I lost my son to suicide 1/27/2022. He was 25. I read Jamies Raskins book Unthinkable where Congressmen Raskin wrote about Tommys death by suicide. I was recommended the book by several DUers. That book truly might have saved my life.
I wanted to let Congressman Raskin know how much his book meant to me but had no idea how to contact him. I decided to use the same method I did with the White House and just use the generic contact us email from the Jamie Raskin for Congress website. This was probably about 2 months ago. I didnt expect a reply, I just wanted to share how much his book helped me.
Well, yesterday morning I get a call from the 202 area code. (Ill use crimycarny as my first name in my description of the call. Jamie used my real first name of course). I pick up and I hear a cheerful Hi, is this crimycarny? I replied Yes and the caller says Hi, crimycarny, this is Jamie Raskin. Im calling to thank you for your wonderful email. Im sorry it took me so to respond as Ive been busy with January 6th. Yes, it was him. The voice was unmistakable. We didnt talk long, I just reiterated how much his book helped me.
After I hung up I went downstairs to tell my husband. As I was showing him the number I accidentally hit redial. I hung up right away and I also assumed it was a switchboard type number. Next thing I know a call is coming in from the same number. I pick up and its Jamie again! He said Hi Crimycarny, I saw you just tried to call. Did you need something? I said no, that it was a mistake redial. He replied ok, I just wanted to make sure. Well, you have my number if you need anything.
Jamie Raskin is the real deal. The kindness and caring he exudes in public is the true man he is.
Nothing will bring my son back. Nothing will ease this unbearable pain. But it helps to know people care. DUers have been immensely helpful as well.
Though anecdotal at this point, perhaps there is hope for long-haul COVID in the form of Pfizer's PAXLOVID antiviral?
I posted earlier about my son dying by suicide this January. He was 25. It has been extremely tough, as many can relate. So many of the comments on my post were so helpful to me that I re-read them many times when I'm struggling.
There is such a huge misunderstanding of "grief" and "depression". There is also a MAJOR misunderstanding on how to treat depression period, particularly before it gets to such a debilitating stage as suicide.
So onto my traumatic experience. Two days ago I had to call the company that handles FSA claims (medical claims for reimbursement). Note it is NOT my insurance company, I'm talking about medical expenses that aren't covered by insurance but you can get reimbursed from a health savings account that you contribute to yourself. This company had denied reimbursement for my grief counselor therapy, despite having approved several previous ones. So I was calling to find out why.
The customer service agent who took the call was trying to figure out what the issue was, trying to understand the type of therapy, and I mentioned it was for grief counseling due to my son's death. She told me "I understand, I lost my brother and my father." Of course, I broke down at that. She told me that she was so sorry for my loss, told me she understands the guilt that comes with it and reassured me it wasn't my fault. I thanked her, told her it was very hard, and that I missed my son very much. We got my claim resolved, I thanked her tearfully when she again expressed her condolences, then hung up. I actually thought how nice it was that I got not only a kind agent but one who understood grief.
24 hours later there is a knock at our door. My middle son opens the door and there are two policemen standing there asking for me by name. BTW, this is EXACTLY how we were notified of my son's death by suicide back in January...his younger brother answered the door and they asked for me by name (I've never understood why they didn't mention my husband's name too).
My son comes to get me and I am FREAKING out. Major PTSD. I'm thinking "OMG...did something happen to my daughter?" (she's away at school). Turns out the woman at the claim agency called in a "welfare check" for me. WTF???? The police treated me like I was a criminal. They kept asking me what I said on my phone call with the claim agent 24 hours ago. It was so bizarre, almost like I had called in a bomb threat. They just kept quizzing me and trying to see if what I said matched up with what they were told. I kept reassuring them I was not suicidal and I never mentioned suicide in the phone call with the agent. But they just kept quizzing me like they didn't believe me. It was horrific.
It wasn't until they left, after quizzing me for at least 15 minutes, that I realized they never asked me if anyone else besides my son was at home (you'd think they want to find out if I had support if they truly thought I was at risk). They only asked about what I said on the call...which was 24 hours ago anyway! Who cares?? Isn't what's going on NOW more important? Do I have support? Do I have resources? That's what they should have asked if they truly felt I was at risk.
Humiliating. I was so shaken up. I had full-on "fight or flight" adrenaline for hours. Shaking, heart pounding, feeling nauseous. And the flashbacks to the day we were notified of my son's death wouldn't stop.
No WONDER no one wants to tell anyone if they are suicidal. If this is how they treat someone based on the inexperienced judgment of complete stranger--what the h*ll? And my other son witnessed all of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Traumatic for him because of the flashback, AND I worry it would dissuade him from getting help if he--god forbid--needed it. What the hell are we doing in this country in regards to mental health?
I hate the term "defund the police" but we sure as h*ll need more $$$ towards getting qualified mental health personnel to go out on calls like this. God forbid it was someone truly suicidal.
I apologize if this thread doesnt belong in General Discussion. But because it reflects on the President Biden White House I thought Id use this category.
On 1/27/2022 my precious son took his own lifehe was 25. I was absolutely destroyed (still am) and was trying desperately to find a place to run to, to hide, to stop the pain. But there was/is no where to go.
This may sound idiotic but I thought of President Joe Biden and all the grief he has had in his life. How he would talk about his losses (wife, daughter, Beau) and try to comfort others experiencing loss. I thought I wish I could talk to someone like Joe Biden. So in desperation I wrote an email via the WhiteHouse.gov website. I poured out my heart but never expected a reply.
