The Tragedy of Suicide

Christopher’s Story Part 2

(Read Part 1, here: Christopher’s Story Part: 1 )

Behind their home were thick woods through which Christopher had cut miles of trails over the years. He had spent all of his childhood back there with Gem. He had built and hung several bat boxes and bee boxes and, getting the idea from seeing his father’s deer-hunting stands, had built “observation decks,” as he called them, from which he could watch birds and sometimes deer. He had become a virtual expert on birds, especially owls. He and Gem often went on “moon-watching” excursions. When he was 12 years old, he had worked a paper route and saved his money to buy night-vision infrared binoculars that allowed him to see nocturnal birds. He had already been accepted to a very good college, where he would major in biology and take as many courses in avian biology as the college offered. He already knew he wanted to do graduate work in ornithology. His dad had called biology a “wimpy major.”

“What in hell will you do with a degree in biology? Major in something you can make some money at like business management!” he snapped. “I’m not paying for any biology major, I can tell you that.”

“I’ve got a scholarship, Dad. You don’t have to pay for anything. And I’ll work to pay for whatever the scholarship doesn’t cover.”

“You bet you will,” Carl growled under his breath. “Biology. What the f–.”

Carl’s decision to walk with Christopher on the trail surprised Christopher even more. His father had never been on the trail with Christopher or seen Christopher’s observation decks or his field journals about the birds he studied.

Feeling hopeful that maybe his father was ready to listen to him with a softer heart, Christopher turned and walked toward the kitchen door to get Gem. His step was lighter. He smiled to himself. He stopped to give his mother, who was still standing next to the steps, a hug. “It’ll be okay, Mom. I promise. I love you.”

As the trio entered the woods, Gem pulled on his leash and jumped excitedly. Carl walked ahead of Christopher and Gem.

“Hey, Dad. Look over there,” Christopher called to his father and pointed at one of his observation decks. “You should come out here with me one night. You might see the pair of screech owls nesting here. You don’t get to see them very often. Can’t believe we have a pair right in our own woods!”

Carl was silent.

Christopher continued to try to make conversation and jogged lightly with Gem to catch up to his father. “Did you know there are 216 species of owls?”


About ten minutes into the walk, Carl stopped. When Christopher caught up to him, he stopped next to his father and bent down to pet Gem, who was excitedly pulling on his leash, sniffing, and wagging his tail.

“Whoa, boy. Sit down, big fella. What’s up, Dad?”

Carl reached under his jacket, drew a pistol, and shoved it toward Christopher.

“I want you to shoot that dog.”

The blood drained from Christopher’s face and his mouth dropped open.

“What? Dad? Is this is joke?”

“Shoot him,” Carl said flatly, “or I will. And it won’t be pretty if I do it. And you will watch every minute of it.”

“No!” Christopher cried, gasping for breath and dropping to his knees next to Gem. He embraced Gem and cried. Gem licked Christopher’s face, whimpered, licked his face again.

“Shoot that dog,” Carl said flatly, “Or I will.”

“Dad, why? Why are you doing this? Why?” Christopher cried.

“You need to learn what it means to have your dignity destroyed by the selfishness and cockiness of someone who doesn’t give a f— about how his decisions affect other people, who just does whatever the hell makes him feel good. You need to learn that lesson.”

“Dad—don’t do this. Please. I beg you! Don’t hurt Gem because you’re mad at me!” He was sobbing now, gasping for breath, kneeling next to Gem, holding Gem, whispering to Gem, closing his eyes, closing his eyes tightly, taking a long, deep breath, raising the gun.

“Do it!” Carl thundered. “Maybe this’ll make a man out of you!”

Before Carl took his next ragged breath, Christopher had put the gun to his own temple.

Carl’s face twisted and contorted, his eyes shot wide open, his trembling lips went dead white, and he helplessly thrust his wildly waving arms toward Christopher as gunfire ruptured the quiet of the woods and drowned the sound of Carl screaming, of Christopher collapsing backwards with his legs still bent underneath him at the knees, of Gem yelping and nudging his fallen friend, of Carl violently sobbing over his son’s dead body.



During the investigation of the suicide, Christopher’s field journal was discovered in a metal box in one of his observations decks. One entry, made three days before Christopher took his life, was very unusual because it had nothing to do with birds.

It described how profoundly depressed Christopher was because his parents could not accept his sexual orientation. He wrote, “My parents now hate the sight of me. It’s worse here than at school now. They [his parents] make me feel dirty and evil for something that is part of me. They won’t talk to me at all. Gem is the only one in my house who still wants to be around me. It’s ironic to me how everyone thinks animals are inferior to us, but it’s an animal – Gem – who understands and accepts what the humans in my life can’t. If it weren’t for Gem, I don’t think I would much want to live. Why can he accept me unconditionally but my own parents can’t? Why is this so hard?”

Christopher was a victim of bullying not only at the hands of his father but also from his peers at school. His journal describes a young man who felt isolated, rejected, and shamed. The final act of abject cruelty, together with complete lack of family understanding and support, sent Christopher over an edge next to which he already stood dangerously close.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among gay and lesbian youth in the United States.1
  • Among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth between the ages of 16-20, the suicide-attempt rate is over 30%, well above the national average, and about 1,500 gay and lesbian young people complete suicide every year.2
  • Studies show that the suicide rates for LGBT youth are highest among those who have experienced discrimination, domestic violence, or lack of family acceptance.
  • According to the Bullying Statistics Web site, nine out of ten gay teens have been bullied, and gay teens are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths.

If you or someone you know is depressed, feels hopeless, seems isolated, or is the victim of abuse or bullying, please use the resources we have provided below to help yourself or your loved one.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment. We are here for you 24 hours every day of the year. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684.

Suicide Resources and Information:

Suicide Prevention Education & Awareness for Kids

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 

Bullying Statistics – Sexual Orientation

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Help Guide – Suicide Help

National Institutes of Mental Health


Further Reading:
















Posted in Community, Suicide
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment