Saturday, June 6, 2009

Grief Struck

This story is a sad one. While I don't agree with the concept of paying tribute to this bereaved couple, I am overwhelmed by the grief and despair that must have experienced. Mingled with the sorrow of the circumstances of their son's disability and the sacrifices the parents made to care for him, is that they didn't know or didn't believe that there was One to Whom they could lean on. Whenever I hear of these kinds of stories, where people no longer have hope to live, these first part of Isaiah 53 runs through my head: Surely He has borne our griefs.

May the Lord have mercy on all who no longer have hope to carry on in this world.

Tributes pour in for Japanese mother who leapt to death with husband, dead sonFriday 05th June,


The Putticks committed suicide together on Sunday evening by leaping off a 160-meter-high cliff face on Britain’s south coast. They were carrying a rucksack which contained the body of their son, who died from meningitis on Friday.

Kazumi, 44, and Neil, 34, decided to end their lives at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, which is a notorious suicide spot. What makes this case highly unusual is that it involved a family.

Some have speculated that it has echoes of “shinju,” the Japanese tradition of group suicide in which those bound together by love choose to remain together in death.

Friends and family are said to be shocked at the news. Some believe the couple were so devastated at the death of the son, whom they doted upon and supported continuously, that they decided life was no longer worth living.

Neil and Kazumi first met at university in Britain and married 12 years ago. They started their married life in a picturesque Wiltshire village, about 150 kilometers west of London.

Neighbors have described them as happily married and doting parents to Samuel who was born five years ago.

Then, in 2005, their idyllic life came to an end when Kazumi and Samuel were involved in a car accident which was not their fault. Kazumi broke her legs in the accident but her son, then 18 months old, suffered serious spinal injuries during the crash.

Using compensation money, the family moved into a bigger home nearby which was kitted out with equipment to make it easier for Samuel to live.

Both Neil and Kazumi gave up their jobs to look after Samuel, as well as receiving daily visits from nurses. Huddy recalls that the couple effectively ‘‘retreated’’ in order to focus everything on their son and providing him with round-the-clock care.

Samuel was unable to breathe unaided and had to be fed with oxygen. Samuel, whose mental capacity was not affected by the accident, got about in a wheelchair which he directed by blowing through an air tube. The injury was so rare that there had been no documented case of it in children.

In 2006, Neil wrote on a website, which was raising money for Samuel, ‘‘He was a normal, healthy active boy before, but because of someone’s careless driving, he is now as he is.’’

‘‘We are so very proud of how he has survived, who he now is and how he continues to smile and be so damn strong in spite of everything. He is simply amazing.’’

In January, he wrote, ‘‘As a family we live life now, but I wait for the day that Sam does not have to go through the medical procedures he has to go through every day to keep him alive.’’

‘‘I wait for the day that I hear that there has been a breakthrough.’’

But the family’s world was to come shattering around them on May 26 when Samuel was taken ill with meningitis. They had only recently returned from a two-week trip to Japan to see Kazumi’s parents.

The illness took hold very quickly and on Friday doctors at the local hospital said that there was nothing that they could any more to help Samuel.

Kazumi and Neil were allowed to take their son home to die and he passed away that evening.

It was then on the Sunday that the couple decided to drive to Beachy Head, along with Samuel’s body, and take their own lives.

They left their estate car and, carrying a rucksack with their dead son inside, threw themselves off the cliff face. It is thought they died instantly.

You can click the blog title for the complete story and readers' comments.


Anonymous said...

What a tragic and heart-rending story.

Sometimes when we pour everything into family, it can be crushing when they are taken away from us.

I have been guilty of making my own children into idols.

It is often very difficult not to do.

Wayne Dawg said...

What a terrible story -

It's hard to even comment on a story like that......

Raggedy Lamb said...

Yeah, I know. Thanks for reading.