Joe Bell’s quest to memorialize his son has come to an end that is painful to all who knew him.
Earlier this year, Jadin Bell killed himself. He was a teenager, bullied by peers who called him gay. He hung himself from a playground structure, and lingered for days on life support before it became clear that he was gone.
Seeking some meaning from his son’s death, Jadin’s father, Joe Bell, set out on a cross-country walk. Partly to raise awareness of the plight of kids like Jadin, partly just to find some meaning in the senseless tragedy of his son’s suicide.
Unfortunately, Joe Bell’s walk was brought to a premature end by another senseless tragedy.
As the New York Times reports:
…last Wednesday, Mr. Bell’s American journey — one that drew attention from local newspapers and attracted thousands of followers on social media — ended in an instant on a two-lane road in rural eastern Colorado. He was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer whose driver had apparently fallen asleep, the state police said.
For nearly six months, Mr. Bell, 48, had been on the road, sharing his son’s story and trying to salve his own grief. He spoke at motorcycle rallies and college bars, schools, diners and gay-outreach centers, telling people about his sensitive, artistic son who hanged himself from a piece of playground equipment on Jan. 19.
Another death in this family, so soon after the last one, would seem almost too much to bear. The only comfort we can offer them at this time is to help, as much as we can, to call people’s attention to the very cause Mr. Bell died in pursuit of: raising awareness and resources for bullies, ostracized teens like Jadin was. The link below has information on how you can help support this cause.