2 min

The suicide note

'Please visit my grave often, so I'm not lonely'

VISITING SCHOOLS. Nasima Nastoh is trying to carry out her son's last wish. Credit: Tom Yeung

Nasima Nastoh stood in front of a Vancouver classroom full of kids and poured her heart out about the suicide of her son, Hamed.

“Dear mom and dad,” read his mother from what she says is her son’s four-page suicide note. “The first thing is, I love you mom and dad, but you didn’t understand why I had to commit suicide.

“There was so much going on, and I tried to cope with it, but I couldn’t take it anymore.”

And so the 14-year-old British Columbian boy jumped from a bridge last March wearing a backpack full of stones. He could no longer endure the homophobic taunts of schoolmates.

His mother read more selections from the note to North Vancouver high school students on Jan 31, and the contents were then reported in a city newspaper.

“It was horrible. Every day, I was teased and teased, everyone calling me gay, fag, queer, and I would always act like it didn’t bug me…. But I was crying inside me. It hurt me so bad, because I wasn’t gay. And when people said it, my own friends never backed me up. They just laughed. I would pray to God every night for everyone to stop saying that.

“I know that you are going to miss me and that you will never forgive me, but you will never understand. You weren’t living my life. I hate myself for doing this to you. I really, really hate myself, but there is no other way out for me.

“Sure, I could have taken a gun and shot everyone in the head… but what would the point be?

“I know I left my room messy. You can clean it if you want, but please don’t sell or throw anything away. Even though I won’t be there, I still want that room. It has to be my room….

“I love you dad and mom. Please, please tell the people at the school why I did this. I don’t want somebody else to do what I have done.

“Mom, after my death, please, please go to schools and talk to kids that bullying and teasing has big consequences. And tell them to please stop crying. That’s just my only wish and I hope people will miss me. Please visit my grave often, so I’m not lonely.”

But Nasima Nastoh is not allowed to visit her son’s own Surrey, British Columbia school to talk about bullying. Nor any other Surrey school. Surrey board chair has said that Nastoh can’t visit Hamed’s school because of continuing investigations by the provincial coroner, and that trustees are also concerned about Nastoh’s wish to visit other schools.

While the British Columbia teachers’ union has given a high profile to the issue of bullying in recent years, the problem continues.

Administrators at a Vancouver Island school recently reacted to the videotaping of a vicious schoolyard bullying and fight by being angry at the teen who videotaped it all and released it to the media, rather than at the teens doing the fighting.

And a high school graduate from North Vancouver has filed a human rights complaint against his old school board for not protecting him from bullies.