Don’t Remember How They Died; Remember How They Lived

By Carrie ThompsonAugust 31, 2021

This piece was originally published on Medium here.

The Rest of the Story

A Weight to Time Conversion

Before He Died… He Lived

I Will Tell You How He Lived

What was he like as a child?

What was he like in school?

Did he make you laugh?

Did he ever get hurt?

Did he ever scare or anger you?

What brought him joy?

I Will Remember How He Lived


Whatever you are facing, there is always hope. And we will hold on to hope until you’re able to grasp it yourself. If you’re thinking about suicide, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

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Comments (8)

  1. Jamie Dee Milano

    I am grateful for this beautiful memoir and glad that I read it to the end. It has strengthened me and I hope you, as well. Thank you.

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  2. El

    Hate to ask .. how did he pass and what were the final moments ?

    Reply  |  
  3. Lisa Johnson

    I resonate with your story of your son Ben. I have a similar story with my son Connor who also died by suicide the day after his 25th birthday. Your transparency about the great memories and the hard stuff too was so good for me to read even though I did it with some joy and some tears. But isn’t that the truth of looking back over most anyone’s life? We all have good and bad and that’s what makes us appreciate the sweet times like you do with Ben. You made some great points and I hope many will read and take to heart. Keep sharing your story!!

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  4. Cindy

    Thx for this story. Today I will write my husbands story and I will tell everyone how he lived.

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  5. Alisha Eggleton

    My little brother of 28, his name was Benn. Your memoir resonates closely in ways to my family and our semi-recent loss of him. Thank you for the hope and courage of your story.

    Reply  |  
  6. Melissa Kennedy

    My child Declan (Lauren) lived almost 14.5 million minutes . They lived showing more kindness to everyone in their 27 years than most people ever will. I am broken and devastated and still find it nearly impossible to see life continuing with out them. I get up and hope to make it through each day and be there for my husband and my other children. Reading your story about how Ben lived to try to do this more with my child. And to maybe ask other people to talk with me or just listen so I can remember the living not how they died.

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  7. Kim Meredith Holmes

    What a beautiful memorial and tribute.

    Reply  |  
  8. Wendy

    This speaks volumes to me. I am also a mother who lost a child to suicide. She was 15 and her lifeless body was still warm when I found her and gave CPR til the paramedics showed up and took over. 2 hours they worked on her while my house filled with family, friends and countless police officers. She died about 30 mins before I woke up and found her. I too died that day. The Wendy who went to sleep that Saturday night is gone, and I truly believe I’ll never be that girl again. I lost my job and my relationship went up in flames soon after. And sure enough, all those that rushed to my side with casseroles, overwhelming sympathy and of course empty promises to be there no matter what start dropping like flies. By the time the denial fades and I truly start to feel the reality of my family’s unfathomable loss, those promises had expired. I lost my baby, and my will to live. 3 years later I still see her face everytime I blink and honestly I hope that never changes. My favorite topic is Mara. I long to tell her story, the good and the bad so I can keep her memory alive in the only way I know how. But her story and my desperate attempts to open up to someone… anyone, falp on deaf ears. Ive alienated everyone I love by my sadness because it makes them feel uneasy. Reading your similar story brings me just enough relief to keep going and for that I thank you.

    Reply  |  
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