Jason Reid was in Puerto Vallarta with his wife in March 2018, celebrating her birthday, when he got the call from his mother-in-law.
His 14-year-old son, Ryan, hanged himself in the attic of their Murrieta home.
The Reids flew back home right away. But Ryan couldn’t be saved.
He was declared brain-dead and taken off life support, after his parents, two brothers and sister said their good-byes.
“We never saw it coming,” Reid said, speaking just a few weeks before the first anniversary of his son’s death.
Soon after Ryan killed himself, the family found his suicide note.
Ryan wrote about how he would pretend to be happy for everyone else, but dealt alone with an all-consuming darkness. He wrote about online research on ways to kill himself. He thought about running away to Portland, he said. But, he couldn’t because it was too far.
“He was so tortured, and still he was just a child,” said his father.
When Reid rummaged through his son’s dresser drawers feverishly looking for clues that might offer any answers, he found two Post-It notes. One had a list of Ryan’s computer passwords.
And another bore this message: “Tell my story.”