We recently received a message from the father of Steven, a young man who was bullied mercilessly and tragically took his own life at the age of 13. Read a moving account of the incident on the website His Name Was Steven here.
Steven's story is a powerful reminder of why we must continue to speak out against bullying. Regarding the You Will Rise Project, Steven's father, Mike Urry, wrote, "
I know its been a while since we've talked but that does not mean I have stopped thinking about you. My last letter was at the end of the summer. I hope that you are doing well my man. I cannot believe how old you've gotten. You would have been all grown up,18, making plans about your future. Whatever you would have wanted to do, I would of supported you. However, I would have tried to get you to come to Ottawa with me. Who knows you might have ended up as one of my roommates. Think of all the fun we would have.
We could wake up in the morning, go to the gym, play sports, guitar, video games, anything we wanted. Even if you did not end up here I would have went and visited you wherever you were. I still cannot believe you're gone. It kills me inside to admit that. I still have days where its feels like i could pick up the phone, call you and hear your innocent, joyful voice on the other end of the receiver. God how I miss you.
My dear brother, not a whole lot is new with me. School is kind of kicking my ass this year. I have my own house with bills to pay, I feel so old. Sure its a lot of fun but it would be 100% better with you here. I can't even sum it up in words how much I miss you.
Every aspect of my life could be better with you still a part of it. From school, to our friendship, family. I would have loved to see who we would have became. Who knows what kind of girl you would end up with but I know you would treat her well. We talked about things like this together sometimes. With your genuine, fun loving personality you would be melting hearts everywhere. Now since you're gone, it is only my heart that is shattering.
It feels just like yesterday that I could walk practically down the street and go visit you. I want to go back to those times so bad. I loved having you always around to play street hockey with, come watch movies, race each other on bikes, beat each other up. There is no way I could have found myself a better brother. I love you and it is a true shame that you were taken from me at such an early age. We had our whole lives ahead of us. Did you know that I had dreams of me and you driving places, going on road trips together? You were my best friend, my brother and now you're gone and I have to try and pick up the pieces and try to keep going strong. It's so hard. I know that is what you would want me to do though so here I am and you're still lighting the way for me dear brother and you will always be the one who is watching over me, guiding me on a good path in life, keeping me safe. I'll miss and love you forever.
You'll be hearing from me again soon. I love you, little brother.