The Day the Music Stopped – July 19, 2013
The Weiskopf family was on a long and highly anticipated vacation to the Pacific Northwest when tragedy struck. We lost our eldest boy, Jacob, to suicide in Portland, Oregon. This came as unexpected shock for Doug and me, and ditto for his 15-year-old brother Jared, as it was for Jacob; a bad combination of undiagnosed depression, self-soothing with alcohol and drugs, and a mind that was too knowing and brilliant for a 17-year-old gay boy who had yet to find his first boyfriend.
But that’s not what this article is about, it is about friendships, and in particular, Jacob’s best and truest friend, Suzie Hicks, who he met in overnight camp when they were in their early teens. As the expression goes, they got on like a “House on Fire.” Suzie thought that she had found her first boyfriend, but Jacob told her straight out – pun intended – “you know I’m gay, right?” She didn’t, LOL. From that moment on, they were thick as thieves!
Suzie was also the one friend that told him when he was being a jerk, which was not that often, making bad choices, VERY often, and when she was concerned about him, which was a lot, particularly the summer of 2013.
After Jacob’s death, Suzie became very involved with the “Walk out of Darkness” organization, raising thousands of dollars for suicide awareness and prevention, and finding herself on the list of those who have raised epic amounts for this important cause.
Having said that, my favorite “Suzie Project” was writing and directing a play about Jacob, Suzie, and their group of camp friends and the impact that Jacob had on them. It is titled “The Lucky Ones,” and we (the Weiskopf’s and all who have watched it) are actually the Lucky Ones! You can watch it here.
Thank you, Suzie, for always making the music play again, and for being the caretaker of Jacob and all of his memories!
Anne, Doug, Jacob, and Jared
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