Good morning Chicago Blackhawks fans! This is normally where I talk about a Chicago Blackhawks topic, but instead I’m going to speak from the heart for a few minutes so bear with me.
I grew up in the South Suburbs worked at Southwest Ice Arena went to tons of Chicago Blackhawks games, etc. But after college, I ended up in Orlando where I started my family. I have 4 kids — 3 boys, and the youngest is my only daughter.
Five years ago looking for a hobby, I joined Blackhawk Up as something fun to do, but I never thought I would be the guy running the site for the past 5 years after Greg Boysen left to run Second City Hockey.
In the past 5 years we have watched the Chicago Blackhawks win 2 more Stanley Cups, and I relocated to Knoxville, Tenn., which means I get to buy tickets to Predators games without the Keep the Red Out issues others have. All of this of course is backstory to what happened on January 12th.
That day changed my life forever when my youngest boy who I’ve wrote about took his own life. This is something no parent should ever have to go through, and it changed my perspective forever. I took the rest of January off from work and BU to take care of everything that needed to be taken care of as his father.
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The thing is I didn’t know that teenage suicide is the second biggest reason for deaths in that age bracket. In the span of three months, two more boys took their lives in the same high school my son went to. Sadly, it took three suicides for the school district to do something/anything. I spoke to our local newspaper about this topic a week ago before the high school finally had a meeting for the parents about what was happening.
The amazing thing is how many resources are out there to help anyone that is thinking about suicide. Of course, anyone who is feeling severely depressed or actively suicidal, or knows anyone who is, can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
After the week of interviews and meetings, I took another 9 days off from Blackhawk Up, and this is my first post returning. If you asked me at the first of the year what you would be doing in May, I would never thought I would be writing a post about losing my son on Blackhawk Up.
The point of this post is that I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through. Nobody should have to lose a son, daughter, friend or parent to suicide. There is help out there, and if you see any signs or changes in behavior don’t be afraid to step in and do the uncomfortable thing and have a discussion with that loved one!
Trust me, I wish I could have one more conversation with my son about anything from sports, Kris Bryant, video games, etc. All I have are pictures and memories now.
No, I’m not going to be on a soap box everyday, but I wanted to share how I felt 4 months after tragedy struck our household. When your mantra is “I got through another day,” you know that you wish you could turn back time!