These are the words of a father whose son took his own life in a suicide pact with someone that he had met on the internet. You can read more in this report from the Indy. As a father myself, I found these words unbearably sad.
I recently wrote about an organisation called Exit International who offer seminars to people over 50 to tell them about End of Life choices - killing yourself in the most convenient and painless way possible. Exit are not, I must stress, implicated in this terrible case. But they are helping to make suicide respectable, attractive even. And what is to stop the odd, determined and depressed person under the age of 50 arming themselves with the necessary hints and tips from Exit to do what 35 year old Stephen Lumb and 34 year old Joanne Lee did? Who is to say that mum or dad having decided they were just a burden would not leave their children to deal with the consequences of opting to take one of Exit's 'Life Exit' choices? And supposing their children felt that maybe, doddery or not, they would rather their parents saw out their time with their love and support?
Where next? Can we expect a rallying cry from Rights activists saying that not only should we have the right to terminate life in the womb but we should be supportive when people feel they are past their sell-by date and help them take their lives? Is anyone interested? Does anyone care?