Even though our hearts are shattered ....there is still enough heart left to break when we hear another parent that starts on their grief journey. Grief is exhausting. This kind of grief is dark and heavy and hateful. Your grief journey will be as unique as your child is unique. Please share your story on 'Loss of Adult Child'...we are here to hear you. Peace to you.

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Thank you Tommy's mum and Mermaid Tears. I've posted on the 'Loss Adult Child' website. I sincerely appreciate your help. Thank you so so much.

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