I don’t know what led Richard’s daughter to commit suicide. What I do know is he gave me, and hopefully you, a wake up call to pay attention to our kids and spouses.
“Dad, I’m okay.”
Following is part of Richard Blackwell’s article from LinkedIn:
“Dad I’m ok”. That’s what Alex said to me Tuesday afternoon. Alex has been suffering from Social Anxiety and general depression since receiving a concussion last fall playing soccer, but we felt things were moving in the right direction. Recently she had fallen in love with a longtime friend and there was more of the old Alex happy face around. Suicide had been something that Alex said she considered in the past and we took that very seriously, but she was telling her therapist and us she was past that now and we were believing her.
There was a pounding on the front door and it took me a moment to wake up. When I got down to the door there was a police officer there and he asked if I had a 16-year-old daughter and that I needed to check on her. In her last waking moments Alex called her boyfriend then fell asleep while talking and he knew something was wrong. Alex wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when we found her, and my wife and I immediately started CPR. The paramedics arrived only a few minutes later and started doing their thing to save her. They quickly got her out the door and we were off to the Emory Emergency room – Thank God, because we knew this was the best place to be for and emergency.
For almost two hours they had tried to get her back, but her heart would beat for a while then stop again. They tried tirelessly with heart compressions and as soon as one person was tired another stepped up to continue. Over and Over they tried. We knew it wasn’t working, but they continued. They were all at a point of exhaustion when they gave it one more go.
They let us sit with Alex for a long while afterward and we held her hand and kissed her checks until it was time to go. We went home and were surrounded by all our friends and family with more arriving every hour. Everyone tries to say some words to help but really just their presence is all we need because there is nothing to say. The last entry into her diary said “I’m just tired.”
Alex’s last words were to her boyfriend: “it’s going to be ok.”
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to this scholarship in Alex’s name.
As a coach I have seen it over and over again, where a Mom or Dad are driving their company and focusing on the metrics to be successful. All the while giving lip service to what is really important: Their kids, their spouse, and their health.
Your business and your family are important, they are both like flowers; they have to be nurtured, fed and taken care of. Don’t ignore one to the detriment of the other. I reached out to my 17-year-old daughter after reading this.