The Tragedy of Suicide

Christopher’s Story Part I


According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,

  • Americans attempt suicide about one million times each year and 90% of those who complete suicide had a psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
  • Over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
  • While women are three times more likely to attempt suicide, 75% of completed suicides are men.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Among 10-24-year-old’s, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

(Source: AFSP – Suicide 2015 Facts and Figures)


This is Christopher’s story.



“I hope I never see you again!” Carl screamed at his 17-year-old son Christopher.

Tears stung Carl’s eyes as he firmly set his jaw and wiped grease off his hands with a shop rag. He slammed the hood down on his car, which he had been working on, walked to the door that led from the garage to the kitchen, and slammed it so hard that a hammer and a saw fell from the garage wall and hit the hood of his wife’s car, parked next to his, denting it.

Christopher was never much good with engines or shooting or hunting, all the man’s-man things Carl had wanted to teach his son since Christopher was a kid, but Christopher preferred to spend his time reading, playing chess, which he taught himself, and exploring the woods with his dog Gem.

Christopher was seven years old when he got Gem, who was nine weeks old, for Christmas. It was the same year Christopher got his first binoculars and microscope. Gem was 10 years old now, and Christopher was 17. They were best friends and constant companions. They had grown up together.

Carl took Christopher hunting for the first time when Christopher was eight, but when Carl shot and killed a squirrel, Christopher dissolved into tears and ran away and hid until Carl finally found him sitting against a tree and sobbing. Carl forced Christopher to accompany him on several more hunting trips, but Christopher never took to hunting, and Carl finally gave up.

Carl had always been sorely disappointed in his son’s lack of interest in the things Carl valued, and he never tried to understand Christopher’s interests, which Carl openly belittled as  “weak, girly sh–.”

Christopher was still standing in the garage when his mother came through the door.

“It’s best you leave, Chris. Your father has been devastated ever since you—whatever you call it—came out. Why did you do this to us? Why?”

She was crying and wringing her hands.

“Mom, I—”

“This is the most humiliating thing you could have done to your father! A man like him, at his age, worked hard all his life, and now this. How can he ever show his face again? Everything that’s important to him in his life—his hunting club—that’s all ruined now. He’ll be ridiculed! He’ll be a laughing stock!”

“What did I do, Mom? I can’t pretend I’m someone I’m not! I’m still your son! I need you! I need you to accept me and love me the way I am, not the way you—mostly Dad—want me to be!”

“You should have just kept it to yourself! You could have at least tried to be—normal.”

Christopher just stared at her, his eyes filling with tears.

“I am normal, Mom.” He said softly, the tears cascading down his cheeks now. “Just because my sexual orientation is different from you and Dad doesn’t mean I’m not normal. Why can’t you accept me and love me as I am? God, I really need you to understand and be there for me!”

His mother glared at him and then screamed through clenched teeth, “Because it’s NOT who you are! I did not carry a—queer—for nine months and then spend 17 years of my life raising a—I did not raise you this way! It’s that friend of yours, Jacob, who talked you into this! You were fine before you started hanging around with him!”

She was sobbing now and walked angrily toward the door to the kitchen. Chris grabbed her arm.

“Mom, I’ve known I was gay since I was seven years old. I’ve always known it. I was born gay just like I was born with a—like I was born a boy. Nobody ‘made’ me this way.”

“Oh, so it’s my fault!” She spat venomously.

Christopher released her arm, and she dissolved into a slobbering heap, covering her face with both hands and sinking to the concrete steps in front of the door. Christopher sat down beside her and put his arm around her.

“Mom—I love you. I didn’t do this to hurt you and Dad. I can’t change who I am any more than I can change the color of my eyes. Do you really think I would choose to be gay? Choose to be tormented at school? Choose to be rejected by you and Dad? I didn’t choose this! It’s who I am, Mom! I’m doing the best that I can! And I didn’t want you and Dad to find out by—you know, seeing me with someone. I wanted to tell you myself. I’m still the same Christopher you have loved for 17 years. Nothing has changed, Mom.”

“Everything has changed,” she sobbed into her hands. She slowly collected herself and swiped at her red, swollen eyes.

As she stood up, Carl opened the door from the kitchen and walked down the steps into the garage.

“Take a walk with me,” Carl said flatly to Christopher.

“Ok,” Christopher replied, happily surprised, and headed toward the open garage door.

“No, go leash up Gem first,” Carl said, “and meet me back there at that nature trail of yours.”


Up Next: The Tragedy of Suicide: Christopher’s Story Part 2


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Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment