Trigger warning: the following account and obituary contain multiple references to suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Lifeline, 800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
Eleven weeks ago today, my son died by suicide. We cannot reduce the stigma of a death by suicide if we are ashamed of the truth. We are not ashamed. Heartbroken and grief stricken, devastated… but not ashamed.
The following is our son’s obituary as printed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kyle Lawton Behm took his life on August 27, 2019 and his family and friends are deeply grateful for the gift of the more 29 years of his life. Kyle was loving and loved, gentle and fierce, clever and courageous.
Born on June 8, 1990 in Rockville, Maryland, the son of Ellen and Roland Behm, Kyle shared an unbreakable bond with his big sister, Laura . Kyle graduated from The Westminster Schools in 2008, and Mercer University in 2015.
Kyle battled with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and suicidality since his sophomore year in college. The illnesses gave no quarter and Kyle asked for none. We will remember the many days that Kyle was victorious. We will remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years he had.
Kyle is survived by his parents Ellen and Roland; sister Laura Sands and niece Margot Sands; grandmothers Carol Behm and Corinne Mayborn; and aunts, uncles, cousins, Kappa Sigma brothers and friends who will all miss him desperately. He was preceded in death by grandfathers Jac Behm and Mitch Mayborn.
There will be a memorial service for Kyle at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Atlanta Out of the Darkness Walk by joining Team Kyle’s Friends at https://afsp.donordrive.com/team/213813.