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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Life Lesson From A Heartbreaking Story

Photo by rhodi-lopez on Unsplash


An experience no parent should face is having to bury their child. It is truly a painful gut-wrenching process. It is even more painful when they take their own life.

This exact circumstance played out for Missy and Jeff Sumrell with their twin 16-year-old son Parker on September 27, 2021. It felt like an ordinary day.

Missy and Jeff started their workday at home. Their twin children, Parker and Peyton who were both honor roll students, left for school early that morning. Peyton would leave their school Laney High early to go her part-time job.  Parker, who shared his day between high school and early college, came home between classes so he could eat and work on an Eagle Scout project. Everything seemed normal.  Parker helped out his father Jeff, put away some equipment from his car after having to run out.

He then went upstairs and locked himself in his room, which his parents thought he was working on his Eagle Scout project.

A little while later, there was a loud noise which Missy thought their overcrowded master closet had broken. Instead, they discovered Parker’s room was closed and locked.  Parker had shot himself and committed suicide. Just completely heartbreaking.

Parker must have been driven by demons and let his fears, anxiety, worries, and stress get the better of him. He hid his true feelings from everyone, even his parents and twin sister. He did not feel comfortable talking to anyone or asking for help, which is heartbreaking.  Parker had jumped off the deep end and could not stop himself before it was too late.

In order to avoid a situation like this one, families need to make sure they have a loving, caring and trusting relationship that we all can trust each other in times of need.  Each and every day, we need to have daily discussions, especially during meals, about what is going on in our lives and not be afraid to share our true feelings with one another.  Families should also take time out every day to pray together and show our children the power of praying and positive thinking.

Parents need to teach their children to spread love and treat others with proper respect and to use weapons properly, only for hunting or for protection and self-defense, not to harm ourselves or others.   Too many children are not taught properly at home and thus get themselves into trouble and find themselves using violence, alcohol, and drugs.

Especially as the holiday season approaches, we need to be grateful for food, family, money, and health. We need to think about, pray for and consider helping to poor and less fortunate during this holiday season.  We also need to be grateful for life and live each day to the fullest, cause we never know when we will take our final breath.

Thank god for everyday and be happy to be alive.


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About the Contributor
Brendan Connelly, Contributing Writer
Brendan Connelly is a contributing writer for Cape Fear Voices.

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