The Last Person on Earth A mother considers her son’s final thoughts and a type of suicide we don’t fully understand.


            #TIA – To the extent that it helps to know any more about suicide, this account adds to the puzzle of why.

“He was a marvelous, graceful boy. We, his lucky family from the moment he arrived at age 10 from Ethiopia, weren’t the only ones to think so. A wide swath of local boyhood fell in love with him, too, migrating to our house, staying off and on, nights and weekends, holidays and road trips … staying, really, until he left us.

His name was Fisseha, American nickname Sol. Before he was even speaking English, in the summer of 2004, he began unwittingly to dazzle us with skills that were second nature to him, a goatherd from sub-Saharan Africa. He could spark fires with sticks and stones, build small huts, and whistle piercingly through his teeth without using his fingers. He harvested wild berries and brought them home in bowls shaped from leaves. He had a gentle knack with animals; on his first walk with the family, he carried home our elderly dachshund as if it were a baby goat at risk of being left behind in the wilderness. “Very small, Mom,” he explained, seeing my startled expression.”

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