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Tom Committed Suicide

Updated on January 28, 2012

This is a true story. Names and places have been changed to protect the living.

Today was a very sad day for me and my family. My son James called this morning to tell me that his friend Tom had committed suicide.

My wife and I met Tom a few years ago when we visited my son who was living in Asia at the time. Tom seemed to have it together. He was around our son’s age and married to a beautiful Asian woman. They seemed very happy together.

Tom was a teacher with a Master’s degree. He played the guitar, sang, wrote poetry, and earned his pilot’s licence. Tom also served in the US Army. He was kind, sensitive and gracious. On our visit to Asia, Tom took my wife and I to lunch at an exclusive Chinese restaurant downtown. Just the two of us.

A year or so after we returned home Tom divorced his wife. We don’t know the reason for this, but after the divorce Tom’s life seemed to start coming apart at the seams. He started to drink heavily. By this time, our son had returned home from Asia but kept in touch with his friend.

Tom’s parents divorced many years ago. I connected with Tom’s Mom, Ruth, a couple years ago through Facebook. She is a retired civil servant and lives in a trailer park in Florida. We exchanged a few emails and I offered to show her around our city if she visited. Ruth told me that it was unlikely that she would visit as she is quite poor. Tom’s father remarried and is very successful in business.

Ruth called one of Tom’s friends in Asia, and he called another friend, and very soon all of Tom’s friends knew the terrible news. I don’t have Ruth’s telephone number, so this morning I emailed her. It was the hardest email I have ever written.

No one may ever know why Tom took his own life, but his action has affected so many - his parents, his brother, his cousins, family and friends. He returned home from Asia a couple months ago, and was staying with his Mom. I cannot begin to imagine her pain and sorrow.

Life is so precious. I have three adult sons. They’re on their own now but whenever I see them I give them a hug. Each and every time. I think about them every single day, and get together with them quite often. And I still do little things for them, not because they need me to, but because I love them. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them.

I will get Ruth’s telephone number and call her in a few weeks. But what do I say? What can I say? No words can soothe the hurt, the pain and the anguish she must feel today, and for the rest of her life. I would not wish such crushing pain and sorrow on anyone.

This was a very sad and painful day.


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    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 5 years ago from CT-USA

      You are more than welcome.

    • Ramsa1 profile image

      Ramsa1 5 years ago from A citizen of the World

      Thanks, Agreenworld. You're correct that those left behind are hurting; they're hurting because they loved Tom. I will call Ruth and do my best to give her whatever support I can.

    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 5 years ago from CT-USA

      There are times when no words can be spoken to heal a wound so deep. Sometimes all you can do is let them know you are there for them. Suicide hurts the living too, those left behind.

      Let your friend know how precious they are to you. Bring out qualities that let them know their "Tom" was loved.

      Share with them that they are not alone. Be there as a friend the best way you can. Help them to reach out for support. Talking, crying, being there. They will appreciate you being so genuine, caring, loving . There may be nothing else that needs to be said, for now at least.

      Here is hoping you can find the strength to endure this pain your son and his friend's family are experiencing right now..

      It will be difficult but you can do it.