Who is this Hudson Scott character that we speak of?
Hudson Wesley Scott is the name given to my first son, born July 30, 2001. At this time in my life it is fair to say that I wasn’t quite ready for all of the responsibility of parenting, nor had I positioned myself for it having just graduated from Purdue. That didn’t matter as it often doesn’t when new life comes along. Once he was born, it didn’t take long to fall in love with him and learn what he needed. Having been raised in a very loving home, I quickly learned what to do and had an incredibly supportive family around me for when I needed an assist.
Through his youngest years, he was a very busy baby. As soon as he was old enough to talk, it was what he spent a good bit of his time doing. The most inquisitive mind, wanting to understand everything about everything the first time that he heard of it. While sometimes it was exhausting to answer question after question, I quickly learned that he really and truly wanted to know and retained most of the things that he heard. After he got started in school, it was very apparent that the discovery had paid off, this kid was really really smart. Shortly after that it was also clear that he had a very loving heart. At a young age, he had an unusually strong passion for animals and improving human life. His interests as a young boy were to do anything that could make the world a better place. He wanted to cure cancer, he stopped eating meat because he didn't want animals to die for his benefit, at another point he wanted to be a brain surgeon so that he could save lives.
When spending time in our home, we focused on the family values that we were raised with, hard work and the importance of a loving family. He took an interest in football at a fairly young age and found quick success with a Superbowl victory and an undefeated season to start his career. He was always much bigger than the other kids his age but it took many years for him to put his heart aside and lay down a hit. A friend recently shared a story of a coach asking him why he wouldn’t tackle the other players, his response was that he knew what to do to the other team but he didn’t want to hurt anyone on his team. As he matured and grew, he continued to tower over his peers. He was in a size 13 shoe by the time he was 12 and had grown into a gentle giant. But as we often learn in today’s society, there were some that saw that as a weakness and chose to attack him for being bigger than most and being different. From social media posts, to youtube videos and even video games, he was consistently harassed to the point that he no longer felt happiness and had turned to a darker place for coping with his pain.
As the teen years progressed, things continued to get harder for Hudson. He went from being an all A student to struggling to focus in school, little did we know that he had so many distractions and negative influences pushing him in every which direction. It was April of 2015 when we learned of Hudson's first suicide attempt and his ongoing struggle with major depression. Of the themes contributing to his sadness, the most frequent one was "the constant judgment of the world and the overall lack of acceptance for everyone." After a brief stint of impatient care and finishing out the year with home school, we thought we were on the path to a happier Hudson. Little did we know that the love he was giving in every direction, the constant effort to pick up others when they were down and talking others off of the edge, was him giving all that he had left.
For those last nine months, we felt Hudson was getting better. What we didn’t realize was that Hudson was in a world of pain and always knew what to say as to not reveal what he was really struggling with. We now recognize that we probably didn’t ask the right questions, enough of the time.
So many stories have come across since our loss of Hudson saving someone's life on a very dark night, hours on the phone convincing them that it would be alright. Looking back, I don't think I ever knew someone so selfless. Hudson truly lived his life to try and improve the world that we live in, while sacrificing his own happiness and well-being.
On the night of 1/26/16, Hudson took his own life. The notes he left behind spoke of wanting to move on with what little happiness and honor that he had left. Reassuring us that this was what he wanted and that this world just wasn't something he wanted to be a part of. The most telling note written the week prior, on a night that he had attempted but was unsuccessful spoke of his struggle to understand why people couldn't just be accepted as themselves. Having recently struggled to be himself in his own sexuality and consistently being harassed for being different, he couldn’t handle any more of the struggle that so many teens face.
Hudson left behind loving parents and two younger siblings. As a family, we have devoted our lives to remembering Hudson and believing that he died for a cause. A cause to make a better tomorrow for our youth, a cause to improve the quality of life of every person suffering from depression, bullying, self-harm, and the challenges of suicidal ideation.
As parents, we do not want the legend of our son to be that he died by suicide. We want the legend of Hudson W. Scott to be of the enlightening effect of his smile when he walked into a room. We want it to be about the blind and endless love of this heart that he shared with so many. We want to remember the forward-thinking brilliance of a young mind, wanting nothing more than a place where all can be accepted and loved. Where all are given the opportunity to see the hope on the other side of their darkest times. A world where we are enabled with the resources to fight through our darkest times. A world where everyone has someone to listen when they need it the most.
We must now fight for a world where the struggles of mental health are recognized in the same way as any other health risks. Unfortunately, now we know the need for this all too well. We hope that through raising awareness and sharing our pain, you too will recognize and support the need to live more like Hudson felt we should. For all that he gave, we owe that to him.
- The family of Hudson W. Scott