Love For Thad

I met Amber in 2005. Her sidekick was her bubbly, adorable, hilarious four year old son, Thaddeus. Thad eventually outgrew our lunch dates, but it wasn’t as fun without a story from Amber about something funny or insightful he had come up with. As time went on, Thad grew into a smart, witty, and incredibly caring big brother.

In late 2014, I learned that Thad was gone. He was 13.

Thad penned this quote sometime in the 2-3 months before he died. He saw the light on the other side. He knew there was a better life out there. He knew his family and friends cared about him, and would be there, every step of the way.

Thad should be in this photo, rolling his eyes at Amber’s neverending supply of jokes and songs. He should be outwardly groaning (but inwardly loving) the fact that his family is wearing shirts from his favorite bands. Instead, his mom wears a necklace with his signature, and a thumbprint locket with his ashes.

I sit here sobbing, writing this post. No one should feel the pain Thad felt. No one should endure what his family goes through on a daily basis. If you, your child, a friend is struggling with their mental health, or is a victim of bullying, PLEASE speak out. Get them help. Get yourself help. Be there. Be loud. Even if you have to drag them kicking and screaming to the other side, do it. Help them fight the pain.

Help me. Help Amber. Help our kids. If you or someone you know needs help, or for more information, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Stomp Out Bullying. Amber has started her own organization, Love for Thad, to help combat bullying and bring awareness to children’s mental health.

If you’re located in Aztec or Farmington, NM, please go to Desert View Family Counseling. Help is also available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7.

For more on the Hale family’s story, go to the Farmington Daily Times.

Educate yourself as a parent, teacher, grandparent or caregiver on the signs of bullying. Help Thad’s memory live on in the lives of those he’s help to save.

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