On November 1, 2019, my stepson, Eric Michael Meyer, ended his life with a shotgun he’d purchased the previous day. Seven months later, my wife ended her life with an identical weapon. I owned no guns, yet both of them were able to purchase the weapons they would use to end their own lives.
We knew something was going on with my stepson, and we were trying to get him in for therapy for three weeks before he ended his life. We never thought he was suicidal, but he said he was willing to go to a therapist. Due to insurance requirements, we had to have a referral from his primary care physician and approval from the insurance company. The authorization showed up in our mailbox six hours after the police told us he had been found “dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Since then, I’ve tried to learn about suicide and can only think that a three-day waiting period probably could have prevented my stepson’s death. It was an impulsive act but one where there was no second chance.