by Shaun King
Last weekend, between Sunday church services, a great pastor, Teddy Parker, Jr., decided he had fought mental illness long enough and took his own life. Behind closed doors, Teddy had been fighting mental illness for years with the support of close friends and family, but it had become more than he could handle.
Surely, at different points in your own life, burdens have felt heavier than you could carry, right? I know I’ve experienced this.
While issues of suicide and mental illness are still taboo in many circles, our job is to respond with love and compassion instead of judgment and criticism.
Teddy left behind a loving and longsuffering wife, Larrinecia, and two beautiful and bright daughters, Kamry and Kerrington. Unfortunately, because of legalities there’s uncertainty about future benefits for his family. In our conversations with his wife, her greatest concern is her girls. She just wants to be able to send them to college and we’re convinced that, together, we can make this happen.
Kamry is a high school senior and will start college next Fall.
This is one of her last pictures with her dad.
Kerrington will start college few years after Kamry. My friend, Pastor E. Dewey Smith, was good friends with Teddy and we’ve decided that we aren’t going to hide our heads in shame or leave his family hanging. Unfortunately, it appears that his benefits will be in legal limbo for a while and his family needs our help. Silence is not the compassionate response here. We need to shower this family with love.
When we asked Terry’s wife how we could help most, she was just concerned about her girls. Together, you and I can show up in a major way for Kamry and Kerrington and help send them to college. We have started a fund to send Kamry and Kerrington to college, but we can’t do this without you.
Would you PLEASE consider making a donation to this fund. We’ve already raised thousands of dollars offline that we will be adding to our campaign soon.
Please go to HopeMob.org/teddy now and let’s show his family light and love.