Loss of a Child, as Told by a Parent

Bud - 'Loss and Guilt, and Love: A Father's Story'

For 18 years I watched him grow—from strollers to bicycles, skateboards to cars, Thundercats to Nirvana.

Our son, our only child, took his life on September 27, 2000, about two months after his 18th birthday. He had just entered his senior year in high school.

Doris - 'This Mother Did Not Know...'

After his death, as I began my journey of discovery about this disease, I was confronted with the stigma and shame. I was told, 'Blacks do not commit suicide.'

I became a survivor of suicide after having lost my only child, Mark Alan Smith, to suicide at the age of 27 on Oct. 4, 1992.

Gregg - 'Chancellor's Story'

We are determined to wrest purpose and meaning from our profound tragedy by bringing the issue of military suicide and all suicides to the forefront of national attention.

Our handsome boy entered active duty service in October 2003 at the young age of 18. He joined up while still in high school in response to the patriotic fever that had swept the country after 9/11.

John - 'If We Only Knew, If He Only Told Us'

At the start of eighth grade, Ryan seemed to be doing fine, but we came to find out after his death that we really only knew what he was willing to share with us.

Life for us will never be the same as it was before Oct. 7, 2003. There are no words to describe the shock and horror of finding your 13-year-old son dead from suicide just as another typical school day was suppose to begin.

Joyce - 'A Mother's Painful Journey'

Life goes on, but not as I had imagined eight years ago before Andy took his life.

The nightmare began with what sounded like an exploding firecracker. The time was 2:30 a.m., and I had been in and out of bed all night, worrying about Andy.

Karyl - 'Wind Beneath My Wings'

...suicide is a tragedy...it is not cause for shame or embarrassment.

Deep down inside, we know our children are fragile, that life is unpredictable, but of course, we believe we are immune to such tragedies.

Michael - 'Music for Our Wounds'

The best songs I've found have a universality that gives them meaning to survivors of any fatal tragedy.

My journal entries from the first days after the death of my son, Breck, make me wonder: How did we, how did I, get through those days, and the nights?

Pat - 'Letter to James'

The house buzzed like a beehive for a long time. Your suicide turned us into a family of bedeviled detectives.

There is a picture on the shelf that was taken for the yearbook at noon that day. You betray nothing. You are smiling and surrounded by friends. Was your plan in place?

Rick - 'Life is About Gifts'

He was a self-reliant, creative young man, whose first sentence, “Rynie do self!” established his independence.

Jan. 1, 2005, begins like the beginning of any other day and any other year.

Stan - 'Life After Suicide'

David was a special person. He was sensitive, he was kind, he was brilliant and he was humane.

After David's burial, Sydney, Erica and I went to California to recover his possessions and to discover whatever we could piece together about his last few days and weeks in order to try to better understand his rationale for making the decision to end his life.