Father grieves son’s suicide but understandsNo one can speak more eloquently about the pain of losing a child than a parent and that is what Larry Aumann did last Thursday to a small gathering of family, friends and teachers and staff at Hudson High School.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
No one can speak more eloquently about the pain of losing a child than a parent and that is what Larry Aumann did last Thursday to a small gathering of family, friends and teachers and staff at Hudson High School.
Bryan Aumann, 16, took his own life on April 26. He was a sophomore at Hudson High School and had been living with debilitating treatment for leukemia for the past two and a half years. Larry Aumann said that between the sickening side effects of chemotherapy and increasing anxiety and depression over his prognosis, Bryan lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.
“He started losing that light and when he did he lost hope.”
Aumann spoke at a gathering organized by the HHS principal and counseling staff. He said he wanted to tell Bryan’s story, primarily to help his son’s friends understand what he was going through and what had happened.
Bryan was diagnosed when he was 13. He immediately began 11 months of intense treatment, sometimes as much as four chemotherapy treatments a week. Larry said his son was one of those people who experienced all the worst side effects of almost every drug doctors tried including diabetes.
The brief rests Bryan got between treatments weren’t much rest at all, according to his dad, as he tried to recover from the side effects. He missed school about half of the time. Two and a half years into a three-year plus treatment plan, Larry said his son had taken more than 6,500 pills. He was taking 21 pills a day at the time of his death including medication for depression and anxiety.
“The treatments were sickening and very painful and mentally challenging to a degree we never imagined. By the fifth round of chemo, Bryan didn’t want to fight anymore. He just wanted to let go. That was hard to hear but we had to listen.”
After discussing it with his doctors, the Aumanns together decided to discontinue the chemotherapy. “We didn’t know how far we could take this (treatment) and still get him back. What we didn’t realize is that we had already crossed that line.”
Larry said his son began to communicate less with his family about what he was going through, not wanting to worry them and he learned to hide his depression from them. A friend of Bryan’s in the audience said he didn’t “want to bring you guys down with him.”
Larry believes that the combination of Bryan’s treatment coupled with his increasing anxiety led to his son’s decision. “Everything kept coming at him. He hit bottom. He was tired of the fight and just couldn’t manage it all anymore.”
Larry said he wanted to share what happened to Bryan in hopes that it might help another family and his friends. “If I can give you anything here, it’s to talk with your kids or have your kids talk to somebody else, anybody. Talking isn’t always easy but not to is worse.”
“What happened to Bryan…the end result is not right. We wish to god that he would have talked to us about how he was feeling but he made another choice.…. We don’t agree with his choice but we do understand it.”