Congressman Jamie Raskin and wife Sarah Bloom Raskin announced the death of their son Tommy Raskin, 25, in a statement issued on Dec. 31, 2020.
“Tommy was pure magic. His brilliance and compassion knew no bounds. He passionately loved his family, friends, and animals, and was devoted to the cause of the global poor. We are devastated and demolished to be without him," the official statement read. Keep reading to find out more details about the law student.
What happened to Tommy Raskin?
On Jan. 4, the Maryland representative and his wife penned an emotional essay in honor of their son's passing, describing the second-year Harvard Law student as an animal lover and person who "hated cliques and social snobbery."
Their statement continued, "On the last hellish brutal day of that godawful miserable year of 2020, when hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people all over the world died alone in bed in the darkness from an invisible killer disease ravaging their bodies and minds, we also lost our dear, dear, beloved son, Hannah and Tabitha’s beloved irreplaceable brother, a radiant light in this broken world.”
The couple confirmed that Tommy had died by suicide, writing, "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."
The family stated that Tommy had started experiencing depression in his 20s and "left us this farewell note on New Year's Eve day: 'Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.'"
Following their son's passing, the Raskin family created the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals. The fund was launched with an initial contribution of $50,000 and administered through the Greater Washington Community Foundation. According to the release, the fund will "distribute money on a semiannual basis to causes and charities championed and advanced by Tommy Raskin, such as Oxfam, Give Directly, the Helen Keller Institute, and Animal Outlook."
Tommy is survived by his two sisters, Hannah and Tabitha, his parents, and large extended family. Our thoughts go out to the Raskin family during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.