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In Heartbreaking Essay, Raskins Memorialize Life of Their Son

In a widely circulated and deeply personal essay, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and former deputy U.S. Treasury secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin memorialized the life of their son Tommy ― “a radiant light in this broken world” ― while revealing his cause of death was suicide.

The poetic tribute was shared tens of thousands of times over on social media, where users shared in the family’s heartbreak and urged greater support for those who suffer from depression.

Raskin’s congressional office announced the death of Thomas Bloom Raskin, 25, on the evening of Dec. 31.

The family plans to hold a private funeral service on Tuesday morning, and will schedule virtual public memorial services later this month. The family has urged strict adherence to public health guidelines during their time of grief.

The essay released Monday evening traced Tommy’s growth from a “strikingly beautiful curly-haired madcap boy beaming with laughter and charm” to “a badass autodidact moral philosopher and progressive humanist libertarian, and a passionate vegan who composed imperishable, knock-your-socks-off poetry linking systematic animal cruelty and exploitation to militarism and war culture.”

His parents wrote that Tommy “hated cliques and social snobbery, never had a negative word for anyone but tyrants and despots, and opposed all malicious gossip, stopping all such gossipers with a trademark Tommy line — ‘forgive me, but it’s hard to be a human.’”

The family said Tommy began to be tortured in his 20s by depression, “and despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy, this young man of surpassing promise to our broken world.”

The family also shared the farewell note Tommy left behind: ‘Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.’

The Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals was created earlier this week.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for those in crisis or those looking to help someone else: 1-800-273-8255. The Crisis Text Line offers emotional crisis support at 741741.


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In Heartbreaking Essay, Raskins Memorialize Life of Their Son