Josh Ruttencutter

Debbie Ruttencutter
Tree Coordinator for Tennessee
States Temporarily Adopted: Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio

Contact Information
1405 Kay View Drive
Sevierville, TN 37876
(865) 908-4824
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Recommended Website
Josh’s Page:

My Story
I lost Josh to suicide at the tender age of 15 on November 6, 1996. He had just turned 15, six days prior. He is my firstborn. He had suffered from depression since age 12 when his father and I had divorced. He had been through 3 years of off & on counseling and therapy. He had really good days, and he had some very rough days. He and I were very close. Many a time he would cry and “ask” me to fix him. Oh how I wish I could have. I tried . . . many times I tried. We tried counseling, anti-depressants and anything else I could do.  We tried “tough-love” in situations that therapists suggested. These things would only work temporarily.

Eleven days prior to Josh taking his life, he walked past me and I noticed immediately that he didn't look right. He had lost a lot of weight (he wore typical baggy clothes) but this time he was shirtless and I could see his ribs. I called immediately to get him in to yet another doctor. We went the next day. It was a very thorough interview between this doctor, Josh and me.

Josh was always very honest. He wanted to be well. He wanted help. We talked and talked. The last part of the interview was the doctor asking Josh if he had ever thought of suicide. He said “yes, everyone has at one point of their lives when things are bad.” the doctor nodded, then asked “but have you ever thought out a plan?” Josh looked at me, smiled shyly and said “No, because I could never do it.” He was gone 10 days later.

So my little boy was gone. All those happy 12 years we had had prior before his depression are memories I try so hard to not forget. The 3 years we did have that were difficult, I remember them all too. I take the good with the bad. He is my child, he may not be here on Earth, but he is with me each and everyday. I do anything I can now in hopes that I can help one child not do what Josh did, so that there isn't another set of parents out there like I am, trying to find peace each day.
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