Parents Of Suicide
Writings Library

Anita Triplett
January 31, 2000

On the morning I was to drive my 14 year-old son to school, I knocked on his locked, bedroom door, several times, receiving no answer. I started shouting to him, but again, only silence. My husband started to break down his door, and within minutes, had broken through. Danny was nowhere to be seen. My mind started racing. Had he gone to WaWa to get a cup of coffee or meet a friend? Had he gone over to a friend's house? It looked as though he had not slept in his bed.

Only the other day, we learned Danny was climbing on the roof of the house. He said he found it to be a sanctuary, and a good place to read. My husband and I were unhappy about this behavior because we were worried he might fall as he hoisted himself out of his second-story bedroom window onto the roof.

Back to this fateful morning. Immediately after discovering that Danny was not in his room, my husband raced to a neighbor's house and borrowed an extension ladder. I was still inside our son's room. When I heard my husband get to the top of the roof, he cried out, "MY SON, MY SON". I knew Dan was dead.

My husband and I lost our only child on February 24, 1997. Danny took his own life by shooting himself in the front of his forehead with a revolver, while lying face-up on the flat roof of our 2-story row house. His death was a horrible and sudden shock to everyone.

He left us a suicide letter stating that he loved us so so much. (He named his mom, his dad, and his 2 grandparents). Dan said he was so sorry to do this to us, that he wanted to live his life, but that something in his mind made him need to kill himself. He told us to continue living our lives "normally and happily".

Dan, also left a will. He bequeathed his computer games to his friends, naming each friend separately. And he also asked us to look out for one friend he was particularly worried about. He left the rest of his belongings to his parents, saying that we should sell whatever we chose to, for the good of the family. Dan also told us he had premeditated the suicide for 3 days, and that if he messed up with the gun, he was also going to overdose on medication (that had been prescribed for him).

Yes, Danny was going through a hard time before he had killed himself. He missed the first month of high school (9th grade) because of a nasty viral illness. As time progressed that year, he found it more and more difficult to attend school, and developed what the doctor said was "school phobia". We sought help for him, but it failed.

He was a very bright, sensitive kid who cared very much about other people. It was uncanny how he carried out his suicide, not telling any of his friends and family about his plans. He closed the window after getting on the roof, so his parents, would not hear him. He shot himself on the roof, taking the scene away from the inside of the house, so, I believe, I (his mother) would not find him. And the coroner told us he used a smaller caliber bullet than he could have-I believe because he wouldn't want his loved ones to see him more disfigured than he had to be after shooting himself. The coroner also said that he shot directly into himself and into the roof, probably because he didn't want to take the chance of somebody else being hurt by a stray bullet.

Why was the gun available to him?
That's another story.

I, his mother, still find this horrific event so unbelievable, that almost 3 years after it has happened, I am still waiting for him to come home. Yes, I know the concrete facts of what happened, but I can't accept it(emotionally). I am in more pain now, than the day when I kissed his lifeless body at the morgue.