[Hpn] New York, NY - Suicide teen is honored: Dad recalls Jason-Eric Wilson as "good son" - NY Daily News - August 14, 2002

Editor Editor <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Wed, 14 Aug 2002 22:14:55 -0500


Suicide teen is honored
Dad recalls Jason-Eric Wilson as "good son"
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By JOSE MARTINEZ - NY Daily News - August 14, 2002

Troy Coleman (c., in white shirt), uncle of Jason-Eric Wilson,
who committed suicide last week, is comforted by a friend
yesterday.  Eric Wilson, with daughter Lani, watches as sonís
coffin leaves funeral home. [Pictures of family available on
web site:   http://makeashorterlink.com/?J1AE51581]

Mourners filled a Brooklyn funeral home yesterday to remember
bright spots from a mentally ill teenager's life - and not the
bleak way in which he ended it.

Jason-Eric Wilson, who family members believe committed suicide
to avoid returning to a city-run intake center for the homeless, was
buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park after friends and
relatives gave thanks for his 16 years of life.

"He was a wonderful son," said his father, Eric Wilson. "He was
more than I ever, ever, ever dare ask the Lord for."

On Aug. 5, Jason overdosed on pills at the Dawn Hotel homeless
shelter in Harlem, where he had been staying with his father and
10-year-old sister, Lani.

Eric Wilson blamed his son's death on a fear of returning to the
city's crowded Emergency Assistance Unit in the Bronx, where the
boy had once slept on the floor.

Jason's suicide angered and saddened Mayor Bloomberg, who said
the city failed the paranoid schizophrenic teen.

It also sparked an investigation into how city agencies could better
have handled the family's plight.

As he stood next to Jason's open coffin, a single red carnation
placed in the teen's hands, Eric Wilson smiled and said he
wouldn't mourn - but instead remember his son's sensitivity and
willingness to hear others out.

"He was the greatest listener," Wilson said, recalling his son's
love for books.

Jason's mental health had been in decline since his father was
diagnosed with leukemia in 1996. As the family's fortunes sagged,
they moved in and out of relatives' homes. Finally, in late July,
the family moved into a city shelter.

The mental problems and homelessness took a heavy toll on Jason,
an honor student who had once dreamed of becoming a doctor or
nurse and who enjoyed learning about African-American history.

"What he experienced was so harsh," the Rev. Eric Wohner told the
100 mourners at the Louis De Luca Mayflower funeral home on Bay
Parkway in Bensonhurst.

Boy heard voices

A month before he died, Jason had confided in Wohner that he
sometimes heard voices inside his head, but that he was afraid to
report them to his dad.

Once Jason told his father about the voices, the two grew even
closer, Wohner said.

"I said, 'I don't know what's going on in your life, man,'"
Wohner said. "'But it is very obvious, in spite of the storm
around you, there is an incredible amount of love for you.'"

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