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Chair of Yurok Tribe shares struggle after losing son to suicide

Thomas O’Rourke at the Arcata Out of the Darkness Walk on September 13, 2015. Photo from Facebook

Chairman Thomas O’Rourke of the Yurok Tribe participated in the Arcata Out of the Darkness Walk in Arcata, California, on Sunday.

O’Rourke spoke to participants after the three-mile walk, The Eureka Times-Standard reported. He lost his son, Thomas Jr., to suicide in 2009.

“I think about him regularly,” O’Rourke told the crowd, the paper reported. “Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry.”

Thomas Jr. was 23 when he died on February 27, 2009, according to his obituary. His Yurok name was Koh-Koh-Now.

"He always greeted and departed his family with a hug, a big kiss and the words 'I Love You,'" the obituary stated. "He always let us know how much he loved us."

Get the Story:
Suicide prevention and awareness walk draws hundreds (The Eureka Times-Standard 9/14)

Also Today:
Battling Youth Suicide on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Voice of America News 9/8)

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