I never met Tate. I first met his mother, Lynn, in about 1982.

This past fall, 30-odd years later, I saw her again at a football game her son Tate was playing in. My son Logan was playing in the same game. For the same team.

I didn’t recognize Lynn.  She was grading papers, perhaps for a 2nd or 3rd grade class that she taught. Her husband is a teacher and coach. Like his dad, Tate was studying to be a teacher and a coach.  I hadn't seen her for 30 years, plus she had a new last name through marriage. I didn't put the two together.

Now, as it turns out, our sons played football for the same team, the Northern State Wolves.

New Years Day we heard the news that her son Tate was gone. He took his own life. It wasn't until I read the obituary that I figured out who he was and she was.

I never met Tate personally, but feel connected. One of my best friends also lost a son the same way at a very young age.

Our children are supposed to live longer than us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out that way. It breaks my heart.

If you, or someone you know is hurting  call THIS NUMBER.