August 17, 2018 started off like any other day. I spoke with my son that morning and ended the conversation with “I love you”.
Craig struggled through many obstacles with his mental illness during his life but a couple of months prior that had changed. He became part of a program that was really helping him. During that time, he was given a Mental Health Alert Wristband. He was very devoted to the wristband project and wore it proudly. He told me that the wristband made him feel safe. I was happy to hear this because he had encountered other situations in his life where the outcome was not in his favor.
At noon that same day we talked again. I told him I would see him later that evening. As usual we ended with “I love you”.
At 8:15 that evening we received a call from our local Police Department. Two officers arrived a few minutes later. They asked my husband for a description of our son. They then informed us that a young man fitting his description had drowned at the beach and despite all efforts to save him, it was too late. He was pronounced dead at 7:16 p.m.
In distress and complete denial, I asked the officer “how do you know it’s my son?” The officer replied, “he was wearing this” and showed us the Mental Health Alert Wristband. “This is how he was identified”.
My son’s life ended that day but for me that was the day a new journey began. I am now very involved in the wristband project. It is my son’s legacy. “Always Loved, Never Forgotten”.