A couple of weeks after I sent my email I was sitting outside on my porch in absolute despair and agony. Sobbing. Then I see a call from someone in Reno, NV. Normally Id let a call I dont recognize go to voicemail but for some reason I answered. Someone asked Is this ( my first name) ? I answered yes, who is this?. The person answered This is The White House. Im calling about the email you sent about your son.
No, it wasnt Joe Biden himself but someone working for the Biden administration. The person on the phone talked to me for over 45 minutes. Let me talk about my son as well as tried to help me find resources in my area for support. The person I was talking to wasnt perfunctory...they were real. They would have let me talk forever. The part about finding resources for me didnt happen until the very end of the call. The majority was just this person allowing me to talk about my son.
Amazing. I miss my son desperately. I will NEVER be the same. But to have a White House that would read an email out of the hundreds of thousands, and give me a call personally, that meant so much.
I wrote that my 25-year old son committed suicide 1/27/2022. I am still reeling from overwhelming grief and GUILT I didnt know how much pain he was in. I didnt see the signs. I torture myself knowing he felt so worthless that the world be better off without him. He was the KINDEST person I know. A truly special kid who made it a point to ask me and his dad how we were doingevery day. How could he think he was worthless?
Well, my daughter just texted me tonight that a teammate of hers committed suicide today. 23. Played on my daughters team at college (dont want to give too many details to protect privacy)
This girl was super outgoing, an amazing athlete, seemed amazingly confident, and always looked out for the underdog (bench players) on the team. LAST person I would have considered to be contemplating suicide.
Our mental health care SUCKS. I am heartbroken. WTF are we doing?
I posted earlier that my son committed suicide on 1/27. He was 25, just like Jamie Raskin's son. Many suggested I might find Jamie Raskin's book "Unthinkable" helpful so I finally ordered a copy (audible). Hearing how Jamie had actually sat down and watched TV with his son the night before he found his son dead from suicide, how Jamie kept tormenting himself with why he didn't see the signs, helped me to realize I'm not alone.
I've been blaming myself for not being more aware of making sure our family unit stayed tight-knit (eating dinner together every night, doing more trips together). Maybe that would have given my son a better sense of "safety" and helped him not feel so alone with his thoughts. But in reading the Raskin's family life, they were all extremely involved and very tight-knit. So maybe, just maybe, it truly was just my son's disease?
I saw a posting on twitter of a documentary MSNBC did with Jamie Raskin and his wife on their son's death, dealing with January 6th in the midst, etc. But I can't find a replay. Does anyone know where I can find this documentary?
I am in so much pain I can't breathe. My son was my firstborn and he was my rock. Perhaps I relied on him too much?
I can't get over the fact that my last conversation with him I relayed a bad argument his father and I had about money. It was a dumb argument and I should NEVER have burdened my son with the details. I of all people KNEW how he would internalize other people's feelings, emotions, and somehow blame himself. Worse, in my conversation with my son I told him that if his dad and I didn't get this resolved the only solution may be for us to get divorced. Not true--I was just mad--but this would have been something that would have weighed heavily on my already fragile son. Yes, I realized I didn't know how fragile he was but that doesn't matter---I was perhaps the proverbial straw.
Looking at receipts, etc. he had started planning his death over a month prior. He was just waiting for a reason, and I gave it to him. I will never forgive myself. I will never be the same. I don't know how to live with this pain.
I get people telling me "you need to be strong for your other two kids". Yes, I KNOW THAT. "It wasn't your fault". Really? How do YOU know? Then I get mad at my son as well, why didn't he come to me first? Then I get mad at myself again. I knew he was depressed and feeling a bit at loose ends due to COVID sort of short-circuiting his career plans (he graduated 4-year college during lockdown).
I was trying to gently guide him towards getting back on track, then he took his life using a toxic chemical combination (which he found all the instructions for on the internet, isn't that great?) his note was simply a warning to HAZMAT and also the words "I don't deserve to live".
EDIT/UPDATE: I don't know how to do a "reply all" but I'm reading through all the comments and they are so helpful. Particularly those who have suffered from depression themselves and are explaining to me that nothing I or anyone would have tried to do at the time would have helped because they hid their despair. Also those who have experienced a similar loss and felt similar feelings of guilt. I just stumbled across a video my husband made in 2005 when all 3 of our kids were little. Justin was smiling, happy, and it kills me in some ways to remember happier times. I want to go back there and never leave.
I'm also trying to find someone to facilitate his celebration of life and struggling to find the right person. Justin was not religious but was very accepting of EVERYONE. I hope I can find just the right person. I'm lost.
Anyway, THANK YOU everyone for your kind words, advice, understanding. My heart has been ripped out and I honestly don't know how people can survive this much pain.
A soccer mom who I know fairly well just died from COVID after getting sick 8 days ago. Her daughter was a couple of years old than my daughter and she would train my daughter from time to time. I would talk to the mom on the sidelines, or we'd be together at soccer parties. A wonderful lady full of optimism and a strong influence on her kids to always be kind yet strong as well (stick up for yourself).
She and her husband were childhood sweethearts. Her husband must be absolutely devasted. She was the glue of the family. Has 2 other children as well so she's leaving behind a husband and 3 kids.
She wasn't vaccinated. It wasn't due to politics, she was afraid. She had read some of the disinformation out there and believed it. Now she's gone.
Another friend had just been texting her 2 days ago. She said she was in the ICU because "they want to get control of my cough".
I am beyond shock. Only 49. Again, extremely kind and caring woman without a mean bone in her body. She was just afraid, now she's gone.
This made me laugh:
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