On December 31st, 2020, Tommy Raskin, the son of Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin died at the age of 25. His cause of death was suicide.
On Monday evening, Rep. Raskin and his wife published a remarkable tribute to their son. It is both a celebration of a life so very well lived, and a heartbreaking reminder that depression is a cruel, unsparing disease that is robbing this world of too many good souls.
We have barely been able to scratch the surface here, but you have a sense of our son. Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind. He began to be tortured later in his 20s by a blindingly painful and merciless 'disease called depression,' as Tabitha put it on Facebook over the weekend, a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him, and despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy, this young man of surpassing promise to our broken world.
Take a few minutes of your day to read about this truly wonderful young man. Reach out to the people you love who might be struggling. And if you are struggling, I'm begging you to not go through it alone. I wrote last year about being in a dark place where I thought no light would ever be found. And while I sometimes still struggle to find it, I know that it exists, and know that it exists for you as well. This world is a better place with you in it. You can text 741741 to reach the incredible folks at the Crisis Text Line. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Rest in peace, Tommy.