A statement from Colleen Kelly, mother of Stephen Beckman, who was declared dead Tuesday, three days after :
For those of you who have offered your prayers and sympathies to our family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Many of you have sincerely inquired on my son’s condition. As the news outlets are now reporting, he has been pronounced dead. He had struggled with mental illness (the specifics of which are his personal business) that proved too difficult to overcome. He was in a great deal of pain; now he is at peace.
It is true that my son had a baby daughter. She turned 1 on Friday and was truly the brightest light in his life. Unfortunately, her mother had not allowed her to see her father since January. He was working through the courts to obtain visitation; however, the long and exhausting process and the six months without his daughter were devastating to him.
My son was quite simply the most loving, giving person I have ever known. He had a kind and gentle heart. He knew only one way to love—unconditionally. A hospital spiritual advisor summed it up best: for those who feel as deeply as he did, the world can be too cruel for his big heart to handle.
I understand that some believe my son’s act to be selfish. Please understand that my son did not have a selfish bone in his body. He was kind and generous to his core. He not only stopped to give money to the homeless, he engaged them, learned their story, let them know they mattered, hugged them and told them he loved them. He recently asked me why love and kindness aren’t taught in school. He was on a mission to fill that gap and spread it through his community.
we learned that he was a registered organ donor. His last act of selflessness is to give life to others.
My son had a strong belief in how the understanding of something could be shifted by one’s perspective. So, although this is a tragedy, and the hole in our hearts will never heal, our lives have been blessed with this young man for 22 years. We are so grateful to God for this gift.
While on the bridge I was aided by a truly remarkable human being. T, I know that you are struggling with what you witnessed. Please know that there was nothing more that you, or any of us, could do. Stephen’s fate was in God’s hands and he is with Him now. Your kindness and humanity will live in our family’s hearts forever.
To any parents reading this–PLEASE love your children unconditionally and teach them kindness toward others.
To my beautiful son, I simply echo the words you recently wrote to me, “I love you forever. I’ll see you soon.”